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BYU’s Pendleton Healthy and Ready to Go

8 August 2011 Brett Richins 19 Comments

BYU linebacker Jordan Pendleton (BYU photo)

BYU linebacker Jordan Pendleton is as healthy as he has been in a long, long time.

That’s some real bad news for Cougar opponents this season.

The 6-3, 235 senior has been plagued by shoulder and knee injuries the past couple of seasons.

He injured his knee at Utah State last season while he was nursing a shoulder problem through the first five games of 2010.

When his knee failed to respond to treatment the decision was made to repair both his knee and shoulder last December. Earlier in his career, Pendleton underwent surgery to repair his other shoulder.

On Saturday, Jordan said he feels healthy and is ready to go for his senior season. For the first time in what seems like an eternity, he was able to go full out on the first day of fall camp. And he looked very good doing so.

“That was my main goal to come out and be able to do everything. I wanted to come out and show the coaches that I’m ready, and also the players that I’m ready. I just wanted to come out and give it my all,” said Pendleton following Saturday’s first practice of the season.

“Am I sore? Absolutely. I’ve had a lot of trauma to my body… there’s some soreness, but as far as my knee, I felt great.”

Bronco Mendenhall says that Jordan will likely be held out of a lot of contact in practices throughout the season.

“With him, there aren’t any trust issues in terms of how hard he is going to work, so with him him you might see us manage his practice differently based on his injury history,” Mendenhall told reporters on Saturday.

When asked if it was nice to see a healthy Pendleton out on the field on the first day of practice Bronco responded with, “Better than nice! He did a great job. He’s in excellent shape. He’s really motivated. He’s a really good leader and a great player.”

Pendleton came to BYU as a 195-pound wide receiver, but was switched to defensive back after arriving on campus. His commitment in the weight room saw him pack on 40 pounds of muscle on his athletic frame and grow into an outside linebacker. With the speed of a receiver and the body of super hero, Jordan would be a good candidate to star in a movie entitled RoboBacker if such a movie were ever to be made.

By the time his sophomore season rolled around he was a one-man wrecking crew. He burst onto the scene in BYU’s 2009 season-opening win over Oklahoma. On the big stage of a nationally televised game in Dallas Cowboys Stadium, he flew around the field like a guided missile and wreaked havoc on the Sooner offense. But it was in that game that he suffered his first shoulder injury, forcing him to play through tremendous pain the remainder of the season.

The truth is, Pendleton has never been fully healthy since being switched to linebacker three seasons ago. People who know Jordan well will tell you that he’s wired differently than most folks, some might say his just a bit crazy. Most great linebackers are usually a little different, and its that crazed drive that has pushed him to play through pain throughout his career.

One can only imagine what kind of player he can been if he can avoid injury for a full season. Hopefully this will be the year that we see a completely healthy RoboBacker turned loose on the free world.

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  • Ryan F said:

    I’m going to be yelling “blitz!!!” all season long.

  • TroyS said:

    I’m going to have to have my kids include him in our prayers each night, so after “please bless all the missionaries” it will be “and please bless Jordan Pendleton to stay healthy so he can put the fear of God into our opponents.” AMEN!

  • Vegas said:

    Watching DiLuigi interview Pendleton on BYUTV made me realize how huge that guy is! He reminds me of Dolph Lundgren. Can’t wait for Sept. 3!

  • cgr said:


  • Kenny Scott said:

    Boogity Boogity Boogity, AMEN!!!

  • scotts said:

    Do you remember when he intercepted that pass when the opposing quarterback was trying to throw it out of bounds? Anyone remember who BYU was playing? That was incredible. He’s been one of my favorite players ever since. What an athlete!

  • Kenny Scott said:

    One of my favorite plays by Pendleton is Jaquizz Rogers’ first fumble in 2009. BOOOM!

  • ike said:


    Pendleton intercepted the UNLV quarterback in the second series of the first quarter. It was a thing of beauty.

  • Spencer said:

    Pendleton made me laugh when asked how he felt about how he felt about how he may have to compete to get his spot back. He said something like I’ll fight anyone who tries to take my starting spot. I wouldn’t really want to be on the receiving end of that fight lol. The guy looks really scary and definitely can put a hurt on you. I love the play when he totally blows up Jordan Wynn in the 2009 game. Look for a lot of the same this year when he introduces the new QBs at ole miss and Texas to devision 1 football.

    An off topic comment for all who didn’t already hear, we just landed Troy Hinds this morning! The top in state recruit baby! Also it was reported that Brandon Fanika or however you spell his name was at Saturday’s practice so let’s hope that we pick up the top 2 recruits in Utah and show the team up north what’s up. I think we have a good chance with Brandon given our track history of turning talented O-linemen into stars. I was very surprised that we picked up hinds since he was looking at schools with better defenses than ours like Nebraska Notre Dame and dare I say it Utah. He will be a stud on our D-line and may even be used at linebacker depending on our needs. Go cougars!

  • J said:

    Been waiting to see him back for awhile now. I can’t wait to see the big hits and big plays.

  • Mick said:

    I am almost salivating with the idea of Pendleton, Van Noy, Kaveinga, Richardson, Wagner, Frazier, Stout, and so forth as linebackers. We won’t miss a step when one takes a short breather. We will have a linebacker crew above anything I can remember! Fantastic! I know, I know, we always get our hopes up but this year there is something different.

    Rise UP!

  • SoCalCoug said:

    I like my linebackers to have crazy eyes.

  • spamdawg said:

    I think I laughed the rest of the game after he did that. Here this poor QB thinks he is playing it save and throws a pick. Can you imagine what that does to his mind. I can’t even throw the ball away! I am so happy he is healthy.

  • jim said:

    @Mick, I believe Stout is out for the season? Brett? injury I thought.

  • LouisD said:

    I remember bouncing him on my knee when he was just a toddler. His mom and I worked together in Orem while his dad finished school. Last I check about 2 years ago, his mother Brenda still worked for BW who is also a Cornhusker fan. Anyway, Jordan’s dad was a pretty fair receiver in his day and he has made his parents proud for sure. He’ll be part of I believe the best, deepest LB rotation in BYU history. It seems like yesterday. For those of you wondering how everything BUT football has changed, Brenda did her document work on an IBM Deckwriter back in 1987 and the Internet was something you could tie into as long as you had a telephone modem and knew the login to get acces to AP so you could check sports scores from AP News. It took about 10 minutes to ge what you can now get from ESPN’s site in about 5 seconds.

  • Brett Richins said:


    Yes, as I understand it Zac will redshirt this year. He reportedly underwent surgery following spring camp.

  • Hoax said:

    Linebackers that are crazy are the best kind. See: Brady Poppinga.

    LOVE Pendleton!!!! Pendleton, Van Noy, and Kaveinga together on the field at the same time!?!??!? SCCCAAARRRYYYY if I’m a QB!

  • Seasider said:

    My best memory so far of Pendleton was in the 2009 Utah game. It seemed like every other play, Jordan Wynn was running for his life from Jordan who was constantly in the Ute backfield. I look forward to seeing more menacing play from #1.

  • Bob Henstra said:

    I think the best, my favorite picture I remember most about Jordan, and I don’t remember the opposition, but somebody else hit the QB who fumbled the ball, and in the resulting scuffle Jordan picked the ball up out of the mess, but was facing the wrong way, he was obviously looking for a way out of the mess, but it seemed to me at that quick moment it happened, that he was looking for someone—to block. That picture has stuck with me!

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