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Clemson’s Homer Jordan recalls National Championship season; Playing for coach Danny Ford

Clemson’s Homer Jordan recalls National Championship season; Playing for coach Danny Ford

Homer Jordan led Clemson to a 12-0 record and the school's first national title in 1981.


Homer Jordan played quarterback for Clemson (1979-82) and was inducted into the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame in 2013. Jordan will always be remembered for leading the Tigers to a 12-0 record and the 1981 national championship.

The Athens, Ga. native passed for 1,630 yards in 1981 and was named first-team All-Atlantic Coast Conference. He was also named MVP of the Orange Bowl, where the top-ranked Tigers defeated 4th-ranked Nebraska 22-15 to win the school’s first national title.

SCAHOF: What does it mean to be a member of the SCAHOF?

JORDAN: It means the world to me, it’s something I can share with my kids and grandkids. And, to know I did something good (laugh).

SCAHOF: Talk about the recruiting process and how you ended up going to Clemson despite being from Athens, Ga.

JORDAN: When I was being recruited Clemson came down to see me every week. Mickey Andrews (Clemson assistant coach from 1977-80) … and l liked him and his family and he got to know my family as well. But every time I visited Clemson, and I almost went every week to a game, it just felt like home. That made it real clear that Clemson was where I needed to be.


Jordan, a native of Athens, Ga., was named the first-team All-ACC quarterback in 1981 when he led the ACC in passing efficiency.

SCAHOF: What was it like playing for coach Danny Ford?

JORDAN: It was fun and tough. I didn’t hear too much from him unless I messed up. So, I’d come off the field during a game and if I threw a pick or whatever, I stayed away from coach on the sideline (laugh). But he believed in me and stuck with me when many people wouldn’t have.

SCAHOF: Describe your relationship with coach Ford.

JORDAN: Still to this day when I go to a game I go by and see him because he’s a good friend.

SCAHOF: Clemson went from no poll points to winning the national

championship in 1981. When did you realize that team had a shot to win it all?

JORDAN: It was probably the year before. I felt like we got better each week and we beat South Carolina to end the season. That game gave us a lot of momentum for the offseason. Everybody knew we just had to put it all together. We started the 1981 season winning and momentum just kept picking up. Every week we won we just believed more.

SCAHOF: Talk about the win over Georgia which was the Tigers’ first win over a top-10 team.

JORDAN: Georgia had to go against our defense and I faced our defense every day in practice and I knew what we had on defense. I knew they were going to introduce themselves to Herschel (Walker). We went into that game with a lot of confidence and it showed on the field. We didn’t light it up offensively but we did enough to win.

SCAHOF: What do you remember about the 10-8 win at No. 8 North Carolina later in the season?

JORDAN: It was a dog fight. Jeff McCall, our fullback, had a great day. Of course, our defense played great and we made plays when we had to on both sides of the ball. It was a tough ballgame.

SCAHOF: Talk about your memories of the 1981 National Championship game vs. No. 4 Nebraska in the Orange Bowl.

JORDAN: I got to celebrate just a little bit in the locker room after the game and then it hit me. I was getting an IV after the game and the team left me in the locker room so I had to get a ride back to the hotel with a police officer in his car. The team was downstairs celebrating. I wasn’t feeling well so I was stuck in my room while they were celebrating.


 Jordanwas named offensive MVP after leading Clemson to a 22-15 win over Nebraska in the 1982 Organce Bowl at the conclusion of the 1981 season. He completed 11-of-22 passes for 134 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 46 yards. 

SCAHOF: How often do you see your teammates?

JORDAN: I stay in touch with the guys. Bubba Diggs, Jeff Davis, Terry Kinard, Perry Tuttle, Cliff Austin, Reggie Pleasant and Mark Richardson.

SCAHOF: Your thoughts about Coach Dabo Swinney and what he’s done at Clemson.

JORDAN: His record speaks for itself. It’s amazing what he’s done.

SCAHOF: Clemson has won three national titles including 2016 and 2018, but what does it mean to be the first team in school history to win the national title?

JORDAN: We were the first and that’s a big deal. To be a part of that team and being in touch with the guys. It was a special bunch of guys. The older I get the more it means to me.

SCAHOF: What’s life like today for you and your family?

JORDAN: I’ve got two boys, my oldest is Adrian who is 37 and Darius who’s 26. I’ve also got two grandkids. I lost one of my three sisters a few years ago so I still have two sisters that think they are my boss. I lost my parents years ago but what they instilled in me I live my life by.