On Saturday, June 25th, Buford Jordan, Louisiana native and quite possibly the only man to have played on both the New Orleans Breakers and the New Orleans Saints franchises, will be inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.
Jordan was always one of my favorite players for the Saints. Seems like he'd always get cut near the end of training camp, but then he'd be back on the roster early in the season, and would make a good play or significant contribution a couple of times each year.
Even though he never did much statistically for the team, he did contribute to the first Saints playoff teams when he played for New Orleans from 1986-1992.
Make the jump for more on the career of one Paul Buford Jordan, Jr.
Buford Jordan was born in Iota, Louisiana, playing football, basketball, and running track at Iota High School before moving on to a stellar four years as a running back at McNeese State University. When he left, he was both McNeese's and the state of Louisiana's collegiate career rushing leader with 4,156 yards, adding 45 touchdowns and a two-point conversion. He made All-Southland Conference all four years, earning conference offensive MVP honors twice.
In 1984, he was drafted by the USFL's New Orleans Breakers, and as a rookie he led the team in rushing with 1,276 yards and 12 total touchdowns. He followed that up with an 876-yard and 7 total touchdown year with the team in Portland.
The Green Bay Packers selected him in the supplemental draft following the collapse of the USFL in 1985, but he never saw the field of play for the Packers, and joined newly-hired Jim Mora and Co. on the Saints in 1986 as a free agent, arriving at the same time as Dalton Hilliard, Reuben Mayes, Barry Word, and Gill Fenerty (although Fenerty wouldn't actually play for the Saints until 1990).
Because of Jordan's size and the plethora of running back talent, he played seven seasons for the Saints as a fullback, and as I noted above, he never really made a huge statistical impact, but he was always good for a couple of good plays every year.
In 1987, he scored two touchdowns against the Cincinnati Bengals, as Dave Wilson quarterbacked the Saints to a thrilling 21-point comeback win en route to the Saints first-ever winning season. In the 1988 game against Washington, he recovered a Reuben Mayes fumble and took it in for a touchdown.
Mike Triplett's piece on nola.com about Jordan quotes Bobby Hebert, who was a college rival and NFL teammate,
"He was made to play a team sport," Hebert said, comparing him to other memorable Saints role players such as Michael Lewis and Fred McAfee. "He was great in the locker room. He was always joking, but he was serious, if that makes sense. He had a sense of humor, but he was going to leave everything out there on the field.
"He's just a good ol' country boy. Check your ego at the door and just try to make a living. Do what you have to do to support the team. ... You need more guys like him."
as well as former coach Jim Mora, who loved his attitude:
"Buford was a heck of a player. You combine what he did (in college) with what he did for the Saints, I think he was a great player," said Mora, who praised Jordan as both a dependable, well-liked leader off the field and a versatile player on it. "He could do it all. He was smart. You didn't have to worry about him at all making mental errors. He was a true pro. He'd prepare himself for the game each week. He could catch the ball, run the ball, pick up short-yardage situations. He was a good player and deserves this (Hall of Fame honor)."
Following his playing career he coached some Louisiana teams in the Indoor Professional Football League and Regional Football League, and now works as a personal trainer.
Sportsnola.com ran a release about Jordan from the McNeese State University Sports Information Director today, and that piece, along with the Mike Triplett article from nola.com and the other Buford Jordan links (pro-footballreference.com, wikipedia, bufordjordan.com, etc.) in this story all were used to complete this post.
Please take a moment to share your Buford Jordan memories or recollections in the comment area below.
Is anyone making the trip to Natchitoches next Saturday for the induction?