RB Chris Jordan a sleeper no more

THOMSON, Ga. -- Running back Chris Jordan (Thomson, Ga./Thomson) was not exactly on the radar of a lot of schools going into this season. In fact, he had no offers and was not hearing from any schools except for a few random bits of mail from Georgia and Georgia Tech. His coach, Milan Turner, understood the lack of interest but knew that would change once the season began.

“We are expecting great things from him this year,” Turner said. “He just got better and better last season as the year went on. He has turned into big-time back but he just didn’t have the numbers to show for it.”

He does now. Through three games, Jordan has 544 yards and five touchdowns. On Sept. 7 against Lakeside (Ga.), Jordan piled up 328 yards on 25 carries. On Friday, against one of the top defenses in the Peach State, St. Pius X, Jordan took his first handoff 58 yards for a touchdown on his way to a 130-yard night.

Jordan’s production is even more impressive when you see that he splits carries with running backs Torrie Battle and Quay Cummings in Thomson’s wing-T offense.

“We spread the ball to so many different guys,” Turner said. “We definitely expect Chris to do even more this year. He was a late bloomer; to me he is a big sleeper. He is a diamond in the rough. This past year he just kept coming in to the weight room and he got stronger. He also got a lot mentally tougher as the year went on and took ownership of the role we had him in. He is a tremendous blocker and a great runner.”

Jordan is starting to receive some attention from colleges.

“I was talking to North Carolina State and some other colleges -- Indiana, Georgia Tech, Chattanooga -- but no offers yet,” Jordan said.

As Turner indicated, Jordan’s weight room numbers are impressive. The 5-foot-10, 210-pound senior bench-presses 320 pounds, power-cleans 335 pounds and squats 495 pounds. That strength helps him on his favorite play, “36 Down.”

“It is something like a fullback dive,” Jordan said. “It is slanted a little bit. I get out into the kickout and do what I do.”

Opposing high schools are already keying on Jordan, as St. Pius X did on Friday night.

“When we came in, they brought everybody into the box,” Jordan said. “I guess they thought I was going to get the ball. With them keying on me it allowed other people to make plays.”

Turner didn’t call 36 Down on the first play. But he did call 37 Down on the next play.

“I got the handoff and I got inside the kickout,” Jordan said. “I thought I was down because I got behind somebody and backed up. But I cut to the right and I saw a block. I got inside that block and then to the touchdown.”

Jordan is very close to his mother who he describes as “my favorite person in the world.” She hopes he will go to school somewhere close.

“She doesn’t want me to go out of state,” Jordan said, “But we will see. I liked Georgia Tech growing up mainly because it was so close. I am used that triple option and pounding the ball and blocking.”

He visited the in-state schools in the spring, going to Georgia’s junior day, where he spoke to running backs coach Bryan McClendon and inside linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti. He also took in Georgia’s game against Florida Atlantic on Saturday.

“I liked it very much,” Jordan said. “I loved the facilities and the academic standards. I loved the dorms and the locker rooms. I want to go to school to be a personal trainer or anything to do with sports.”