Player Profile #93 – RB Jordan Todman

There was a time when a running back that couldn’t break 5-feet, 9 inches would be destined to a specialist’s role in pro football.

They would never be considered a full-time, 1st-and-10 running back. But these days even the small backs are getting bigger and there’s no better example than Jordan Todman out of the University of Connecticut.

Last year for the Huskies, the 5-feet, 8¾ inches, 203-pounds Todman got quite a workout, carrying the ball 334 times in 12 games or just short of 28 times per game. And Todman was productive, running for 1,695 yards. With a year of eligibility left at UConn, he decided it was time to follow the footsteps of his former teammate Donald Brown and come out early.

Here’s the story on the small but powerful Jordan Todman.

FAMILY BUSINESS

Jordan Todman

Born – February 24, 1990 in New Bedford, Massachusetts.

Family – Father is not part of his life. Mother Elena Joseph. Since 2003 his legal guardian is Steve Cruz, the father of a former high school teammate. Todman grew up in North Dartmouth, MA., a town of about 30,000 that’s southwest of Boston and near the ocean at Buzzard’s Bay.

BODY OF WORK

  • Height – 5-feet, 8¾ inches.
  • Weight – 203 pounds.
  • Arms – 32 inches.
  • Hand – 9 3/8 inches.
  • 40-yard dash – 4.4 seconds
  • 20-yard dash – 2.57 seconds
  • 10-yard dash – 1.53 seconds.
  • Bench press – 25 repetitions at 225 pounds.
  • Vertical jump – 38 inches.
  • Broad jump – 10-feet, 6 inches.

TRAINING ROOM

Todman missed the first two games of his freshman season (2008) at Connecticut with a shoulder injury, but returned to play in the final 10 games. In the 2010 season he missed a game with a left arm injury. Otherwise, he was pretty durable over three seasons.

HIGH SCHOOL

He graduated from Dartmouth High School, class of ’08.

Todman was twice named All-State and he was the Boston Globe and conference player of the year as a senior. He ended up as the second leading rusher in Massachusetts schoolboy history with 5,803 yards. Cedric Washington of Holyoke High has the record total with 6,888 yards running in the mid 1990s before going to Boston College.

Football was not his only sport with the Indians, as Todman excelled at basketball and track. He was the team’s leading scorer in basketball for two straight seasons. In his senior track season, he set a school record of 10.8 seconds in the 100-meter dash. He also scored points in high jump, long jump, triple jump, 200 meters and the 4×100-meter relay and won conference titles in the 100, 200, long jump and triple jump.

FOOTBALL

2007 – Team captain in senior season and led Dartmouth to the Eastern Massachusetts Division 1 Super Bowl. Todman ran for 199 yards and 3 TDs in a losing effort against Everett. He ran for 2,117 yards on 188 carries in 11 games, averaging 12.08 yards per carry with 33 TDs and 35 scores overall.

2006 – Over 11 games, Todman had 2,707 all-purpose yards, including 2,210 yards rushing on 229 carries, a 9.7-yard per carry average with 28 TD runs. He also threw two passes, both for touchdowns.

2005 – In 11 games as a sophomore, Todman ran 164 times for 1,260 yards and eight TDs.

2004 – He appeared in one game as a freshman, playing on Thanksgiving Day when he ran for 207 yards in his first varsity game.

JURISPRUDENCE

On June 5, 2008, Todman was charged with disorderly conduct at Dartmouth High’s prom. This came after police and school officials found alcohol and what was believed to be marijuana on the bus that approximately 40 students used to attend the event. Todman was arrested when he began shouting at police while they were attempting to handcuff his date.

Along with his date Leah Mello, Todman was barred from taking part in the all-state track meet or participating in the school’s graduation. Less than a month later, the charge was dropped in the Fall River Trial Court.

RECRUITING

Connecticut, Purdue and Northeastern offered scholarships. Penn State and Boston College showed last interest. Maryland, Syracuse and Virginia also recruited him. Made official visits to Connecticut and Boston College and then committed to UConn.

COLLEGE

Todman majored in sociology at Connecticut.

In three seasons with the Huskies, he earned All-Big East Conference honors on the second team (2009) and first team (2010). Last season he was unanimous selection as the Big East Offensive Player of the Year, leading the conference in rushing and finishing second in the country in rushing yards per game. Todman also earned second-team Associated Press All-America honors.

2010 – Named team MVP as he ran for nearly 1,700 yards, including nine of 11 games where he topped 100 yards. Biggest game was a 222-yard performance against Pitt late in the season that wrapped up the Big East title for the Huskies. He missed one game with left arm injury suffered vs. Temple and did not play the following week against Buffalo.

2009 – Stepping into the feature-back role, Todman ran for nearly 1,200 yards, including five games of 100 yards or more. His game of the year was 130 rushing yards against Notre Dame and his play of the year was a 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in an UConn victory over the Irish.

2008 – He missed the first two games with a shoulder injury suffered during pre-season practices. Over the rest of the season, he played sparingly, running for 47 yards for 318 yards and 3 TDs.

Year

G

S

Att.

Yds

Avg.

TD

 

Rec.

Yds

 

Ret

Yds

TD

2010

12

12

334

1,695

5.1

14

 

19

94

 

2

55

0

2009

13

7

235

1,188

5.1

14

 

21

185

 

20

506

1

2008

12

0

47

296

6.3

3

 

2

4

 

15

363

0

Total

37

19

616

3,179

5.2

31

 

42

283

 

37

924

1

Per G.

x

x

16.7

85.9

5.2

.84

 

1.1

7.7

 

1

24.9

x

EVALUATION FOR PRO FOOTBALL

Strengths – Plays like a running back. Todman has good speed, very good vision and he’s excellent in traffic, accelerating and changing direction. He’s elusive and can make defenders miss in the open field. Runs between the tackles and is not afraid of the contact inside, although he’s a better runner outside the tackles. He shows very good balance and can bounce off a blow and keeps running. He’s a tough runner who seemed to get stronger as the game went on.

Weaknesses – Smallish in stature, he runs hard but not with much power. He has skinny legs that don’t provide much pop. He’s only so-so as a receiver and that’s one area where he must improve as an under-sized back. Todman needs to improve as a pass blocker, especially ready blitz and picking up pass rushers that have gotten through the line. He came off the field on passing downs and that’s not something that’s going to help him in the pros.

Analysis – Todman is a power runner in the body of a change-of-pace back. Although he was durable at UConn given the numbers of times he touched the ball in the last two seasons, he’s not going to stand up to a NFL pounding week-after-week. He must make big improvements in how he handles the passing game, as a receiver and blocker. He has shown the ability to take care of his body and reportedly does not drink or spend a lot of late hours on the streets.

WHAT THE SCOUTS SAY

From an AFC scout – “He’s a big back in a midget’s body and that’s going to be tough to survive in the league. He’s not like (Maurice) Jones-Drew who has that big butt and those powerful things; his legs are small and skinny and do not produce a lot of power. If he’s willing to work, he could be a good addition to a rotation or back-by-committee.”

From another AFC scout – “He’s one of the most intriguing players on our draft board. He’s shown he can handle the duty of being the big back, even with a small body. He’s got good speed and a nice wiggle in the open field that will get him extra yards. Anybody that gets him will have to create a niche for what he provides. I think he can be a solid kick returner as well.”

WHAT HE HAS TO SAY

On his style of play – “I’m trying to do everything. My hands are good (for catching passes), I run between the tackles, I get outside with my speed and take the blows (from opponents). I just try to stay healthy and keep running.”

On playing multiple sports in high school – “The other sports were fun, but football is really my heart. It’s my love and I’ll be able to focus on that. Doing the whole football thing instead of three sports all year-round, it’s going to make a big difference.”

WHAT OTHERS SAY

UConn offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead – “He’s not a guy that is huge in stature, but he will get the tough yards between the tackles.”

Oklahoma S Quinton Carter who faced him in the Fiesta Bowl – “He’s really patient. He lets the hole develop, then sticks his foot in the ground and gets downhill. He knows how to run the ball.”

UConn fullback Anthony Sherman – “He wants to win and he’ll do anything for the team to win. If he has to lay his body out there and carry the ball 40 times, he’ll do it.”

DOES HE FIT WITH THE CHIEFS?

Todman’s talents do not seem to lend themselves to where the Chiefs roster and offense sit right now. He’s too small to be a power back, and he’s no match for the speed and skills of Jamaal Charles. With a Dexter McCluster already on the roster, Todman would be a duplication that the Chiefs can’t really afford right now.

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