Inked: Despite Pursuit from the In-State Spartans and Wolverines, Michael Jordan is Heading South To Columbus

By Andrew Ellis on January 7, 2016 at 2:15 pm
Michael Jordan chose Ohio State over Michigan and Michigan State.

The future stars of Ohio State football officially begin their Buckeye careers as standouts from all over the country put pens to their National Letters of Intent.

The Jordan File

  • Class: 2016
  • Size: 6-6/305
  • Pos: OT
  • School: Plymouth (Canton, MI)
  • Composite Rating: ★★★★
  • Composite Rank: 14 (OT)

There was always a pretty consistent top three in the recruitment of Plymouth (Canton, Michigan) offensive tackle Michael Jordan. However, the schools that seemed to hold the lead were presumed by most to be the Wolverines and Spartans. The Buckeyes and Irish rounded out the top group for the 6-foot-6, 305-pounder.

Jordan would go on to take a number of visits to the usual Midwestern powers — Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, and Notre Dame — but few were expecting him to actually pull the trigger so early in the process.

The relationship with Ed Warinner and Kerry Coombs' continued success in Michigan ultimately won out for the Buckeyes, as Jordan made his commitment on May 7, 2015. The commitment came just a few weeks after Jordan was in East Lansing visiting with Mark Dantonio's Spartans. 

Kerry Coombs beat Mark Pantoni to the punch on this one, and deservingly so. The fourth-ranked player in the state of Michigan actually has a lot in common with Coombs, as both have roots in Cincinnati. Jordan's father discussed this connection with Buckeye Sports Bulletin's Ryan Ginn

“Coach Coombs is from Cincinnati, so I was very familiar with him,” Jordan’s father said. “His teams used to beat my high school fairly often. I was very familiar with him, and we know a lot of the same people down there. He is a great relationship builder. He came to our school and really spent the time with our son’s coaching staff. Via

Academics was a big factor for the Buckeyes as well. When the four-star tackle decided to pursue a degree in international business with a minor in Chinese, that greatly helped to shift things in the Buckeyes' favor. Of the schools he was considering, Ohio State was the only one to offer a major in international business. 

Also from the interview with Ryan Ginn:

“We felt very comfortable with Ohio State’s program,” Jordan’s father said. “We got to meet the president of the university. We met with people from admissions, people from the school of business. The only reason we didn’t talk to the guy with the China program is because he was leading an expedition over there, but they set up a meeting for that as well. They did an awesome job of making sure we were feeling comfortable academically. I think Coach Meyer knows my wife and I always stress education.”

The Buckeyes missed out on some in-state talent as both Tommy Kraemer and Liam Eichenberg are committed to Notre Dame, so stealing one from the Mitten State was a major victory for Urban Meyer and Co.

Jordan has the size, length, and athleticism to play left or right tackle. While he is a bit raw and doesn't have a lot of experience in pass protection, the tools are all there. In speaking with Eleven Warriors, one source was especially impressed with his athleticism.

"He's a bit quicker, more athletic, more twitch, maybe even more upside there than is with Liam (Eichenberg) who was maybe a bit more developed right now," the source said. "There's a better chance to play tackle too. I also like that he's a wrestler, it's a good second sport for a lineman." recruiting analyst Marc Givler commented on Jordan's finishing ability. ($)

Jordan's film reveals a finisher, someone who blocks until the echo of the whistle. He has excellent leg drive and doesn't stop moving his feet until he has put the defender on his back. 

Ohio State landed an impressive haul at offensive tackle in 2015, so it may be difficult for Jordan to see early playing time, but enrolling early certainly helps his chances. We anticipate a year of fine-tuning his pass-blocking skills before possibly competing for one of the starting tackle spots. 

While Coombs continues to be the rockstar recruiter in the state of Michigan, there's no doubt that Ed Warinner played a huge part in Jordan's decision to attend Ohio State. 

The biggest influence in my becoming a Buckeye was the whole team and the entire coaching staff. The players feel like family and that's huge. Also, for my position specifically, (Ed) Warinner is a great offensive line coach and I know he's capable of getting the best out of me.

As with pretty much every recruitment these days, there was a tiny bit of drama after his pledge to Ohio State. The four-star kept hinting at a big announcement that was coming up, and naturally people started throwing out words like "decommit" and "flip." 

Alas, the announcement turned out to be Jordan laying out his plans to enroll early at Ohio State. He will join the six other early enrollees as they start classes next week.  

Jordan is currently practicing in San Antonio in preparation for the Army All-American Bowl. After getting banged up early in the week, he has returned to practice and is expected to play on Saturday. 

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