Recruit Profile - Devin Jordan
For someone who didn't begin playing football until his sophomore year in high school, wide receiver Devin Jordan sure made a name for himself quickly. The 6-foot-3, 195-pound Massillon native caught 101 passes for 1,504 yards and 18 touchdowns as a junior (playing with quarterback Justin Zwick) and followed that up with 63 receptions for 893 yards and 15 scores this past year. He was named first-team All-Ohio both seasons and is considered the No. 1 receiver in the state by most recruiting experts. But why didn't he pick up the sport earlier in his life? "I was more of a basketball guy growing up," Jordan said. "But I always knew I'd play (football) in high school. I went out for the team my freshman year at (Massillon) Perry, but they wanted me to play quarterback and nothing else, so I transferred to Massillon (Washington) the next year." Jordan talked about the big season he and Zwick enjoyed in 2001. "We just had the right chemistry," Jordan said. "He knew where I was going to be and I knew where he was going to throw it." Was it difficult getting adjusted to a new QB this year? "Yes, it was. He (Matt Martin) was a good player, but he was left-handed and it took a while for all of us to feel comfortable," Jordan said. The Tigers finished with an 11-3 record in 2002 and made it to the D-I state semifinals - almost enough to satisfy the locals. If you're not familiar with Massillon's passion for football, there is nothing quite like it in the country. "That's for sure," Jordan said. "It's a great place to play. The people here love their football and support the team like crazy." As for Zwick, Jordan said they kept in close contact throughout this past football season. "Oh, we called each other all the time," Jordan said. "We are really good friends. He was my host on my official visit to OSU (Jan. 10-11). We are very close," Jordan said. But, unfortunately for Buckeye fans, Jordan can't match up with Zwick when it comes to recruiting other athletes. Last year, Zwick placed calls to nearly every player the Buckeyes were recruiting to urge them to sign with Ohio State. Jordan, who isn't as out-going as Zwick, says he doesn't plan on making similar calls. "No, I'm not going to be doing that," Jordan said with a laugh. "But I am trying to work on Shawn (Crable) right now and point him in the right direction." For those who don't know, Crable is a standout defensive end from Massillon who has reportedly narrowed his choices down to Ohio State and Michigan. As it stands right now, Jordan is the only true wide receiver in OSU's 2003 class. Tony Gonzalez from Cleveland St. Ignatius is a WR/CB combo. "Knowing you are the only full-time receiver in the class makes you feel good," Jordan said. "But Tony can also play over there and you know, no matter what, that the competition is going to be good at a place like Ohio State." The Bucks only signed two receivers last year (Santonio Holmes and Roy Hall), so the future is looking bright for Jordan in terms of getting playing time by his second year. However, with the return of Michael Jenkins, Chris Gamble, Drew Carter and others, it will be extremely difficult to get playing time as a freshman. Does redshirting look like the immediate plan? "I'm not sure," Jordan said. "With all those upperclassmen coming back, I could redshirt, but I'm going to come in and compete the best I can and see what happens." Looking ahead a few years, Jordan knows that a quarterback controversy is already brewing between Zwick and Troy Smith. "I know Troy," Jordan said. "Met him at a track meet last year. He's a great athlete. I hear that there is a really good battle going on between him and Justin down there. It will be interesting to see what happens." Jordan said he watched OSU's 31-24 double-overtime victory over Miami in the Fiesta Bowl like any other fan, yelling and screaming at the television. "Yeah, it was awesome. I watched it with all my friends. It was definitely the best college game I've ever seen," Jordan said. Did he get a chance to see all of Ohio State's games in 2002? "I watched about 80 percent of them." Jordan committed to the Bucks in July of 2002, soon after the senior camp. Other schools that he considered included: Kentucky, Michigan, Michigan State, Pittsburgh and West Virginia. "There were many reasons (why he chose OSU). The coaching staff is really cool. (Head coach Jim) Tressel's influence on his players on and off the field is something that really attracted me. Plus, you can't beat the tradition of Ohio State and I'm an Ohio guy," Jordan said. The wideout got to know offensive coordinator Jim Bollman especially well during the recruiting process. "Yeah, I probably know coach Bollman the best," Jordan said. "He's a great guy - he really knows what he's talking about. He's been in the pros and knows the tricks of the trade." Jordan gave us his strengths and weaknesses as a receiver. "I think one of my strengths is knowing all the fundamental things of being a wide receiver. Running good routes, reading defenses and things like that. Coming from a pass offense in high school has taught me a lot. I learned from some good coaches and players. I also think one of my strengths is that I'm a complete receiver. Some are physical possession types and some are deep threats. I feel like I am both. "I don't know that I have a weakness, but I'm always trying to get better at my knowledge of the game. There are always things you can learn," Jordan said. Jordan will major in business management at OSU and is looking forward to several things - both on and off the field. "I'm just excited about the whole college experience. It's a great opportunity to be walking into the team that just won the national title, but there's a lot of hard work ahead. The expectations will be high, but I'm looking forward it," Jordan concluded.