The Philadelphia Eagles will need some solid play from its defense as the season opens on Sunday, Sept. 9 against the Cleveland Browns at 1 p.m. (Fox Channel 29). Akeem Jordan, Eagles starting weakside linebacker, will figure heavily in their plans to shut down the Browns offense.
“It’s our first game,” Jordan said. “Everybody is excited about getting out there. We want to show what we got. It’s exciting to be out there playing defense. I’m just ready to have fun and go out there and play ball.”
That’s exactly what Jordan does for the Eagles. He goes out there and plays his game. This is his sixth year in Philly. He’s played all three linebacker positions as well as special teams. Jordan is a one of the team’s best tacklers. He had 32 total and 26 solo tackles last season. In addition, he led the team with 14 special teams tackles. He had a team-high four special teams tackles against the Arizona Cardinals.
Jordan was consistent during the preseason. He had seven total and five solo tackles. Jordan always seems to be in the right place. He grew up in Harrisonburg, Va., which happens to be the same hometown as former Virginia and NBA star Ralph Sampson, who was just inducted into the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame. Jordan was an All-State linebacker and running back coming out of Harrisonburg High School. He led his high school team to the state championship in his junior year.
He has one of the best nicknames on the team. Here’s a hint. It’s similar to basketball Hall of Famer Hakeem Olajuwon’s nickname. Jordan picked it up in his hometown.
“When I was little in elementary school, they used to call me, ‘Akeem the Dream,’” Jordan said. “They just cut it down to “Dream” up here.”
Jordan is more than a dream. He’s an inspiration to a lot of players who didn’t get drafted. Jordan played four years at FCS James Madison University. He led the Dukes to the NCAA championship in 2004.
In 2007, he became the first player from James Madison to land a starting position in a NFL game since wide receiver Macey Brooks started three games for the Chicago Bears in 2000. He became one of five ex-JMU players to start in the NFL including wide receiver Gary Clark, defensive end Charles Haley, tight end Ed Perry and Brooks.
He was able to accomplish all these things as an undrafted free agent. Jordan will be playing with a good linebacking corps, which includes DeMeco Ryans, Mychal Kendricks, Jamar Chaney and Brian Rolle.