Pendleton the first of many

Jordan Pendleton

When Jordan Pendleton signed with BYU back in 2007, one could count how many players the Cougars brought in from Bingham High School on one hand. With Scout's records extending back to 2002, one wouldn't need any hands to count them all. From 2007 to 2011 though, one would need both hands and all their fingers to count them all.

Jordan Pendleton is a bit of a hallowed name among Bingham High School players. During interviews with both Manoa Pikula and Kesni Tausinga before they entered BYU's program, they both talked glowingly about their favorite player.

"Jordan Pendleton, he's just a legend," said Pikula. "Growing up, he was the guy we all watched and wanted to be like. He was the guy that sort of got it all started for Bingham football."

Pendleton finished off his career at Bingham by receiving consensus first-team all-state honors while being named as simply the best player in the state by every in-state newspaper. He committed very early to BYU, but would have undoubtedly received a boatload of offers had he elected to wait.

Up until the point when he committed and then signed with BYU, Bingham put almost no one into the next level of collegiate football.

"I honestly can't remember anyone at Bingham that signed with a major college," said Pendleton. "So when BYU offered me, it was really a big deal, not just for me, but for the program I think. Now, it seems like BYU gets three, four players from Bingham per year and it's great. Go Miners!"

Ten Bingham players have signed with BYU since Pendleton first did. Pikula, Tausinga, Austin Holt, Iona Pritchard and Tuni Kanuch are just a few of the names.

It's difficult now to imagine a BYU class that doesn't include at least one player from Bingham, and for Pendleton, that's a very good thing.

"I knew a lot of the guys that signed out of Bingham at first," he said. "Now, I don't know many of them until they show up and join the program because it's just hard to follow the program when you're in college. I'll tell you this though, whenever a player shows up and tells me that they're from Bingham, I immediately like them and want to help them succeed as best as possible."

During this past summer, Pendleton has done exactly that. He's taken time to train with incoming Miners such as Pikula, Baker Pritchard and Moses Kaumatule, and he's very excited about all of their prospects.

"They're Miners, and they're coached by Coach [Dave] Peck, so that means that they know how to be successful," said Pendleton. "I just know of the quality coaching they have at Bingham, so I know that whenever BYU gets a player from my school, that they're going to help out the team here at BYU quite a bit."

This will be the last collegiate season for the Bingham player who started the Miner avalanche, and he hopes to finish it out strong. An incredible amount of injuries have come his way, limiting what he can do, but he hopes to have all of those injuries behind him.

"It's the most frustrating thing in the world, not being able to play," he said. "It seriously kills you, it just eats at you every day you're not out there."

Shoulder injuries and knee injuries have been the biggest obstacles for him, but he says both his shoulders and knees are fine heading into fall camp.

"I feel great," he said. "I feel healthier than I have in a while, that's for sure. I also feel great about the defense, seeing what they did in spring camp. I haven't practiced even once with Uona [Kaveinga], but I can already tell that we're going to have great chemistry. I can't wait to get out there again."

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