Spring Q&A: A.J. Jordan

Despite moving from wide receiver to cornerback to safety and temporarily back to wide receiver, junior A.J. Jordan is hoping to get a chance to compete for a starting job in the fall. BadgerNation talks with Jordan about his transition to a defensive back and how he's changing his game.

We talked in bowl prep about your move to cornerback. When did the coaching staff decide to move you to safety?

A.J. Jordan: In bowl prep I was mainly playing corner. When I came back for winter conditioning, I saw that they moved me to safety. That's how I found out.

Since you've had a lot of change over the past year, did you embrace that move right way?

Jordan: Going from corner to safety wasn't too big of a transition. I actually like it. There's a lot more mental aspect, like making calls and alignments, compared to technique. That's probably best for me since I am still learning the position.

Were you nervous the first day of spring practices since you were playing a new position and working with the first- and second-team defense?

Jordan: Coming out and playing a new position, you are always going to be a little nervous. I've been in the playbook and been getting down the calls, so that helped out a little bit. I feel I can be more effective with the calls with the knowledge. Making a couple of plays helps gave me a little more confidence.

How much have you changed in the past six months with your conditioning, the weight you've had to put on and the new knowledge you had to retain? How much have you had to change your mind set during that time frame?

Jordan: I definitely have had to put on a lot more weight. I am still working on that. I'm been working on my back pedal and getting in and out of that. Conditioning wise, we had a real good winter conditioning. This is probably the best condition I've been in since I've got here. It's been a real good transition. I'm liking it a lot.

How much weight have you put on? How much more do you want to put on? How you going about putting that on?

Jordan: Since the end of the season, I've put on about 12 pounds. I am looking to put 5-10 more pounds on. I'm just trying to see how I feel with it. I'm talking it slow now, but definitely it's about getting stronger now and working on up.

How do you feel playing 12 pounds heavier compared to how you felt in the fall?

Jordan: Right now I feel about the same. I do feel more explosive and playing stronger now.

How has coach Bill Busch helped you learn this new position and instill some confidence in you so you can get your skills to a level where you can compete for the starting safety spot in the fall?

Jordan: Coach Busch definitely is going to push you hard. You've got to be ready for it. He's a pretty good coach and he's been real motivating with me, getting me to study my keys and my reads.

How have the other players at your position, who have more experience, been helping you with your transition?

Jordan: Coach Busch partnered up me and Leo Musso, and we've definitely been working out a lot on getting the plays and the calls down. I've spent a lot of time with him and he's been helping me out a lot. He's been telling me what to expect, some of the key reads and just letting me know where I need to be when the ball is in flight.

Are you guy who approaches practice with daily goals or do you have more overall goals with what you want to accomplish?

Jordan: A little bit of both. I know coming into practice there's things I always plan on working on and trying to get through. I always have things that I make sure I want to do in practice. I want to learn certain calls and keys, because those depend on where someone might go and change the way I'm covering someone else. I want to be able to react and just know in the back of my head that I am right and following through with the play.

You obviously know the offense to a degree so you can spot some things coming at you, but what else has been easier for you to a degree having been a wide receiver?

Jordan: Playing offense has really helped out a lot, just knowing what to expect with different releases by the receiver. Me playing corner helped out a lot, too, with me being able to work on my tempo and helping me out of my breaks.

Do you see a spot for you in the starting defense this fall?

Jordan: Yeah, definitely. There are a lot of young guys and this is a big competition. It's going to be a big battle throughout summer and camp to earn that last starting spot.

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