Dion Jordan and Andrew Luck share a history that dates back to 2010.
And while some of the details have grown fuzzy with time, Jordan, the Miami Dolphins rookie pass rusher, gets the important parts right.
“Yeah, me and Luck know each other pretty well,” Jordan said this week. “I never lost to Andrew Luck. I don’t plan on it.”
Jordan’s bold words will be put to the test this Sunday, when his Dolphins tangle with Luck’s Colts in a matchup of 1-0 teams.
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Luck, the outstanding young quarterback, was the No. 1 pick in the 2012 draft. Jordan went third overall a year later. But when their college teams met on the field, it was Jordan who ended up on top.
Jordan went to Oregon, which blew out Luck’s Stanford Cardinal each of the two times the Ducks faced Luck as a starter.
“I try to forget most of my matchups against Oregon, so thanks for bringing those up,” Luck deadpanned Wednesday when asked about the one-sided rivalry. “I just remember [he’s] fast, athletic, eats up space and physical. A lot of respect for him as a player.”
Jordan claims he got Luck, famously elusive, to the ground “two or three” times during the two meetings.
But the boxscore tells a different story. Jordan didn’t have a tackle in Oregon’s 2010 victory, and was credited with a half sack the year later.
“You could tell the difference between him and a lot of other quarterbacks,” Jordan said. “He controlled the things that went on, as far as the offense. He made big plays. You were able to tell he had a bright future ahead of him.”
Luck was twice a first-team All-American and won both the Maxwell and Walter Camp player of the year awards in his final season at Stanford.
He became the consensus No. 1 pick about 10 seconds after he declared for the draft, with some scouts calling him the best quarterback prospect since John Elway.
Luck didn’t disappoint, leading the moribund Colts to the playoffs in his first season. Along the way, he torched the Dolphins when they met, throwing for 433 yards — an NFL rookie record.
Meanwhile, Jordan was finishing his career at Oregon by deviling defenses with his versatility. A standup outside linebacker in college, the 6-6, 248-pound Jordan had 12 1/2 sacks and 23 1/2 tackles for loss his past two seasons.
Even with a torn labrum that needed surgery, Jordan was widely viewed as the top pass rusher in his draft class. The Dolphins thought highly enough of him to trade up from 12th to take him.
Colts coach Chuck Pagano said Wednesday he was similarly impressed.
“A talented, talented guy, a ton of athleticism, playmaking ability, pass-rush ability, ability to drop, do a ton of things for you,” Pagano said. “Like everybody else, we had great grades on that guy.”
But unlike Luck, who became Indianapolis’ starting quarterback on Day One, Jordan has had the luxury of easing into the NFL.
He had as many snaps on special teams (17) as he did on defense in the Dolphins’ win at Cleveland, although Pagano credited Miami for putting Jordan in places where he “could wreck the game.”
This Sunday, any chance the Dolphins have of wrecking the Colts’ game will begin with getting pressure on Luck — and Jordan will be expected to have an impact.
“We’re going to have to definitely get him to the ground and make plays on the football when he puts it in the air,” Jordan said.