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Plymouth’s Jordan might start as freshman for OSU

David Goricki
The Detroit News
Michael Jordan

Ohio State’s spring football game at the Horseshoe on Saturday is expected to draw more than 100,000 fans and should have former Detroit-area stars Michael Jordan and Mike Weber fired up, as they are battling for starting spots.

Jordan, who was named to The Detroit News Dream Team just a few months ago after completing his senior season at Plymouth High, has proven to be a fast-rising star with the Buckeyes.

Jordan, who enrolled early at Ohio State, will be one of the Buckeyes’ starting guards on Saturday, showing his talent against Ohio State’s No. 1s on the defensive line.

“I’ve talked to him, texted him, and he’s starting,” said Plymouth head coach Mike Sawchuk of Jordan. “He likes to be coached tough, challenged and the coaches like his effort. He’s 6-foot-7 and 305 pounds, which is big for a guard.”

Jordan has gone all in both academically (16 credits) and athletically since arriving on the Columbus campus in January. He has used the same work ethic and high motor that he used at Plymouth High, where he was a two-way standout.

“He said he’s doing great academically,” said Sawchuk of Jordan. “He said the game’s much faster and the practices are tough, but he’s enjoying it.”

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The Buckeyes lost 16 starters from the 2015 team, opening the door for Jordan, who totaled 23 pancakes and 10 tackles in a 31-20 win over rival Canton last season.

Sure, Orlando Pace started for the Buckeyes as a true freshman, but Pace was a Parade All-American in high school, then an All-American in college, earned a Super Bowl ring with the Rams in Super Bowl XXXIV and will be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame this summer.

Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer has spoken highly of Jordan numerous times this spring. His also has left first-year offensive line coach Greg Studrawa impressed.

“That speaks volumes,” Studrawa told Cleveland.com about Jordan practicing with the first team. “I don’t know how to put that in words, because I wouldn’t have expected that. We knew he was a talented young man, but until you get out here and the speed of the game, and how he adjusts to the speed of the game, he’s adjusted really quickly.

“For a freshman who should still be in high school, who graduated early to be here at this level of football, doing the things he’s doing -- I’m surprised and impressed at that.”

Jordan's final two schools in his recruitment were Ohio State and Michigan State, but he said he picked the Buckeyes because they offered his major, international business.

And, then there’s Weber, the former Detroit News Dream Team running back from Detroit Cass Tech who originally committed to Michigan before Brady Hoke was fired, then changed his mind and signed with the Buckeyes.

Weber tore his meniscus, had surgery and redshirted last season. He is now healthy and will be battling for the starting job with senior Bri’onte Dunn, with Ezekiel Elliott deciding to leave early for the NFL.

“His knee is fine now,” said Weber's high school coach, Thomas Wilcher. “He’s been practicing and I expect him to start in the spring game.”

Wilcher on Johnson

Wilcher is also Cass Tech’s track coach and he said Donovan Johnson, a top football recruit as a cornerback, had an outstanding winter track season.

Wilcher said Johnson ran the 60 meters in 6.84 seconds this winter, “one of the best times in the nation.”

Wilcher said Johnson, a four-star cornerback, is looking at Tennessee, Penn State and Iowa State for football. He has been timed at 4.41 seconds in the 40-yard dash.