Conn. OL Jordan Dissects Rutgers Trip

Rutgers played host to a number of recruits making unofficial visits Saturday, including offensive lineman Tommy Jordan of Ridgefield (Conn.) High. It was Jordan's first trip to Rutgers, so he had plenty to see and learn about one of the schools to offer him a scholarship this winter. He also holds offers from Duke, Boston College and Florida. So, what did Jordan think about Rutgers?

Ridgefield (Conn.) High offensive lineman Tommy Jordan is still figuring out what he wants in a college, and he certainly got a load of information Saturday when he took an unofficial visit to Rutgers.

Jordan, a 6-foot-5, 280-pounder, got more than he was expecting during the day-long visit, which included watching spring practice and speaking with members of the coaching staff, including offensive line coach Kyle Flood and head coach Greg Schiano.

"It was awesome,'' Jordan said. "It really was awesome. It was something different. I never thought it could be that awesome. The facilities were unbelievable, but nowadays all these big-time schools are getting new facilities, and they're just all top shelf. Theirs definitely ranks among the top, which is definitely a plus.

"I talked to coach Flood for a while, and I wound up talking to coach Schiano for a little bit.''

Jordan holds offers from Rutgers, Boston College, Duke and Florida, where he will travel for the April 10 spring game. He is also being recruited by Notre Dame and Penn State, but the location of Rutgers could benefit the Scarlet Knights.

"It was only 100 miles from my house,'' Jordan said. "That is definitely a positive. Right now I'm only talking to three schools within driving distance, and two within reasonable driving distance. Penn State, you don't fly there from where we are.

"Other than that, every place I talk to is a flight, which isn't a problem, but when you're sorting stuff out, you have a few different categories.''

Coaches stressed to Jordan throughout his recruitment the importance of visiting during a practice so he can gauge how things are done, and he came away impressed with what he saw Saturday.

The structure of the practice also caught Jordan's attention.

"It was definitely a high intensity practice, and it seemed like they had a game plan for everything, and everything was scheduled, which was pretty cool to see,'' he said. "There were no flaws. Everything was set up. Everything was set up precisely. It's good to see the leadership in the coaching there.

"They have a very impressive group of kids. It seemed like there were a lot more hard working kids at a school like Rutgers compared to a (flashy) school. Everybody was working hard. It really was awesome to see. That's the first spring practice I've been to, and I'm sure every school right now is working hard, but that was one thing that stood out.''

Living in the northeast, Jordan constantly heard about Rutgers, though it wasn't always in the best light.

He knew about former quarterback Mike Teel and current quarterback Tom Savage via ESPN's SportsCenter, and understands the program performed the last few years.

However, Jordan wasn't aware of how far the program climbed during Schiano's tenure.

"One thing I figured out that I was never really sure of was how bad the program used to be before coach Schiano got there,'' Jordan said, "and how much he's turned it around, especially the last three years. I didn't realize that.

"Also, how much they really want to win a national championship. That means a lot. A bunch of these schools don't mind settling for a bowl game. One of the things (Rutgers) is emphasizing is if they win, they could stay on top.

"That's a good mindset. There's a couple schools I've been to that don't have a goal to win a national championship, which is ok, if that's what you're looking for. But you're going to put in four years of hard work wherever you go, no matter if it's Boston College or Florida, so why not go for the gold and get the best out of it?''

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