Air Jordan

<b>DEVARD DARLING</b> IS a major talent. <b>Sammy Moore</b> has wheels to burn. <b>Trandon Harvey</b> is a comer who's finally healthy. And <b>Scott Lunde</b> looks like a Biletnikopf in the making. But Cougfans ought to start getting used to another name at wide receiver: Redshirt freshman <b>Chris Jordan</b>.

Chris who, you ask?

The Chris Jordan whom national recruiting services deemed a mere one-star talent coming out of Kentlake High in Kent when the Cougars signed him following his all-state senior season at defensive back in 2001.

The same Chris Jordan with 4.51 speed in the 40 who, in addition to being an all-state prep defensive back, was an all-league receiver, 39-yards-per-kick punter, place-kicker, return man supreme, straight-A student and standout basketball player.

The same 6-0, 206-pound flanker whose tenacity in going after off-target passes has impressed Cougar coaches --- so much so that they quietly wish Darling would start doing the same. This is the Chris Jordan whose grasp of the playbook last season could have done wonders for Moore.

Yep. It's the same guy who -- despite being a redshirt -- was plucked from the scout team during Rose Bowl practices last December so he could get used to working out with the top cats.

Some observers liken him to just-departed Cougar receiver Jerome Riley in that they seem to do everything well, but have a certain intangible toughness that can separate the great from the good.

This spring, Jordan moved up the depth chart past his more touted classmate, Flamingo Malone, and up-and-coming sophomore Thomas Ostrander, to claim the backup role behind Darling.

He's also being penned in as Moore's understudy on punt returns.

"Word around Pullman is that Jordan has the potential to be a guy Cougar fans remember, vividly, years from now. In short, he has the speed, soft hands, smarts and aggressiveness that could turn heads," says long-time Cougar watcher Paul Sorensen. "Mike Levenseller said last year's class of new wide-outs was the best he's ever seen at WSU. That's saying something. And if Jordan is at the top of that group, reminding some people of Jerome Riley, that's saying even more."

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