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WesFiles Player Profile: Jordan Stone '17

WesFiles Player Profile: Jordan Stone '17

Jordan Stone '17 Leads by Example, Lets His Play Do the Talking

Jordan Stone'17 began playing football at the age of eight in his hometown of Brooklyn, N.Y., and now finds himself a three-year player and tri-captain of the Wesleyan University football team. Head Coach Dan DiCenzo says he knew Stone would be a captain as soon as he set foot on campus, and was not surprised with the decision his team made to elect Stone as a captain. "Jordan is a special kid and has a presence about him. He works hard and leads by example, he is everything we are looking for in a student athlete."

Stone, who played four years at the Taft School in Connecticut, participated in basketball, lacrosse and track & field, but it was the football field where his talents were at their best. As a captain on the Taft team that won the 2011 New England Championship, Stone earned First Team All-New England and First Team All-NEPSAC accolades. He then took a post grad year at Blair Academy in New Jersey where he was equally successful, as he was named First Team All-MAPL and First Team All-New Jersey Prep. Former Wesleyan head coach and now Director of Athletics, Mike Whalen '83, began recruiting Stone after hearing positive things from his coaches at Taft. When Stone took his post-grad year at Blair, Whalen never stopped recruiting him. "Some people may have forgotten about him at Blair, but he improved academically and on the field, and we never forgot about him."

Stone, who resides in Brooklyn with his father, Gilbert Stone Jr., his step-mother, Jacqueline Minter and nephew, Nasir. He also has three sisters; Jessica, Sylvia and Natalie. He says he chose to come play football at Wesleyan for many reasons including the education it would provide him along with "the extensive alumni base that is willing to help you prepare for your future." Whalen says that Stone "took advantage of the mentoring program from day one," and through the program he was able to spend the past two summers interning at Endurance Insurance, a position which he found through alumnus Jack Kuhn '86, whose son Matt is also on the team. Stone noted his time at Endurance has not only prepared him for the real world, but it has also benefitted him on the field. 

"In terms of preparation and attention to detail, those are two big things that I have brought over from the internship to the football field," Stone said. "If there was a meeting and you weren't prepared, you'd be lost. You need to know every detail, and that's the same for football." He continued with, "when you are on the field you need to pay attention to every detail, you need to be able to pick up on your opponent's tendencies and capitalize on them, no detail is too small."

The Government major, who last year was named First Team Defense All-NESCAC, said that one of his biggest influences is the coach and owner of his former Pop Warner team, the Queens Falcons, Tim Cavanaugh. Stone says that Cavanaugh "strived to help inner-city kids get out of the city, and expand their horizons. He helped many of them into prep schools." Stone says that Cavanaugh, whose guidance helped him get into Taft, was just "one of several kids that he (Cavanaugh) helped." Cavanaugh, who met Stone when he was ten, still keeps in touch with the defensive lineman.

Stone says his most memorable game at Wesleyan was a November 8th contest at home against Trinity. The game, which saw the Cardinals come away with a 20-19 victory, was special for him because the Bantams ruined the Cardinals' undefeated season the year before, defeating them by a 40-10 score.  Stone says "it was a great feeling to be able to send the seniors out like that, especially after the loss the year prior." He noted that the game was made even more meaningful because of the impact he had in the victory on defense, and DiCenzo agrees. "It was a big game for us, especially defensively and Jordan made some big plays to help us win."

Last year, Stone was grouped with a trio of freshmen on the line, and because of that he became the focus of a lot of teams. Even with the extra attention, Stone still registered 35 total tackles (10 for loss) and 5.5 sacks. Though Stone was one of the best defenders in the league, DiCenzo says that a lot of the things he does, like pressuring the quarterback, won't show up on the stat sheet, but players and coaches take notice. Stone, DiCenzo says, is always putting in the most work, during and out of season. "He never takes the easy way out," DiCenzo says, "he stays after practice and runs extra sprints. Nobody tells him to do that, he does it on his own because he wants to be a better player."

Leading by example is what makes Stone a great leader. Whalen says that Stone has shown tremendous growth over his time as a Cardinal, gaining more confidence in his abilities. "He has a commitment and passion to play. He loves to play. He's always focused on getting better, and is never complacent, and that's not just on the football field, that's in every phase of his life," Whalen said. "It's crazy to think he's a senior now," DiCenzo says, "He will leave a legacy on this program, and he has a great shot to be the defensive player of the year."
Written by Lauren Dellipoali, Athletic Communication Intern