Sterling defensive lineman with one last chance to play with the guys before heading to NIU

A year ago, with the pandemic starting to rage and the sports world on lockdown, Sterling football player Trevon Jordan made his choice on how he would spend his future.

Now in the midst of a senior year long delayed into the spring by the pandemic, Jordan is months away from reporting to camp in late summer at Northern Illinois.

“The coaches, they really act like they care,” Jordan said. “They seem to care about more than football. They care how you’re doing in the classroom, who you’re going to be after college, so really that was the main factor on why I decided to go there.”

Jordan has been used at defensive end for most of his time in high school, though he has also seen playing time on offense. In DeKalb, he will be a defensive end or defensive tackle with the Huskies.

“The thing we like about Travon we had him in camp last year [2019] and really grinded him, worked him, put him through the paces,” NIU coach Thomas Hammock said when Jordan signed his National Letter of Intent in December. “He was a sophomore at the time and he got a lot of verified information on him. ... Then we got to watch him compete against some guys who were committed to us in the ’20 class. He was exceptional.”

He now has two games left in his high school career before embarking on his college career with the Huskies. No playoffs are at stake, there will be no playing for a trip to Champaign at the end, and his future is settled.

But he still has reason to be back on the field this spring.

“It’s my senior year, so I wouldn’t want to miss out balling with my guys,” Jordan said. “That’s the only reason I came out here to play one last time.”

NIU is bringing in a 22-member freshman class in the fall, with five including Jordan coming from Illinois. Had there been no season this school year, he would have reported to camp in August having not been on a football field in 21 months. Instead, he will go three months from his final game as a Golden Warrior to practicing in a Northern Illinois uniform.

“I think it’s going to keep my body right,” he said. “If we didn’t have a football season, I would go there and wouldn’t be ready. I think having the season this late is going to be helpful.”

Though there was some talk of college coaches being hesitant to allow committed players coming into their programs to play in the spring for fear of injuries, Jordan never heard that from Hammock and the staff at NIU.

“They just said, ‘If you’re going to play, go play, just play your hardest,’” Jordan said. “They’re very understanding. They know it’s the guys’ last year, so if you want to go play, might as well.”