Ohio State’s 2016 recruiting class – the country’s fourth-ranked class – featured 25 signees from 11 states and many of those players are expected to contribute to the Buckeyes on-field success early in their careers.
Join Landof10.com as we introduce you to the next wave of Buckeyes in our Young Bucks series. Next up is offensive guard Michael Jordan, whose college career is already off to an impressive start.
Who is he?
Jordan might be one of the most interesting players in Ohio State’s class of 2016, and not just because he’s the first OSU signee from Michigan who didn’t come from Detroit Cass Tech since Jonathan Hankins (Detroit Southeastern) in 2010.
Born in Cincinnati on a Super Bowl Sunday, Jordan developed into a powerful offensive lineman and had every Midwestern power chasing after him by the time his high school career was winding down.
Michigan was viewed as the favorite to land him, and his trips to Ann Arbor did nothing to dissuade that line of thinking. That was especially true in April 2015 when he and his father praised Michigan as a program that was moving forward.
And yet one month later he chose Ohio State, in part because OSU had the international business major that he wanted and other schools didn’t. It was a huge get for the Buckeyes, especially after losing out on Cleveland St. Ignatius lineman Liam Eichenberg to Notre Dame in the weeks leading up to Jordan’s decision.
- Height: 6-foot-7
- Weight: 310
- Number: 73
- Hometown: Canton, Mich.
- High School: Plymouth
- Composite Ranking: 14 (offensive tackle)
- High School Highlights
Jordan chose to enroll early, signing his financial aid agreement in October.
Congrats to OL Michael Jordan for officially joining the Buckeye Family! pic.twitter.com/7S0ZIx2Xyi
— Urban Meyer (@OSUCoachMeyer) October 19, 2015
While most of Ohio State’s offensive linemen have redshirted during their true freshman season under head coach Urban Meyer, Jordan went to work in spring practice and was seen taking first-team reps during some of the media viewing portions of practice. With three offensive line spots up for grabs, a wide-open race was more winnable than many expected.
“For a freshman who should still be in high school who graduated early to be here, to play at this level of football and doing the things he’s doing, yes I’m surprised and impressed at that,” offensive line coach Greg Studrawa said during the spring.
Although he has not yet been named the starter, Jordan is still repping with the first team at left guard in fall camp.
What does he bring to Ohio State?
At 6-7 and 310 pounds, Jordan has a tackle frame but is also capable of playing guard. He’s technically sound and recruiting analysts said that over his last year of high school he displayed much more of the nastiness they were looking to see out of him.
On top of that, however, Jordan has impressed Ohio State players and coaches with his relentlessness and willingness to learn.
“He just goes,” junior left tackle Jamarco Jones said. “He might mess up but he’s giving 110 percent and that’s all that really matters right now. He’s next to me on the left side so try to talk to him as much as possible. If he doesn’t know what’s going on in a play I try to help him about as much as I can. We’ll get that type of stuff figured out but he’s just going hard, so that’s what’s most impressive.”
Will he play as a freshman?
Given that he’s taking reps with the first team in fall camp, this seems about as safe a bet as there is.
In case there was any question about the validity of his first-team reps, Meyer confirmed at Big Ten Media Days in Chicago on July 26 that Jordan was the man to beat at left guard.
“Michael Jordan is probably going to be — a true freshman — will be in the starting lineup,” Meyer said. “What I’ve seen from, his development since he got here in January is outstanding.”
Jordan certainly fits the mold of players like Jones and Isaiah Prince, who were among the first players in their respective freshman classes to see the field and contribute, albeit in backup duty. Jordan will have the chance to top their debuts by doing so in a start. If he does, he’ll become the first true freshman offensive lineman to start for Meyer since Maurkice Pouncey in 2007 and the first Buckeye true freshman offensive lineman to start since Orlando Pace in 1994.