Having to prove himself is nothing new to Jordan Ta’amu in his football journey. He’ll have another opportunity to do so after joining the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs following a successful stint with the XFL’s St. Louis BattleHawks.
“Honestly, it’s just a huge blessing for me. Huge blessing for my family. We’ve been praying about this,” Ta’amu told KHON2’s Rob DeMello. “Shoutout to the XFL, shoutout to them for giving me another opportunity to keep playing the sport I love and to showcase my talents again with a bunch of professional guys. It was good competition and getting the phone call (Monday) saying I’m gonna sign with the Chiefs was pretty exciting. I couldn’t be happier.”
As an overlooked but not undersized high school quarterback at Pearl City, Ta’amu received little recruiting interest and started his college career at New Mexico Military Institute. After finishing his college career by starting 17 consecutive games for Ole Miss, he signed with the Houston Texans in 2019 but was released before the regular season.
On Oct. 15, 2019, Ta’amu became the first player in BattleHawks history when he was assigned to the team after the league allocated one quarterback to each of its eight franchises. The 2020 XFL season was the league’s first since its original run in 2001.
Although the season was cancelled after five games due to coronavirus concerns, Ta’amu showed enough to earn another shot with the NFL. He started all five games under center for the BattleHawks, who finished 3-2. In those games, he completed 97 of 134 passes for 1,050 yards and five touchdowns as his completion percentage of 72.3 was a league high. Additionally, his 217 rushing yards was tops among quarterbacks and seventh overall.
News of Ta’amu’s signing came shortly after P.J. Walker of the Houston Roughnecks became set to join the Carolina Panthers, meaning a quarter of the XFL’s eight original quarterbacks moved up to the NFL. Ta’amu is certainly grateful for how his time in St. Louis kept his dreams alive.
“I always knew that God has a plan for us. My parents kind of set that stone in me like ‘hey, just trust the process and do what you need to do, work hard and compete every day and everything will line up accordingly,’” he said. “Just going through the whole process of being overlooked since I was little. Everyone knows the story. Going to the XFL, I knew that wasn’t the end for me.
“I knew this was a process thing going in and just getting this opportunity is a huge blessing and really excited that the XFL was super popular how it was and it was a super professional way to broadcast football again and it was just huge for me.”
As he waits to make the transition between the XFL and NFL, Ta’amu is back in Oxford, Miss., where he’ll eagerly await approval to head to Kansas City. Of course, COVID-19 precautions have halted the plans of athletes worldwide. Once he gets there, he figures to push Kyle Shurmur for third-string duties, or possibly Chad Henne for the backup position. Either way, he looks forward to learning from starting quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who already has a regular season and Super Bowl MVP at 24 years old.
“I’m excited to play with the best team in the world, Super Bowl champs, with Patrick Mahomes,” said Ta’amu, who himself is just 22. “Him being a guy that I’ve looked up to and getting ready to see him in live action and learn from that is gonna be a huge honor for me, kind of just sitting back there and watching what he does and just picking at his brain a little bit and see what I can learn from that so it’s a super honor and I’m super blessed to be a part of that.”