CHICAGO — The 2016 Big Ten Media Days ended with many of the offseasons questions being answered, but also provided a rather surprising development. True freshman offensive lineman Michael Jordan could make a run at being a starter this fall.
Jordan, a 6-foot-7, 316 pound mammoth of a lineman from Plymouth High School in Canton, Michigan, was a four-star prospect when he committed to OSU. The coaching staff and players for the Buckeyes have offered high praise of the young talent, and expressed just how good he could be this fall.
“Michael Jordan is probably going to be — a true freshman — will be in the starting lineup,” Meyer said in the morning session.
Jordan has even impressed one of the most seasoned veterans on the team in fifth-year senior center Pat Elflein. Elflein is transitioning to center after playing guard his first few years at OSU, and knows exactly what a guy like Jordan can bring to the table.
“He’s a smart guy. He’s taking coaching very well. He gets after guys. Sometimes you have to develop that nastiness and some guys just have it. He has it,” Elflein said. “You don’t have to be doing the right thing all the time but he’s going to be trying to get after you and pancake you. That’s kind of the foundation for offensive line.
The dominance of Jordan in high school has been talked about by many for years, and could be a testament to the work he has done this spring. According to some published reports, he never gave up a sack in his senior year, while also averaging six pancake blocks a game.
Even players on the defensive side of the ball have taken notice — namely, junior inside linebacker Raekwon McMillan.
McMillan said Jordan is receiving similar hype to what he had when he was an incoming freshman. The junior linebacker said he feels Jordan can make an impact and continue to grow as the season progresses like he did in his freshman year.
Although all early indications pointed to Jordan as a clear-cut starter, Meyer clarified in his final media session that the decision has yet to be made.
“I didn’t name him a starter,” Meyer said when asked about how close Jordan was to earning his way into a lead role. “First week of training camp we’ll find out.”
Meyer also said it all boils down to how his growth continues this spring and into summer.
OSU starts the season against Bowling Green on Sept. 3 in Ohio Stadium at noon.