It’s been a tough year for SFU football. This season was a winless one for the Clan, who also saw their third coaching change in the past three years. The one constant throughout all of this, however, has been the play of Jordan Herdman. He has been a rock on the defensive side of the football for the Clan, leading the entire GNAC conference with an average of 14.8 tackles per game, as well as led the conference in tackles for loss. This has resulted in his being awarded GNAC Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight year.
“Coach Bates actually told me a few days before,” said Herdman, explaining how he found out he won. “He let me know and I was pretty excited with the news. Back to back Defensive Player of the Year, two years in a row, is a honour. I’m very grateful.”
The team hasn’t had the success on the field that Herdman would have hoped for, but that doesn’t mean he won’t savour his achievement. “I wish we could a little more success as a team. And that’s unfortunate, but at the end of the day, I’m still grateful. It doesn’t diminish it at all, and I’m still very happy that I got the award.”
Jordan’s twin brother Justin also plays on the team, and is also a linebacker. So what does he think of his brother winning this prestigious award for a second straight year?
“It just pushes him more,” said Justin. “He feels that he can do the same thing and get the same recognition. [. . .] It just drives him to keep pushing.”
“Back to back defensive player of the year, two years in a row is a honour. I’m very grateful.”
With Jordan’s personal goal being to win a third straight GNAC Defensive Player of the Year award, he also wants the team to be more competitive in his last year of NCAA eligibility. “As a team, I would like us to get above .500, win the games were supposed to win, and as a defence, I want to be the best defence in the conference.”
So what’s it been like with three coaches the past three years? “It’s been very tough,” said Herdman. “Every year we have a new head coach, and new systems to learn. It’s very tough on the players, but I think we’re going to have some people staying here the next years. Hopefully that helps us.”
Coach Bates, it seems at this point, will be given the time to lead and mould this team into the future. “I think this is a little bit new to him, but I think he’s really excited about what’s he’s doing, and he brings that excitement with him when he comes out to the field everyday,” said Herdman.
“He has a lot of learning to do, but I think he’s going to get there. I’m excited to see it.”