After a career year at Maryland that saw him earn All-Big 10 Honorable Mention honors, Johnny Jordan decided that he wanted a change of scenery for his final season.
Enter Virginia Tech who landed Jordan after seeing fellow interior offensive linemen Doug Nester and Bryan Hudson both transfer elsewhere.
Now Jordan could have entered with a big ego given the fact that he was a significant addition for a talented offensive line group that suddenly had some needs at right guard and for depth as a whole. Instead, Jordan has fit in well in part because of his humble mindset and work ethic of a player striving to get better as starting left guard Lecitus Smith shared.
"So he really fits in with this offense, and to be more specific, this offensive line because he came in as a humble guy with his head down. He doesn't talk much, and that's what we're all about. We're not about talking. We're not about being flashy. We just put our head down and work, and that's how he initially came in and presented himself," Smith said.
That mentality has allowed Jordan to fit right in and quickly gain the respect of his teammates including Smith.
"Since the day he came in, he started to grow into us, and we started to know and love and respect him. He's a guy that definitely isn't afraid of work, that doesn't shy away from it. He's not the type of guy to stand in the back and skip reps or anything like that. He's a motivator. I think he fits in with this offensive line really, really well. He's going to be a really good player for us," Smith said.
Brock Hoffman also shared Smith's sentiment while also feeling that Jordan will be really good for the offensive line as a whole.
"Johnny's a good dude. He fits in with our group. He's not like an outcast or anything like that. He fit in well. He has done really well in all the summer programs, skills and drills, and I think he'll be really good for our offensive line," Hoffman said.
That hard work mentality combined with his teammates' quick embrace also made Jordan feel quite comfortable about how well he fits in with the Vance Vice offensive line room.
"I think I fit in pretty well. It's a hard working, tenacious group. They're nasty so I think I'll fit in pretty well," Jordan said.
Johnny Jordan felt quite welcomed by Tech's two veteran interior offensive linemen, Lecitus Smith and Brock Hoffman, who helped him adjust well to his new surroundings in Blacksburg.
"They accepted me pretty much day one so they made me feel at home and really comfortable right away so that was awesome. Getting to talk to them about how do you guys do things compared to what I'm used to and comparing it but also getting accommodated to what Virginia Tech is all about," Jordan said.
One thing that has changed is Jordan working not just at center as he did at Maryland but also at guard where he's expected to be a top contender for that right guard job. Jordan has embraced the value of working at guard more and not just center knowing how his versatility can boost his NFL value in addition to helping the Hokies win especially as he enters his final season of college football.
"NFL teams carry 7 or 8 offensive linemen on gameday so being able to play multiple positions makes you much more versatile. It also helps the value. That'll definitely help a lot."
Jordan also has some large goals for this upcoming season both personally and being able to uphold the high standards Tech's offensive line set last season.
"We expect to continue to have one of the best rushing games in America, but also be able to protect the passer, be able to distribute the ball to the playmakers we have on the perimeter. For me personally, this is my last year of eligibility so I want to be able to have a great year, have a lot of fun, win, go to a bowl game, and just play at the highest level I can," Jordan said.
Though Johnny Jordan may have to battle for the right guard job with Silas Dzansi and others, what's clear is that Jordan has the humble, hard working mindset that Tech fans have gotten use to from their offensive line and helped this unit become one of the best in America in 2020. Going forward, expect Jordan to be a big part of maintaining that in 2021.