Oregon Ducks Commit Jordan Hoiem Quits Football over Too Much Pressure

Andrew KulhaSenior Analyst IIIJuly 30, 2013

Via 247Sports
Via 247Sports

Former Oregon 2014 commitment Jordan Hoiem has redefined the meaning of a decommitment.

The 4-star outside linebacker, according to 247Sports, has decided to quit the game of football. 

Andrew Greif of The Oregonian reported the news:

Hoiem, however, revealed Monday that he is quitting football. It’s a decision he’s agonized over for the past year in part because of what he says is a sudden loss of confidence and fallout from the death of a close friend. He spent part of Monday trying to reach UO defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti to tell him of his decision but hadn’t reached him yet. Linebackers coach Don Pellum first recruited him.

“I don't know whether it was the pressure or the attention or spotlight but my whole junior season I was just miserable playing football,” Hoiem said by phone from Hawaii. “Not even just football, just life period. I put the pressure on myself, I think (other) people can handle the spotlight more but it was hard for me to love life, period. I did it because I knew I wanted to set myself up for the future but I didn't really love the game. I thought once I committed all this would go away.

“I know it's going to attract negative attention but it's something people won't understand. People won't accept it, but I had to do it because it was something I really didn't enjoy.”

As Hoiem himself recognized, per Grief's report, this is a decision that not everyone is going to be able to relate to. In fact, it could potentially anger some.

He obviously has the talent, and he had a free ride to a top Pac-12 school, so why not take advantage?

While that's one way to look at it, we here at the Signed, Sealed, Delivered blog would like to use this space to applaud Hoeim.

It's quite obvious that he wasn't happy from reading his quotes. Greif reports that Hoiem had lost a close friend, and anyone who can empathize with that situation should know the toll it can take on a high school kid's psyche. 

Nothing puts the game of football in perspective quite like the loss of death does. 

Hoiem's decision is also another stark reminder of the pressure that many of these high school recruits have to deal with. Whether it's from coaches, fans, media or simply the pressure they put on themselves, the recruiting trail can be daunting and oftentimes unforgiving.

If your heart is not into the process 100 percent, it can be quite negative. The same could be said for the experience of playing high-level high school football and especially college football.

The game of football itself demands your full attention. Combine that with the chaos and pressure of recruiting, and that's a lot to deal with.

It takes a mature person to excel in college football. The case could be made that it takes an even more mature person to understand and admit what he cannot or does not want to do.

It would have been easy for Hoiem to go through the motions of his senior season and go through the motions of being a college football player for Oregon. In the meantime, he'd be taking the scholarship of a player who would be able to fully invest in the experience, though. And in the end, that would be unfair to all parties involved.

Frankly, there are players who go through the motions at schools all across the country, and they are never brave enough or self-aware enough to admit it.

Kudos to Hoiem. He's a rare young man who can call it like it is at an early age, and hopefully, it all works out for him.

Hoiem's decision isn't final, so he could end up returning to the gridiron if it feels right again.

“I'm definitely not shutting the door on football completely but right now it's just not something I'm capable of doing," he said, according to Grief.

Oregon now has eight commitments. The Ducks' class checks in at No. 48, according to the 247Sports team rankings.

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