Competitive fire between Herdman Brothers fuels SFU defence

Photo courtesy: SFU Clan Athletics

Source: Aaron Martin (Sports Information Assistant) | SFU Clan Athletics

The bond between brothers is a unique one – part best friends, and part lifelong rivals.
However, for the SFU Clan football team’s twin senior linebackers, Jordan and Justin Herdman, it definitely leans towards the former.
“He’s my best friend, no question,” said Justin. “I mean we’ve been together for almost every day the past 22 years. We spend almost all day together, and do the same stuff. We’ve always been by each other’s side, so yeah, I would say we’re pretty close.”
Nearly as central to their relationship is the competition between the pair – driving the other to excellence.
“We definitely push each other in everything,” laughed Jordan. “I want to beat him, and he wants to beat me, but it’s more of a friendly competition. As much as we want to beat each other in whatever we do, I still want him to succeed, and he wants the same for me. At the end of the day, that helps us continue to get better.”
Considering the duo are consistently mentioned among the top defensive players in NCAA Division II football, with Jordan taking home GNAC Defensive Player of the Year two years running, their system appears to be working.
The twins credit their parents, Judith Herdman and James Reed, for showing them the importance of always pushing each other to get better.
“I think watching them, and the way they competed at life, that was the biggest thing,” said Justin. “How hard they worked to support and provide for us, it was ingrained in us.”
“It showed us that we have to work every day to succeed in life, not waste the opportunities afforded us,” added Jordan.
One of the boys’ earliest memories is of their dad, a former NFL and CFL player, taking them down to a local park back in their hometown of Winnipeg and making them run 200 m down to a post and back.
They were three years old at the time.
“I think Jordan won,” smiled Justin at the recollection. “It’s kind of like now – I was quicker, but he had more endurance.”
In the present, the Herdmans have put that same kind of intensity and competitiveness into their athletic pursuits, and maybe more importantly, their academic ones.
Students in SFU’s Biomedical and Physiology and Kinesiology program, both brothers are studying to become radiologists down the line, whether or not their career paths lead to a detour in professional football.
“It’s something both of us want – our parents made sure we understood the value of a great education, which is part of the reason we came to SFU in the first place,” noted Jordan.
However, that future is still a ways down the road.
On the immediate horizon for the Herdmans, SFU head coach Kelly Bates, and the rest of the Clan, are the Central Washington Wildcats (2-2).
The SFU linebackers will have their work cut out for them, as the Wildcats are led by a dangerous ground game, as the team’s 729 yards rushing from scrimmage rank tops in the GNAC. Among individual rushers, the Wildcats boast three of the top-10 yardage earners in the conference, with Carter Quincy (48 attempts for 240 yards and four touchdowns), Christian Cummings (30-148-1), and Jordan Tufaga (16-140) all producing at an impressive pace.
“[Central Washington] are a relentless team,” noted Bates. “They play hard, they play fast, and they’re aggressive. They have the ability to impose their will, and we have to understand that if we’re going to have success, we’re going to have to be just as ferocious, and impose our will on the game.”
Simon Fraser University Clan football returns to the Burnaby Mountain campus for a special Homecoming Game this Saturday at Terry Fox Field (6 PM Kick-off).
Sideline bleachers will bring fans close to the action as the Clan plays rival Central Washington Wildcats. Enjoy food trucks, half-time performances by the Robert Malcolm Memorial Pipe Band, SFU Cheer and Dance teams, and watching students attempt field goals to win free tuition.
The first 200 SFU students at the Merchandise Tent beginning at 6 PM will receive a free “NCAAeh” t-shirt and will have the chance to be chosen for the Kick A Field Goal, Win Free Tuition contest.


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