Kamar Jorden didn’t quite know what to expect when he went from the outdoor game, where he’d been an all-conference receiver and spent time in the Minnesota Vikings training camp, to the Arena Football League.
Four games into his rookie season, the 6-foot-2, 205-pounder is showing he can get it done whether the field is 100 yards or 50.
“I was definitely kind of leery,” said Jorden, a two-time All-MAC first-team selection at Bowling Green. “You hear good things and bad things. You don’t really know what to expect but being here and experiencing away games and a home game I’m having fun.”
So is Spokane, which has benefited from Jorden’s 26 receptions for 334 yards. He had eight catches for 95 yards in Spokane’s win over No. 1 Arizona on Friday. Spokane (4-0) leads the AFL at 68.8 points per game and has an average winning margin of 20.3 points.
The receivers have put up big numbers despite injuries to Jeffrey Solomon and Steven Black. Adron Tennell has an AFL-leading 14 touchdown catches and Jorden has nine.
Andy Olson has been involved in five of the organization’s eight years as a receiver or coach. The second-year head coach is familiar with most of the franchise’s best receivers – Antwone Savage, Charles Frederick, Raul Vijil, Huey Whittaker, Markee White, Greg Orton and Tennell.
“Kamar is one of the most athletic guys we’ve had around here,” Olson said. “After the catch he’s tremendous. He’s got a lot to learn, but he’s just so talented he makes it look easy.”
One of Jorden’s biggest adjustments was dealing with 4-foot dasherboards.
“I was running a crossing route, I think it was the second day of practice, and I slowed up because I knew that wall was coming,” Jorden said. “Coach (Olson) said, ‘Why didn’t you keep running?’
“He just had me running into the wall to get used to it, throwing it high and I flipped over the boards. You have to get over that fear and once I ran into it full speed and flipped over it, I started getting used to it.”
Jorden watched Tennell closely in camp and quickly noticed he was a “consistent threat.”
“I would see him make every catch, big-time catches,” Jorden said. “I wanted everyone to know they could trust me and I could be consistent.”
After Friday’s win, Tennell was asked about Jorden’s three-touchdown performance.
“That man is good, real good,” said Tennell, who set franchise records for receptions, yards and touchdowns last season. “He reminds me of a younger me.”
Shock receiver Duane Brooks, who played for the Colorado Ice in the IFL in 2010 and 2012, had nine catches for 118 yards in his AFL debut.
“I was really happy the way he responded to (Arizona’s) Virgil Gray, who is one of the best DBs in this game,” Olson said. “There was just no fear. That’s kind of that rookie mentality of, ‘I don’t know who I’m going up against so I’m just going to play.’ ”
Quarterback Erik Meyer was named AFL offensive player of the week for the second time in four weeks. He passed for 351 yards and eight touchdowns against Arizona.
Tennell received catch of the week honors for his one-handed touchdown reception that put Spokane in front 56-49 in the fourth quarter.