Lancaster learns, leads, serves and graduatesMay 3, 2011
By Sherry Atkinson, University Relations
CHARLESTON, S.C. - For Jordan Lancaster, who joined the CSU football team in 2006, one of his biggest moments came very early in his career.
Coach Jay Mills placed him as a right offensive tackle, but Lancaster didn’t play in the first game. But the Wednesday before the second game, the coaches moved him to left tackle, a crucial position also known as the “blind side” and later that week played him in The Citadel game. The odds were stacked against him – a true freshman who had never played a college game, who started in a new position after only two practices and was now literally face to face with the Citadel bulldogs. But Lancaster was up for the challenge and showed everyone what he could do.
Mills remembers it well. “He played an outstanding game, and he played an integral role in that big victory for CSU. Athletically, he made an immediate impact at CSU.”
Lancaster continued to make an impact, not only on the field, but also in the community. With volunteerism strongly promoted through the football program, the players have an easy avenue finding places to serve. And Lancaster pursued those places – tutoring in a local elementary school, coaching youth softball, leading a Bible study for male athletes, working as a summer youth interim. Lancaster believes that, “As a college athlete you have more influence in the community and with kids, and it is a great opportunity to share the Gospel and make an impact in people’s lives.”
Lancaster also sponsors a child from Guatemala through Compassion International. However, his financial commitment to the sponsorship became strained when he and his fiancé began planning and paying for their wedding. But he refused to let nine-year-old Gary go. He says that God honored his sacrificial giving and that “things began to happen financially” in his life that allowed him to be able to continue supporting his young friend.
Lancaster’s desire to serve others grew naturally as he watched his father who is a pastor in his hometown of Shallotte, N.C. “He is such a great man and role model,” said Lancaster. “Seeing him live his life for the Lord made me want to live my life for God.”
While at CSU he not only balanced a busy football schedule and community service, he also excelled in academics as a six-time-scholar-athlete completing a double major in business administration and religion.
Because of his academic success as well as his outstanding community service and athletic prowess, Lancaster was one of 11 players selected for the 2010 Allstate/American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team, and on January 4 was recognized during half-time at the Sugar Bowl. Lancaster is the first player from Charleston Southern and the Big South Conference to receive this award.
Over the past five years Lancaster has lived a consistent, God-honoring life. He has persevered through a succession of knee injuries which did not crush him but served to make him stronger. He leaves the Charleston Southern community and the community as a whole a much better place. “Even at the end of this year he was still not 100 percent physically but became an all-conference performer,” said Mills. “He really ended up on top.”
(After graduation Lancaster is returning to his hometown and plans to work in the Christian school at his father’s church. He and his fiancé are planning a July wedding.) For more information on the 2010 Allstate/American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team, see the article at the CSU Sports website or the AFCA website.