TAMPA — Something wasn't right about Chad Jordan.
He was perfectly nice at youth football practice, his coach said. He never made any trouble. But still, "There just was a lot of stuff that wasn't adding up, you know?" said Ray McCloud, coach of the Town 'N Country Packers.
McCloud's instincts were right.
Julious Javone Threatts is 21 years old. He's now behind bars without bail after Hillsborough County sheriff's deputies said he used the alias Chad Jordan to pose as a 14-year-old boy, join the Tampa Bay Youth Football League and try to register at a Tampa middle school. Threatts was on probation for burglary charges, authorities later determined.
He now faces charges of trespassing on school grounds, obstruction by a disguised person and violation of probation.
"He really acted like a kid," McCloud said. "My son is 13, and my son was hanging out with him, and (Threatts) acted more immature than (my son)."
It's unclear how long Threatts pretended to be a teenager or why he did it.
Steve Levinson, president of the football league, said Threatts played for the now defunct West Coast Youth Football Conference last year, trained again during the spring and then joined the Tampa Bay league at the beginning of this season. Levinson said the person he knew as Chad Jordan turned in all the necessary registration paperwork, including a copy of his birth certificate, which officials now realize must have been fake.
"He duped everyone," Levinson said.
Threatts, who is 5 feet 11 and 160 pounds, played with the Packers for only the season's first game, on Aug. 21. Coach McCloud thought it was odd that "Chad" kept his helmet on even when the game was over. "Like he was hiding," McCloud said.
McCloud said Threatts told the team that his parents had died in a car accident and he was being raised by an older brother. "It was like a movie," McCloud said.
The coach began to investigate, asking around to see if anyone knew who "Chad" really was.
Finally, he found someone who knew the truth. A friend from Threatt's neighborhood told McCloud that while Threatt's father died in a car accident in St. Petersburg last year, his mother was alive, McCloud said.
McCloud found Threatt's Facebook page, which lists his mother as Debra Miller. It also says Threatts graduated from Leto High School.
There is a link to his YouTube channel, which features him reading a poem he wrote called "GOD …" and to his Twitter account. The most recent post was on July 26: "just got home. Had a good practice today! Can't wait till tomorrow."
McCloud and the other coaches confronted Threatts, and he denied everything.
"After all the stuff that I found out, he still had me second-guessing myself," McCloud said. "That's how good he was."
A couple of days later, Threatts went to D.W. Webb Middle School on Hanley Road to register for classes, but he showed up without his parents or the necessary paperwork, said Steve Hegarty, a school district spokesman. He told school officials he was homeless, so the school brought in social workers from the Department of Children and Families.
Hegarty said Threatts was sent to the cafeteria for a snack while officials tried to figure out where he belonged.
Coincidentally, the school's principal, Marcos Murillo, was walking through the lunchroom at the same time.
Hegarty recalled the principal later telling him that he thought at the time that Threatts "looked too old to be in middle school. … I don't think he's 14 years old."
Threatts then went to the school social workers' office with a school resource deputy. During the investigation, Threatts' cell phone rang. One of the officials picked it up and asked who was on the line, according to an arrest affidavit. The caller said she was Threatt's mother, and authorities were finally able to piece together his identity.
He was never enrolled at the school, Hegarty said, and was arrested later that day.
Threatt's mother could not be reached for comment.
McCloud said he thinks Threatts did it because "he just wanted to play football."
"I don't think he was good enough to play semipro or anything," McCloud said. "This might sound crazy, but I feel sorry for him. … they say he's a man, but he really acted like a sweet kid."
Threatt's first arrest came in 2003, when he was actually 14, on a petty theft charge, according to records from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. After that he was arrested five more times, on charges of battery, burglary, grand theft, loitering and violation of probation.
According to his arrest affidavit, Threatts has one tattoo: "Julious" across his left forearm.
Kim Wilmath can be reached at email@example.com or (813) 661-2442.