We pride ourselves at showcasing the state's top prospects but we also take great pride in finding prospects who are flying under the radar who haven't been introduced to the world of recruiting in a big way yet. Well we've found another youngster who may not be the biggest linebacker you've ever seen but he plays with such heart, instincts, and intelligence that he's the next player to be featured in our "UP NEXT" series.
Enter 2010 Irmo LB Jordan Kirven. We're sure that most opponents that have never faced Kirven may not pay him much attention in that he's a 5'10 190 pound linebacker. Don't mistake that lack of size for a weakness though. Last season as a junior Kirven posted 154 tackles with 10 TFL. Those numbers earned him an All-Region selection as well as the All-Region Defensive MVP award.
We caught up with Kirven to talk about last season, where his recruitment stands right now, and what his plans are for this offseason in an effort to improve his stock.
We talked with Kirven about his 154 tackles this past season and wondered what he was working on the most this offseason to try and improve on those already gaudy stats he replied, "Mainly my strength. I may be undersized a little at linebacker but my strength compensates for that. I recently benched 325 pounds and have improved my forty so I feel I have made good progress. I can't wait to show it on the field. I may not currently be a 220 pounder but I can stop a 220 pound running back if I get my hands on them."
The size issue is something Kirven has faced time and time again and he shared his thoughts on it. "I feel like most Division 1 schools won't take a serious look unless you are a certain size." That question may remain but Kirven's talents remain unquestionable. Asked what position most schools are recruiting him at he says most are for linebacker some have mentioned the safety position as well.
Would that position switch be a problem for Kirven? "Definitely. I have always made good reads on an offense and safety would be a fun position. I love to hit and safety could be a good fit for me."
Kirven knows where his strengths lie on the football field though. "I've always had a good nose for the ball and making good reads on an offense. My coaches rarely rushed me last season because they know I was like a safety valve they could rely on to prevent the big play from happening and making the play."
Everyday in practice Kirven gets the opportunity to compete against 3-star RB Mustafa Greene so he knows what it's like to play against some of the very best on a regular basis. Another Columbia RB also gets props from Kirven as well. "Gee Gee Greene from Richland Northeast was one of the toughest guys I faced. He was real good because he was fast and knew how to take the open holes."
He also talked about the toughest squad he faced a season ago as well. "Rock Hill was the toughest team. They were the most physical team and had one of the best quarterbacks I have seen lately. (2010 QB Randall Dixon)
From the recruiting aspect things have gotten off to a solid start for Jordan but that could get even better in the near future he hopes.
"I have heard from Duke, Wofford, Princeton, Harvard. Stanford, Ohio U., Furman, Akron, Lehigh, Penn so far. Akron, Harvard, Wofford have recruited me the hardest out of everyone at this point, but I expect to hear from other in state schools as I have recently submitted film and stats to a number of these schools. My coaches and I feel like I have really gone kinda unnoticed despite my numbers for whatever reason, maybe my size but hopefully that will change once they see me play. That being the case, I will be taking a hard look at whoever takes the time to give me the recognition of what I have done on the field and in the classroom thus far. So early offers will take precedent."
The Irmo standout hasn't hit the road yet but expects to have a busy travel schedule this offseason. "I haven't made any visits yet but will begin to take some serious looks soon as most of the in state schools as I am leaning to staying in state at this point. I have the Blue Chip camp coming up in Mars Hill which has numerous Div. 1-AA and Div. 2 coaches in attendance. Hopefully this camp will help me get some exposure at that level where I could end up at the linebacker position although I wouldn't rule out D1 offer at safety position."
A pair of in-state schools could be contemplating an offer for Kirven he says. "I feel Furman and Wofford may be close to offering and I expect to see others once they learn more about me."
Obviously with school interest from a number of top academic colleges in the nation Jordan is a standout in the classroom. There he sports a 4.1 GPA. We asked if he had an idea of what he'd like to consider as a major in college.
"It's really hard to say at this point. There's lots of options but I love sports and am very competitive. I may look into sports management at some point."
Kirven took the SAT for the first time over this past weekend and expects to have the results back in a few weeks. "I feel good about making a very good score."
In regards to what he's looking for when it comes to making a decision for college Kirven offered up this statement, "At this point I am leaning to staying in state. I am looking for a school that has a strong academic history number one and of course would prefer one that has both good academic and athletic standards. I want to get on the field early and play early if possible."
As for a timetable he says that he's uncertain and wants to make the best decision and see what everybody has to offer. He will talk it over with his parents, pray about it, and will know when it feels right to him.
Jordan had this to say to any potential college coaches who want to know more about him not only as a football player but as a person in general. "I am very competitive on and off the field. I don't like to lose at anything. I have a great family and my mom is the biggest influence on me. She wants me to reach my full potential and is always encouraging me."
Stay tuned to SCPrepNation.com for more updates regading Jordan Kirven including a lengthy video highlight for all of our premium subscribers later this week.
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