The top high school tight end in America when he came to the University of Miami as a 17-year-old now leads the nation in receiving yards for tight ends in major college football.
“I mean, he’s one of those rare guys,’’ Miami offensive coordinator Dan Enos said of sophomore Brevin Jordan, who turned 19 in July. “It’s hard for us to take him off the field.’’
UM left Jordan on the field for 70 of 76 plays Saturday in the loss at North Carolina, where he had six catches for 73 yards to go with his five catches for 88 yards and a touchdown in the opener against then-No. 8 Florida.
His 161 total yards stand ahead of the second-most prolific FBS tight end, Giovanni Ricci, a Western Michigan senior who has 11 catches for 150 yards and three touchdowns; and Jacob Breelend, an Oregon senior who has eight catches for 138 yards and one score.
Granted, it’s only two games, and the Hurricanes have lost both, but there’s no denying the charismatic 6-3, 245-pound Jordan, named a preseason Mackey Award candidate, is the type of player who can take what appears to be a blossoming Canes offense to another level.
Miami fans will get to see Jordan again in the home opener at 4 p.m. Saturday at Hard Rock Stadium, where the Canes (0-2, 0-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) will meet FCS competitor Bethune-Cookman. He can’t wait to see them.
“We’ve got the best fans in the world,’’ a sweat-soaked Jordan said Tuesday after practice. “I’m ready to finally play at home, finally be at Hard Rock. The two atmospheres we were in, those were two tough atmospheres. To have the fans on our side is going to be great.”
When asked how he perpetually remains fired up and upbeat despite the losses, Jordan said it was “just the personality God blessed me with.’’
“The grind never changes,’’ he said. “That’s going to continue throughout the season and for as long as I play football. I’m going to try to bring guys with me who can, I guess you could say, emulate my energy.
“I’m going to have... fun.’’
And fun for Jordan doesn’t just mean holding on to pretty much everything that comes his way. It means blocking like a bulldozer.
“Excellent’’ and “rare,’’ Enos said of Jordan’s blocking ability, combined with his penchant for dominating with the ball in his hands.
“Amazing,’’ is how talented defensive end Greg Rousseau described Jordan. “He’s one of those deep threats. He’s an intermediate threat. You can throw the ball to him anywhere. But for me the thing that stands out [about] him is he’ll pull around and hit a 320-pound D-tackle and smack him. Blocking D-ends, linebackers — he will put his nose in anything.’’
Jordan took several seconds to ponder whether he would rather execute a great block or great catch.
“Truthfully,’’ he said, “I like the ball in my hands, so I’d rather make a great catch.’’
“But getting a great block, like throwing somebody on the floor and then seeing [tailback] Cam [Harris] or DeeJay [Dallas] run past me, that’s just as good.’’
Jordan played with UM quarterback/receiver Tate Martell and new safety transfer Bubba Bolden at Las Vegas Bishop Gorman High, where he led Bishop Gorman to its ninth consecutive Nevada State Championship in 2017 by posting career highs in receiving yards (1,111), receptions (63) and touchdowns (13).
He was a second-team All-ACC player last season as a true freshman after playing 12 of 13 games and starting 11 of them. He caught 32 passes for 287 yards and four touchdowns.
“For a guy that’s not very big in stature as far as his height, he has got a very strong lower body,” Enos said. “He’s very explosive... He’s good at setting the edge, he’s good at running vertical, he’s good out in space... He’s enthusiastic, he’s competitive, he wants the ball, he wants to be challenged. We move him around in formations all over the place.
“And I think he has a whole ‘nother level to get to. We really think we haven’t scratched the surface with Brevin.’’
Jordan, like his coaches, is thrilled UM’s offense is showing signs of life.
“When we really sat down and watched film, from Game 1 to Game 2 there was a huge difference,’’ he said. “The O-line looked a lot better, [quarterback] Jarren [Williams] looked a lot more poised. We didn’t win the game and all but as an offense it was a positive for us. We were like, ‘Man, we keep cleaning up these things, we can be a pretty good team.’
“It doesn’t matter if we’re playing the Denver Broncos, Alabama, or Clemson. The whole point of it is we’re trying to win. That’s the bottom line.’’