Ord caught BYU's first TD pass of the season. He has caught a pass in every game this season. (Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)
Senior wide receiver Andrew Ord is no ORD-indary player.
"Andrew is a great athlete and a self-made player and that is a rare combination," said Receivers Coach Mike Borich. "He has great size and strength combined with quickness and speed."
The 6-2, 208-pound native of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., is the third of five boys and comes from an athletic family. His older brother, Jonathan, was a wide receiver at BYU from 1989-92. His younger brother, Peter, walked on as a defensive back for the Cougars and is currently serving a Spanish speaking mission in Boise, Idaho.
Playing his high school years in the San Diego area, Ord starred as a slot back at Torrey Pines High School where he received the Russ Sanders Memorial Football Award -- awarded to the top football player in the region.
As a senior, Ord caught 24 touchdowns from his younger brother, Michael, who started at quarterback. The Ord-to-Ord connection led their team to the CIF championship game at Jack Murphy Stadium, where Andrew caught a 70-yard pass from Michael for a touchdown on the first possession.
Michael and Andrew played with current Dallas Cowboy starting quarterback Chad Hutchinson who recently handed the ball to Emmett Smith to break Walter Payton's all-time NFL career rushing record.
In spite of all the awards and recognition, Ord said that playing with his brother was the best part of that season.
Ord was recruited by several top universities across the country including USC, Notre Dame and Washington. BYU had always been a part of the Ord's family life as they attended many games during his childhood.
"I came to a BYU game when I was a kid with my family with our seats in the west stands," Ord said. "BYU was losing the game and I leaned over to my dad and said that someday I would help the team win. Coming here is a culminating fulfillment of a lifelong dream."
"My recruiting process was a funny story," Ord continued. "Ron McBride (head coach at Utah) came to my house on a Friday night, and LaVell Edwards showed up Saturday morning. I wasn't a hard sell though; playing for BYU has always been my ultimate football goal."
"I grew up seeing the tradition that BYU had here, all the great quarterbacks and the great receivers that came out of this program," Ord told the BYU Daily Universe. "Just like any child has a dream, well, I had a dream to come to BYU and here I am."
Ord decided to redshirt his freshman season in 1996 when the Cougars went 14-1 and finished the season ranked No. 5 in the nation. Ord served a mission to the Argentina, Buenos Aires North mission, where he served as assistant to the president.
"The opportunity to see families convert into the church put life into its true perspective," he said.
Four out of five Ord boys speak Spanish, except for Michael who speaks Estonian and Russian. Over 60 percent of BYU's team is bilingual, including 28 players who speak Spanish.
Today, Ord currently serves as a second counselor in the bishopric of a BYU married ward.
"Upon my return, it took some time to get back into football life," Ord said. "It was a long process of conditioning and instinct. I appreciate Coach Borich who really believed in me."
In Ord's first two seasons after his mission, he played specifically on special teams, recording seven tackles as a sophomore.
"Special teams helped me get on the field in front of 65,000 fans," he said. "I just wanted to contribute in any way I could."
Unfortunately, he was young and unable to get quality minutes on offense for the legendary Edwards.
"Coach Edwards taught me how to do things right the first time," Ord said. "He treated his players and everyone around him well and that attributed to his success."
Last season, Ord was a junior during Gary Crowton's inaugural season after taking over for the legendary Edwards.
"Coach Crowton is very easy to respect," Ord said. "He makes you want to do your part because he does his."
"Andrew is a very physical player with good size," said Crowton about Ord. "You can count on him to work through injuries and other difficulties. He has made a lot of key plays for us."
One key play that stands out for many fans is when Ord saved the Cougars'12-0 start with the game-winning touchdown catch at New Mexico last season.
The Cougars were trailing by three points late in the fourth quarter and the offense was sputtering with the surprise decision of the coaching staff to sit Doak Walker Award winner Luke Staley. Staley was sidelined because of confusion about his class schedule that later turned out not to be an NCAA violation.
After converting on a critical fourth down, quarterback Brandon Doman was looking to take the lead on the New Mexico 15-yard line.
Most fans don't realize that earlier in that game, Ord suffered a grade II separation of his shoulder in the third quarter.
"The trainers gave me the choice to sit out the rest of the game or to continue playing," Ord said. "There wasn't enough time to go back to the locker room and look at the shoulder so I decided to stay in the game."
Ord ran a slant-and-go route and saw that the ball was high and wobbly because Doman was hit as he released. Shielding his shoulder, Ord adjusted to the poorly-thrown ball and made the game-winning touchdown catch.
"I didn't feel the pain after that," he said. "I learned a lesson that you have to play through the pain."
As a senior, Ord started the season as a leader as he snagged the first touchdown of the season in the first quarter against Syracuse on August 29.
Ord has played a big part in the receiving corps for the Cougars this season notching a catch in every game he has played in despite being plagued with a hamstring injury. The injury forced him to sit out the game against Utah State where the Cougars recorded the largest come from behind victory in school history.
"He sets the tone on how the younger players should prepare with his phenomenal work ethic," Borich said. "He leads by example on every play and at every practice."
Ord has already received three "Hammer" awards this season. The Hammer award was brought in with Coach Borich last season and is given out to the best blocking receiver for each game. An actual sledgehammer is painted and following each game, a name is put on the bottom of the trophy. That week's winner has possession of the trophy until the next game. At the end of the year the receiver who has won the award the most times gets to keep the hammer. Ord is battling fellow senior Reno Mahe for this year's receiving honor. Last season, Soren Halladay won the award but Ord was in the hunt all season long.
"Ord is one of the best blocking receivers the team has," Borich said.
Ord grabbed four catches for a career-high 50 yards in his last homecoming game against UNLV, but unfortunately the Cougars lost 24-3.
"Coach Borich tells us to do our part and worry about ourselves," Ord said. "The QB's will take care of their game and our job is to get open."
With Ord playing his final home game against the Lobos (the team he deflated last season) he hopes to end his career on a good note.
"I hope to continue to contribute even though this season has been hampered by injuries," Ord said. "I want to finish real strong."
Off the field, Ord found love during his sophomore season and married Allison Bowman in February of 2001. Allison's younger sister, Brooke Bowman, was recently named Mountain West Conference Freshman of the Year for the BYU women's soccer team.
"We met in the Tanner Building while I was studying for my last final exams before my graduation with a degree in business finance," Allison said. "I was studying with a girlfriend that he knew so he came over and got my phone number before his friend, who threatened to get it first, could."
"The best part of Andrew is his wife Allison Bowman," his father John said. "We were both smart and both married above ourselves."
"Being married is an ideal situation," Ord said. "It is great to come home even if you lose and know that someone still loves you. Allison is a big motivating factor in my life for me to be the best I can be."
"He's pretty conscientious of me and willing to put himself aside for me," Allison said.
Ord will graduate in April with a degree in construction management and a minor in business. He will graduate with younger brother, Michael, who is earning his degree in finance. His two older brothers, Jonathan and Patrick, both received master's degrees in accounting from BYU. Ord said that he is currently looking to work in real estate development in Southern California.
Ord received the first scholarship awarded to the construction management program through the Cougar House I project. His involvement in the major helped spark the idea for the annual charity project that benefits the community and the football program.
He also volunteers service through the Sub-Contracting for Santa (like Sub for Santa) program run by his major. Every holiday season Ord volunteers to fix local homes around the community.
Ord has always been athletic. That ability stems from the Ord Scottish ancestry that has ties to Fort Ord, located in central California. Andrew lettered three times in track during high school. He was recently clocked at 4.41 in the 40-yard dash. He lettered in basketball as a freshman in high school, and enjoys water skiing.
"Andy taught himself to swim at the age of three and was already out with me on the waves of San Clemente at age five," John said.
He also enjoys reading all types of books, with a special emphasis on church books. He received his Eagle Scout award and was voted as Homecoming King in high school.
"I have a great appreciation for my parents and all five brothers are very close. My wife has been a huge support as well as Coach Borich," he said.
According to his wife Allison, both families come up for almost every home game and enjoy going out for milk shakes at the Malt Shoppe afterwards.
Ord has a cousin named Maren Ord from Edmonton, Alberta who recently released her CD in the U.S. He album entitled "Waiting" can be found in LDS stores across the country.
"I can see his potential for success in the future for whatever he does," Borich said. "He is a player I really enjoy being around."
"I don't think that you will find a nicer human being than Andrew," his father John said.
Scholar-Athletes on the Football Team
Senior Andrew Ord (see story above) is one of the scholar-athletes on this year's BYU football team, but there are others in his company worth noting.
Fellow wide receiver Toby Christensen, punter/kicker Tyson Dunham, quarterback Todd Mortensen, defensive tackle Ifo Pili (all juniors) will be working on their master's degrees next season when they each have one more season of football eligibility. Depending on certain situations, offensive linemen Ben Archibald (could start in school counseling) and Scott Jackson (has a major emphasis of business with a double minor in Spanish and business management) also could begin work on graduate classes with eligibility remaining.
Mortensen, a concert pianist with a 4.0 cumulative GPA, graduates in August and intends to complete his master's in Spanish, then begin a combined MBA/juris doctorate degree. Christensen and Pili, now majoring in political science, will be in the master's of public administration, with Christensen starting this January.
Dunham is going to take the Graduate Records Exam next month in order to pursue a master's in communications. He graduated a semester early from high school and began studying at the University of Wyoming in January before his high school class graduated. Dunham was a walk-on with a Presidential Scholarship to UW, but transferred to Dixie College after Coach Dana Dimel left for the University of Houston.
Michael Madsen is also close to doing graduate work, but has chosen get a second major instead of graduating before his eligibility is through. Madsen's second major will be philosophy, which he is minoring in now, and he intends to go to law school after he is done at BYU.
Among the top undergraduate academic stories on the team is walk-on kicker Forrest Hansen, an Olympic mascot (Copper the Coyote) at the 2002 Winter Games. Hansen is taking 21 credit hours this semester and tutors other players in religion and geography.
Christensen joins Jackson and defensive backs Madsen and Kip Nielsen as nominees for the Verizon Academic All-America team. Christensen was a member of the Mountain West All-Academic team last season.
BYU Football Players with 3.40 or Better
Player major cumulative GPA
Micah Alba Open major 3.77
Ben Archibald Health Sciences 3.41
Bryant Atkinson Management 3.51
Justin Carlson Teacher Education 3.46
Brian Christiansen Business 3.68
Toby Christensen Business Marketing 3.74
Brett Cooper Open Major 3.80
Logan Deans Media Arts 3.68
Nick DiPadova Physical Education 3.62
Tyson Dunham Communications 3.62
Jeremy Gillespie Open Major 3.53
Chris Hale Open Major 3.40
Forrest Hansen French 3.57
Scott Jackson Int'l. Studies 3.61
Justin Jory Philosophy 3.43
Michael Madsen Exercise Science 3.41
Steven Later Zoology 3.55
Daniel Marquardt Management 3.44
Cade McMullin Management 3.40
Todd Mortensen Spanish 4.00
Kip Nielsen Spanish 3.78
Joe Omer Open Major 3.86
David Oswald Open Major 3.69
Ryan Slater Open Major 3.41
Mike Sumko Zoology 3.63
Scott Tidwell Communications 3.64
Pat Williams Health Sciences 3.89