Photo by Ed Beyer, PhD
LANCASTER - Part of Jordan Wayne's decision to sign his national letter of intent with Marshall University was his family.
Wayne wants his family to see him play and the trip from his hometown in Paducah, KY is only a mere five hours away from Huntington, WV, where Wayne will take his talents to next season.
"I've been here in California and my family has never gotten to see me play, now they can. That was a big part of my decision," said Wayne. "The school there also made me feel right at home. It made me feel like part of the family."
This season for the Marauders Wayne led the team with 43 receptions for 562 yards and seven touchdowns. Against College of the Desert, Wayne had eight receptions for 94 yards and four touchdowns. In another game against LA Valley, he caught five passes for 195 yards. In two seasons for the Marauders, Wayne grabbed 72 balls for 1,027 yards and 13 touchdowns.
"I know I'll have to go in and work. I don't want want to walk in and have it handed to me," said Wayne. "I'll go in focused and just be humbled. I'm looking forward to playing in front of a big crowd."
The Thundering Herd compete in Conference USA and finished with an 8-5 record last season including a 31-28 victory over Colorado State to end their season in the New Mexico Bowl.
In 2018, Wayne will get a chance to shine in front of some big-time competition including the South Carolina, North Carolina State and defending conference champion Florida International.
"Marshall is a great place to play football. I always thought he'd get this opportunity," AVC head coach Perry Jehlicka said. "He's put in the work on the field and in the classroom. I think he has a chance to have a really good career there."
Wayne said AVC gave him the opportunity to play at the next level.
"My receiving coach (Jerome Wright) played a big role in myself moving on," Wayne said. "It was a blessing to play at AVC. Coming out of high school, I didn't have anything. This place has humbled me and I have grown as a man and as a player."
Marshall, which produced former NFL star Randy Moss, has a high powered offense and distributes the ball equally between at least five different receivers. Wayne thinks he can be a key contributor for the Thundering Herd.
"They distribute the ball to everyone and I feel like I can be one of those guys," he said.