Ellison Jordan made his first trip to College Park when he was in fifth grade for a University of Maryland basketball camp. However, Jordan's basketball career ended shortly after the camp, and he traded his high-top sneakers in for football cleats. The decision ended up being a good one for the 6-foot, 250-pound four-star defensive lineman, who picked up his latest offer from his hometown team.
"I retired shortly after that basketball camp," Jordan said laughing. "I am happy I stuck to football and I was really happy to find out that they [Maryland] offered. My hometown school finally offered, and that is one of the schools I have been really looking at so it felt great. It's just a real blessing from God."
Jordan lives a short 10-15 minutes from College Park, so Maryland is a program he is more than familiar with, and he's been to campus on numerous times. And in case there are any lingering questions, Jordan has plenty of resources, from family, friends and former teammates that know a lot about the Terps' program.
"I still talk to Kenny [Goins] and Shane [Cockerille] a lot, and they have some good stuff to say about it [Maryland]. They seem to like it a lot there," Jordan said. "I also know Andre Monroe, he's a good friend of my family because I played youth football with his brother [and fellow Terp recruit] Ayron Monroe, so I know them very well."
The Gilman standout had a chance to check out a couple of Maryland games last season, including the Terps 37-0 drubbing of West Virginia at M&T Bank Stadium. Jordan primarily plays standing up as a three technique, but he is getting more comfortable coming off the edge as a defensive end, and he paid close attention to Maryland's defense during the game.
"I thought the defense was really tough and they had a great game that day," Jordan said. "The defense scored a couple of touchdowns and was really aggressive so I liked the way they played."
Jordan will attend his first official Junior Day at the University of Maryland, along with a number of his Gilman teammates, Feb. 22. He is looking forward to taking in the experience and developing a closer relationship with the Terps coaching staff.
"I already know Mr. [Andre] Powell, and Mr. [Mike] Locksley because I play with [his son] Kai," Jordan said. "I am looking forward to meeting the new defensive line coach and hopefully talk to Mr. Randy Edsall as well."
Maryland running backs and special teams coach Andre Powell is Jordan's primary recruiter and the two have developed a good relationship early in the process.
"Mr. Powell is a really great guy, he is very funny and I really enjoy talking to him," Jordan said. "He told me he likes the way I play, my motor, the way I use my hands and he always has some great stories, he is a really good story teller.
"I did wrestling for the first time this year so he [Powell] was telling me about some crazy moves he used to pull when he wrestled," Jordan said and laughed. "He was telling me about this crazy move he used called the pretzel, it was a really funny story-- really funny."
Maryland is in good position with Jordan, however they will have plenty of competition for the emerging prospect as he continues to blow up on the recruiting scene. Michigan State was the first to extend an offer and the Spartans history of producing top defensive talent is something that has piqued Jordan's interest.
"I like Michigan State a lot too and they have the No. 1 defense," Jordan said. "They beat OSU and Stanford, that was a big surprise to me. I didn't know they were going to beat them in that type of fashion so that was really impressive.
"I watched them play in the Big Ten Championship game and the Rose Bowl," Jordan said. "They are just so fundamentally sound and Mr. [Ron] Burton is great. To get my first offer from a school with such a good defense was just awesome."
Jordan said he hopes to get to East Lansing at some point, although he has not made any concrete plans yet. In the meantime, Jordan is working hard to get stronger and faster for his junior year. After wrestling for the first time this winter, he is doing track and field this spring, competing in the shot put, discus, and even running with the sprinters.
"Conditioning-wise wrestling is way way harder than football," Jordan said. "Football plays are around six seconds, but wrestling is like whole two minutes so it's a great workout.
"I have been running with the sprinters during track and field to help me get some more sacks next year," Jordan said. "I think the extra conditioning will pay off because then I can keep pursuing the quarterback and do even better finishing plays."
Although it is still early in the recruiting process, Jordan does have a rough check list of what he is looking for in his future program.
"First I know God will lead me to a good school, and education is big," Jordan said. "I like to talk so I might be interested in sports broadcasting, then I would possibly consider playing time, but I am just keeping an open mind right now."
And don't expect Jordan to rush to judgment. He plans on taking his time to ensure he makes the right decision.
"A lot of kids commit early because maybe they are ready for it, but for me I really want to wait until probably my senior year so I know I am sure about my decision," Jordan said. "I want to really think about it and everything a lot, it is a really big and important decision."
Jordan Picks Up Hometown Offer
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