Eye Catcher

One of the players to immediately catch the eye at last weekend's combine at WVU was a defensive end/tight end from a nearby state that showed speed, agility, and exuberance during the four and a half hour session.

Jordan Stevens, a two way player from Gateway High School in Monroeville, Penn., stood out immediately in his group. The 6-3 225-pound Stevens has a great frame, and he backed up the eyeball test by showing excellent quickness during individual testing.

However, it was during the one-on-one competition that Stevens really stood out. He repeatedly defeated his offensive line opponents in pass rush drills as he recorded several "sacks" of the tackling dummy that was positioned as a quarterback during the session.

"That's my strong point," Stevens said of his performance at the combine. "I can get through blocks faster than anyone else, and then I can use my speed too. I'm really not as big as most offensive linemen, so using my quickness is what I try to do."

If Stevens hadn't gotten notice for the ease with which he got to the quarterback on many occasions, he certainly would have for his vocal performance. Stevens helped rev up his defensive line cohorts prior to the one-on-one session, and punctuated several of his wins with loud roars of success. The demonstrative rising senior said, however, that he wasn't trying to show anyone up.

"I've always been like that," said Stevens of his exuberant personality and vocal style. "I love to be a leader. I'm emotional and outgoing, and I believe that's half of the game."

In that regard, at least, Stevens is somewhat reminiscent of former WVU linebacker Bernard Russ, who was also never at a loss for words during competition. However, in build, Stevens is more line a young Renaldo Turnbull – long, lean and with a good sized frame and long arms that could be excellent tools for a spot on the end of the defensive line.

Of course, it's a long way from where Stevens is to there, but he certainly has the attitude part down. And despite playing some tight end for Gateway, he hopes to be on the defensive side of the ball in college.

"I prefer defense," Stevens said bluntly when asked for his position preference. "I like to hit. Rushing the QB, that's my favorite part."

The confident Pennsylvania native hasn't received any offers yet, but he is confident that a busy summer schedule, along with a solid senior season, will bring them in.

"My coach is planning on taking us to a bunch of senior camps, and I am going to the Scout.com Akron combine in June," Stevens related "Right now I am trying to get some options open. West Virginia is one of the schools I am looking at, along with Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Akron and Maryland. I'd like to come back to WVU's rising senior camp, but I can't do that because it's the same day as the SAT. I will come to at least one day of another WVU camp, though.

"I came down to West Virginia for their seven on seven camp last year, and I liked the campus a lot. It's all very nice."

Stevens, who is considering a business major in college, hasn't put a lot of thought into the recruiting process yet, but he admits it would be nice to have a commitment made and out of the way before his senior season. He hopes to have several offers in his pocket by then, so he can begin the narrowing down process, but hasn't put any thought into which schools are his favorite at this point.

One obvious tie to WVU which could help should the Mountaineers decide to offer a scholarship is the presence of Gateway alumnus Mortty Ivy. Ivy, who is slated to see a good deal of playing time at outside linebacker this fall as a true freshman, still retains strong ties to his high school alma mater.

"Oh yeah, I know Mortty," Stevens said with a laugh when asked if he was still in touch with WVU's young linebacker. "He comes up here to see our practices, and I talk with him. He tells me all about it."

Should Stevens continue his strong play, someday it could be his turn to spread the word about the Mountaineer program.

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