A year ago--a young man with a longing look in
his eye stood by on the sidelines of the Dempsey Indoor Practice Facility,
watching the University of Washington Huskies during a spring scrimmage. As the
sound of popping pads echoed throughout the big room that April afternoon,
another sound was echoing in the heart of Jordan Reffett--The sound of a voice
which said long ago, "I will be a Husky, it will happen, you'll see."
"It's everything I ever wanted", Reffett now
tells us. During the recruiting process, Reffett had been a patient young
man--biding his time throughout the spring and summer months; playing hard and
taking no prisoners on the field at Moses Lake High School in Moses Lake, WA. He
knew what he was going to say when Rick Neuheisel popped the question.
That day came in the fall. Realdawg.com was
fortunate enough to have the exclusive on the story that evening of October
10th, 2001--and as always, watched yet another success story taking shape.
Reffett signed his Letter of Intent the
following February of 2002 and wasn't hard to miss a year ago when he attended
spring practices in Seattle. There's something about Reffett--perhaps a menacing
twinkle in his eye--as he talks about, watches, or just thinks about defense in
the game of football. He later told us, "I loved watching them get into it out
there", referring to the spring scrimmage at Dempsey that day, "You can see them
mixing it all up--that's why I love defense. You can hear the pads pop, that's a
Reffett later went on to play in the State
East/West All Star game, where he likewise proved himself to be insufferable on
the football field. Husky fans began to compare him to the second coming of
Emtman--an Eastern Washington bred player who had the tenacity and pure madness
that separates good defensive tackles from great defensive tackles.
But when fall camp rolled around, Reffett found
himself--once again--on the sidelines in street clothes, rather than enrolled in
His enrollment application had not come back as
favorable as he wanted it to and Jordan was forced to wait it out until Winter
Quarter due to the need for additional time to qualify academically.
Now, that is all behind him--and this New Dawg
has fit and transitioned into the Husky Way of doing things just about as well
as anyone could.
"I feel good", Reffett told us this spring,
"When the freshman guys came in like Milsten, Dash, and Stan, their first week
of practice was hellish compared to the way I've been playing since I've been
here. I feel like I'm adjusting. I felt good out there with my first time at
full-time, tackling action. I've only been here a few weeks but feel I've made a
lot of progress and hopefully we'll do some damage."
has even been on the injured list one time since he began donning his #95
uniform. It was in the first scrimmage, "I came in during 4th and 1, Seery got
the ball on a hand off and I stood him up and someone fell on my knee and
twisted it around. It would have been a damn good play."
Reffett was held out for a few days while his
knee recovered--but now he's back to normal and has been consistently showing
growth and improvement at defensive tackle. "I've been a lineman my whole life.
The only big change is speed--and it's something that I'm going to work on,
explosion, stuff like that", Reffett said, "But I have a lot of good guys to
look up to like Tank--he explodes off the ball--'Rome (Jerome Stevens) and those
guys, they get off the ball. It's going to be fun to see what happens."
One thing that Jordan Reffett aspires to be
down the line during his tenure at Washington is a leader, "I've been a leader
my whole life", he says of the subject, "I take pride in being a leader,
motivating people, and helping people out. And I want to be a positive leader--I
don't like to get down on guys, I like to bring them up. I will definitely take
that role a couple years down the road."
Another bonus to this whole experience is that
Jordan has the honor of working under a man who probably has had more influence
on him than any other football player: Steve Emtman, who's now the assistant
strength and conditioning coach at Washington, "It's like this lurking shadow
behind you", Reffett says about Emtman, "And you just want to do your best
because he set the bar so high for defensive tackles here--you don't want to let
anyone down. You work your butts off. We want to make our mark in this stadium,
and in history. But having him around is a big confidence booster and a big
Jordan can't say enough about his teammates
either--or the cohesiveness of the defensive lineman. In fact, Rick Neuheisel
said just this week that no one practices harder than the defensive lineman. and
Jordan echoed that sentiment, "The whole defensive line, from REB to HUSKY to
nose tackle, it's all the DL's and it's all family. No one works harder than the
defensive line. Coach Hart gets us ready and no one has a harder individual
practice than we do and we take pride in that", said Reffett.
Right now Reffett says he has no preference on
his future in terms of whether or not he will be redshirting. Much of this will
be solidified by fall, but he's open minded to the idea of getting one
additional year under his belt to work out and become stronger, "I'm willing to
definitely redshirt because if it helps out the team then I'll get my years in",
he said, "That's just one more year to get bigger and badder."
So now here it is: Exactly a year later. One
thing Husky fans can be assured of when it comes to a player like this
one--wearing the purple and gold uniform will never be taken for granted. No one
wanted to be a Husky more than Jordan Reffett.
And another thing that Husky fans can look
forward to seeing out of Reffett is a level of tenacity which could possibly
make him a fan favorite on Saturdays--when the quarterback goes down, and the
fans erupt....An example would be a statement made by Reffett in high school,
after having put a quarterback out of game.
"Yep...they just messed with the wrong
hombre...", he said.
During the last scrimmage, Reffett had 3
tackles. One was a sack for a 17 yard loss.
Reffett's younger brother Mitch was
defensive player of the year last year for the Big 9. He is now being recruited
by Washington for fullback.