Above photo of Jordan See by CJ Halloran/@cjhall_photography
BELTON, Texas- The challenges of being a student-athlete at the college level are well documented, which makes two-sport athletes rare. But three-sport athletes? Those are virtually unheard of. Deion Sanders, Dave Winfield, and Jackie Robinson are part of the few that have taken on the challenge, but UMHB has a three-sport standout of their own in Jordan See.
If you’re looking forward a word to describe See, a second-year freshman from El Lago, Texas, “versatility” soon comes to mind after even a brief conversation with him. He is currently a wide receiver/cornerback for the football team, a catcher on the baseball team and one of the original eight members of the Cru bass fishing team, which is not yet a varsity sport, but competes across Texas.
Oh yeah, and he’s currently majoring in criminal justice with the goal to one day become a detective.
Needless to say, See has plenty on his plate, and his daily schedule fills up quickly between his three sports and class schedule.
“It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever gone through in my life,” See said of playing three sports at UMHB during his freshman year. “It’s hard enough trying to keep your grades right with playing football, then you add in baseball and that doubles the workload.
“Anytime football has an off day or a break in between weights and meetings, I’m going to baseball. There’s not any free time. Any free time I do have, that’s when the bass fishing comes in. I’m constantly going somewhere, doing something.”
But make no mistake, he loves all three. And the passion in his voice yields an idea that through the challenges of being a three-sport college athlete, he enjoys every minute of it.
See’s love for sports came about at an early age, having played baseball and football “since he could walk”, so it was only natural that he continued his multi-sport exploits through high school and into college.
“I’ve been playing baseball since I could walk,” See says, “baseball and football, really. I kind of picked up fishing when I was about 10 or so, and that’s become one of my favorite things to do.”
Though he had a clear passion for fishing before he was even in middle school, See only competed in a couple tournaments while growing up in Houston, all of which were done individually. He says that the team aspect of the UMHB bass fishing team, something he has found in football and baseball, has only added to the competition and enjoyment.
“When I got up here and found out we had a fishing team, I got in contact with them, and have been fishing with them whenever I can.
“I fished in a few tournaments down in Houston, but those were just by myself when I was in high school. But then getting out there and fishing with other guys on my team, it’s a lot different, but it’s fun and enjoyable.”
See had a front row seat in watching the program take shape in its first season, and played a role in the Cru’s early success on the water.
“I go fishing whenever I can on my own, so being able to get out there and fish in a tournament was a cool experience. We had five guys out there and you could tell they’d been doing it for a while. Tournament fishing isn’t easy.”
But See saw the most action as a freshman on the gridiron, where he established himself as one of the Cru’s backup cornerbacks by the end of the spring, despite entering training camp as a wide receiver.
“I was recruited to play receiver, but when I got here, Keith Gipson was battling some knee issues at corner, so they moved me over to fill in for his spot,” See said.
While he admits it was definitely different playing defense, it was not a hard adjustment, considering he played both sides of the ball at Memorial High School. In addition, similar to the way catchers will double as great hitters in baseball, because they can get inside the mind of the pitcher, See was able to play cornerback while keeping the mentality of a receiver, and what that receiver might try to do in order to break away and get open.
“Being a receiver moved over to corner allows you to understand how the receiver is going to try to attack,” See told True To The Cru. “I know ways that we as receivers are taught to attack a corner and vice versa. When I’m playing corner, I get taught how to cover and attack receivers, so that helps me to become a better receiver.”
During the spring season, See registered two solo tackles and played in four games.
Entering this season, even less than a month from fall camp, See is still unsure as to what side of the ball he will be on.
“Going into this season, I’m not sure [where I’ll be playing],” See said. “I’ve talked to Coach Thrash, who is the receivers coach, and I’ve talked to Coach Harmon [Defensive coordinator] just trying to figure out where I’ll be playing and figuring out what’s best for the team. The ultimate goal is just to help the team make a run at a national championship.”
Depth chart-wise, See appears to have equal opportunity on defense or offense, though having played a year of defense already, the coaches may lean towards keeping him on that side of the ball. Gipson is healthy, and transfer Deiontrae Wheat will compete for reps early, but starter Drake Johnson is in the transfer portal, which opens up a competition for one of the starting corner spots.
Switching from receiver to cornerback may not be the only position change See will make as a Crusader, though. He is listed on the baseball roster as a catcher, though his speed and athleticism have brought forth talks of him moving to the outfield.
“Talking to Coach Stawski, he’s mentioned me moving out to the outfield, just with my speed, and playing football,” See said. “It correlates a lot. That’s not something I’m opposed to.”
But for now, he remains a catcher. And just like playing cornerback, there is a high IQ that goes along with it.
“Playing catcher is fun, but definitely comes with a lot of responsibilities,” See said. “You’re pretty much the quarterback of the infield. You’ve definitely got to be very vocal, and that’s something I’ve banked myself on.”
It is important to note that at the time of writing, See’s baseball career remains unclear. Covid-19 wiped out all but five games of his senior season in high school, and was also responsible for the Div. III football season being pushed back to the spring, which did not allow See many opportunities to hone his skills on the diamond. He is now facing a decision few have to make on whether time and his talent level will allow him to continue his three-sport college career.
“I played probably five games of my senor year then Covid shut that down,” See said. “Then going into my freshman year of college, with football being moved to the spring, that put me in another bad spot with baseball.”
Nobody would blame him if he decided to hang up the baseball cleats, with the opportunities he has in football. But See is not willing to make a quick decision just yet.
“I haven’t made a decision yet,” See said. “As of right now, I am still playing baseball, but I haven’t played in a while. It’s a decision I’m sitting on. Then bass fishing is also going on at the same time as baseball, so it’s just trying to figure out [how to make it work]. Ideally, I’d love to do all three. But it’s trying to figure out, if it’s possible and if so, how I can keep up with my grades at the same time.”
It is also noteworthy to mention that Stawski has been a supporter of See’s three-sport exploits, unlike several coaches who take an “all or nothing approach” to their athletes. See says that made balancing his sport and school commitments all the more easier during his freshman year.
“Coach Stawski is an amazing guy and he’s been trying to help me through this process the best that he can,” See said. “He’s given me the freedom to pick and choose, and he understands how it is trying to play football and baseball, especially in the same season.”
Few can or will understand what it is like to do three sports at such a high level, major in Criminal Justice, and still have time to sleep at night. But Jordan See continues to press on, his commitment level never wavering, and his versatility always evident.
He is truly an example of what it means to be a great all-around athlete.