For St. Louis BattleHawks quarterback Jordan Ta’amu, the term adversity was one he was forced to become very familiar with at an early age. After discovering that he wouldn’t be granted a single Division I offer to play college football, Ta’amu was faced with only one realization; to outwork everybody.
Ta’amu was raised in a coastal city on the island of Honolulu,Hawaii called Pearl City. He also attended high school in the area at Pearl City High School where as a senior, Ta’amu threw for 1,779 and 29 touchdown passes, with only 4 interceptions.
Though Ta’amu impressed many in his senior season, he only received a few partial scholarships to Division II schools, along with a junior college (JUCO) offer to the New Mexico Military Institute. Ta’amu had confidence in his ability to play quarterback for a Division I school, so he decided to enroll at the New Mexico Military Institute, with hopes to transfer in the future.
In Ta’amu’s first year of JUCO, he was sidelined for the season with an injury after getting the opportunity to throw only five pass attempts the entire year. As a result, Ta’amu was forced to stay another season in New Mexico. This was just another example of adversity in Jordan’s career that would make him stronger in the future.
The following season was much kinder to the Hawaiian QB, as he began the season with eight touchdown passes in their first game; which sparked the resumption of Ta’amu’s journey to Division I football.
As the season began to wind down, the Jordan Ta’amu hype only continued to skyrocket as scouts across the nation from schools like, the University of Mississippi and the University of Minnesota were calling Ta’amu about possibly playing for their school. The dual-threat QB finished his sophomore season at the New Mexico Military Institute with 3,014 yards, 32 touchdowns, and 8 interceptions, along with 7 rushing touchdowns.
Soon after the season ended, Ta’amu began taking visits to Division I schools across the nation. His tour began with taking a short trip to New Mexico University; but during the visit, Ta’amu was offered a scholarship by the University of Mississippi, home of the Ole Miss Rebels. Ta’amu quickly figured out that Mississippi was where he wanted to call home for the next few years, and committed to Ole Miss on the spot during the official visit.
When Ta’amu arrived on the scene for the Rebels, he was behind current NFL Draft prospect Shea Patterson. That would soon change after Patterson went down with an injury during the 2017 season, causing Ta’amu to step up and become the starter for the remainder of the season. Ta’amu played like a polished, four-year starter that year while breaking multiple school records to remain the starter for Ole Miss the next season. Which consequently forced Patterson’s hand to transfer from Ole Miss, to the University of Michigan.
Ta’amu completed his following senior season at Ole Miss with 3,918 yards, 19 passing touchdowns, and 8 interceptions, along with 342 rushing yards and 6 rushing touchdowns.
After the season ended, Ta’amu was interested in gaining another year of eligibility from the NCAA since he spent two of his years at a junior college. Jordan soon figured out he was ineligible for the extra year of playing, so he decided to enter his name into the 2019 NFL Draft.
Unfortunately for Ta’amu, he did not get selected in the draft and therefore, was an undrafted free agent following the draft. In some cases, undrafted players receive calls from NFL teams immediately after the draft ends about mini-camp and training camp invites. But that was not the case for Jordan Ta’amu. The former Ole Miss Rebel was being faced with even more adversity, on an even grander stage.
Ta’amu had to wait until August 7th to finally receive a call from an NFL organization, the Houston Texans. Though Ta’amu was finally beginning to live out his dream, it didn’t last long as he was cut from the team on August 30th as part of the final round of cuts. But was it a blessing in disguise for Ta’amu?
Soon after being cut, Jordan Ta’amu decided to enter his name into the newly-revamped, XFL. Jordan was one of eight quarterbacks that was assigned to a team by the league’s choice, and not by choice of the team. Ta’amu was assigned to the St. Louis BattleHawks and soon after was introduced to St. Louis by BattleHawks Head Coach, Jonathan Hayes.
Hayes had only glowing things to say while introducing Ta’amu, “I think the thing that excited me about Jordan is his mental toughness, his physical toughness, he can extend plays, his arm strength and his talent level. Those are things that are going to get better and better.”
Fast forward to present day; through the first three weeks of the XFL, Jordan Ta’amu is second in the league in passing yards behind only P.J. Walker, and tied-fifth in the league in rushing yards. He has also led the BattleHawks to a 2-1 record, and a first place spot in the East Division thus far. It would be an extreme understatement to say that Jordan Ta’amu has exceeded Coach Hayes’ expectations for him this season.
If Ta’amu is able to continue the way he has played during the first three weeks of the XFL, the gap between him and P.J. Walker for this season’s MVP award will begin to shrink the closer we get to the playoffs.