Spring Preview 2010
The Players You Need To Know
Jordan Todman, RB UConn
12 New Superstars You Must Know About
- Boston College LB Luke
- Iowa S Tyler Sash
- Kansas State RB Daniel Thomas
- Houston WR James
QB Ricky Dobbs
RB Bernard Pierce
LB Tank Carder
- California RB Shane Vereen
WR Randall Cobb
Texas RB Lance Dunbar
DE Dontay Moch
Who is Jordan Todman? … If you’re an East Coast back feeling as if you’re being overlooked, how can you not consider putting your fate in the hands of Randy Edsall and Connecticut? Their track record with modest recruits at the position is becoming a real talking point on the recruiting trail.
Terry Caulley, Donald Brown, and Andre Dixon have all soared past expectations as Huskies in recent years, and Todman is gearing up to keep the tradition going. He’s fresh off a 1,000-yard, All-Big East sophomore season and is staring at an even bigger role in the offense now that Dixon is primping for the NFL. If you’re surprised by Todman’s rapid success, how do you think all of those programs that didn’t offer him a scholarship now feel?
That Todman will enter 2010 as one of the nation’s best backs would be a major upset had you only followed the first half of his life. From a very young age, he was always a good athlete, but he also started running with the wrong crowd, getting in trouble, and underperforming in school. Though his mom tried, there was a lack of guidance at home. That’s when the Cruz family, Steve and Dana, entered the picture, unselfishly took a page out of Blind Side and forever changed the course of Todman’s life.
When Todman was 11, Cruz was his Pop Warner coach and a fatherly figure. He saw something in him that extended beyond just athleticism. He noticed a big-hearted, lovable kid with a world of potential that wasn’t likely to be fulfilled in nearby New Bedford, Mass., a town with a growing gang problem and a shoddy school system. The Cruz’s had this nagging desire to be more than just bystanders in Todman’s development, becoming his guardians and opening their North Dartmouth, Mass. home to him in the eighth grade. He’s been there ever since, getting the structure and support that wasn’t always there in the early stages of his life. Would he be in Storrs today had the Cruz’s not rescued him? Maybe, but the chances of that happening would have been a whole lot slimmer.
Edsall and the Huskies have this knack for sniffing out talent where few others are looking. Todman is the latest hidden gem, a gifted all-around runner who has beaten the odds and blown past the forecasts in just his first two seasons on campus.
Jordan Todman’s best game so far was … Nov. 21 in South Bend. While Todman had better numbers a week earlier in Cincinnati, having a hand in the double-overtime upset of Notre Dame will forever hold special meaning. Not only did he rush for 130 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries, but he also took a kickoff back 96 yards to knot the game at 17 in the third quarter.
Why should you care about Jordan Todman? … Todman is well on his way to becoming the next installment of a Husky back, with a career path that winds up in the pros. After showing hints of potential as a true freshman, he erupted when the touches increased in 2009, rushing for more than 1,000 yards and landing on the All-Big East second team. After enjoying a breakout year while sharing the load with Dixon, there’s no telling what Todman can accomplish now that he’s the alpha dog in East Hartford.
Positives about Jordan Todman … Todman is a fundamentally-crisp back, who squeezes everything out of his physical ability. While not all that big, he has keen vision in the hole, runs deliberately, and can change direction in a snap to make defenders miss in the open field. A determined worker, who won’t shy away from contact, he’s been known to dish out as much punishment as he absorbs. Also a coachable kid who improves the chemistry of the huddle, he does a lot of little things well for the Huskies, like blocking, pass protecting, and catching passes out of the backfield.
Negatives about Jordan Todman … At just 5-9 and 189 pounds, Todman lacks ideal size for a feature back, especially one that’ll be asked to carry an even bigger load in 2010. Although he’s plenty tough and plays bigger than his modest frame, it’s not as if he’ll easily move a pile in short yardage. With such a fast metabolism, he’ll benefit even more than the average player from extra time in the weight room this offseason.
A cool thing about Jordan Todman you probably didn’t know …Todman hates the cold weather, but that can’t keep him from one of his favorite pastimes, snowboarding. Predictably, he has terrific balance and just enough competitive drive to want to show up his friends and family. Once the season is over, he especially enjoys kicking back and spending time at Loon Mountain and Waterville Valley in New Hampshire.
2008: 47 carries for 296 yards and three touchdowns
2009: 235 carries for 1,188 yards and 14 touchdowns; 21 catches for 185 yards; one kick return for a touchdown