'Gnat' Jordan Glasgow still scripting his legacy at Michigan

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News

Ann Arbor — Older brother, Graham, refers to Jordan Glasgow as an annoying “gnat,” and Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh has made clear few work as hard as the fifth-year senior and would gladly take a swarm of him if that were possible.

Jordan Glasgow is the third — and last — of the Glasgow brothers to walk on at Michigan, earn a scholarship and become integral members of the team. Graham Glasgow was a starting offensive lineman and now plays for the Lions and Ryan Glasgow was a starting defensive lineman now with the Bengals.

Then there’s Jordan, not as gifted size-wise as his older brothers, but who made a point to be a standout on special teams the last three seasons while moving around on defense.

Michigan linebacker Jordan Glasgow has 55 tackles, including 4.5 for loss, this season.

So far this season as the Wolverines prepare to play at Maryland on Saturday, he ranks second on the team with 55 tackles and has 4.5 tackles for loss and four sacks. Glasgow also has two pass break-ups, a fumble recovery and a blocked kick.

“It’s almost not a human-like quality that you never see any kind of flaw or weakness,” Harbaugh said of Glasgow recently. “Just a steady jackhammer at all times. Just 100 percent about getting the job done and doing it the best to his God-given ability every single time. That’s what I admire about him most.

“We will take as many Jordan Glasgows that we can take.”

Glasgow said this week that was nice to hear but then turned self-deprecating.

“Our team wouldn’t be very good if we had a bunch of 230-pound linebackers out there,” Glasgow said, laughing. “We needed some diversity and obviously we have a lot better players than me on the defense, so if we had a bunch of me’s, I don’t think we’d be very good.”

How about a couple Jordan Glasgow-type players?

“I think that one of me is all we really need,” he said, smiling.

Michigan linebacker Jordan Glasgow

What distinguishes Glasgow is his intelligence, work ethic and never-say-die effort. Graham Glasgow liked to joke that he was a zero-star recruit out of high school in Illinois, but his brothers didn’t draw a lot of attention, either. And Jordan simply may be overlooked by opponents.

“I can guarantee that a lot of teams probably look at Jordan as like a gnat,” Graham Glasgow said this week. “He’s annoying and always buzzing around. It’s cliché to say it, but he’s a try-hard white guy. He gives a lot of effort and it works. He plays a position where effort goes a long way, so I think in that aspect he’s playing well and he’s doing a good job.”

His brothers refer to him as “Jordie,” “D,” or “DD” depending on their moods.

“Jordie was probably the most annoying person I’ve ever met in my entire life,” Graham said. “When we were growing up, he was always trying to do what we did. He was always whining, he was always complaining, he was always trying to fight us. He was always trying to get mixed up in everything. Definitely annoying.”

It was suggested to Glasgow that maybe that’s why his kid brother gives that extra effort.

“I hate to break it to you, but all the Glasgows are try-hard white guys,” Graham said. “He’s found his role, and I think he’s starting to excel at it, and I’m glad he’s able to finally show what he’s able to do.”

Cornerbacks coach Mike Zordich doesn’t coach Jordan, but admires the way he plays.

“If we had 11 of him, you’d be happy,” Zordich said. “He’s a hell of a player.”

He refers to Glasgow “cerebral.”

“You can sometimes hear him computing,” Zordich said, simulating some version of computer-type sounds for added emphasis. “He plays hard every play, and he’s knows what he’s doing.

“He can run, and he’s strong. He’s pretty damn good. I think you’ll be seeing him on Sundays, too. I think he’s going to be out there (in the NFL) with his brothers.”

Glasgow studies a lot of film trying to gain an edge. By having that information tucked away, it allows him to play faster, and in his final season, that’s what he’s tried to achieve.

“I try and look at every detail I can to try and improve my game or to try to do better in the game,” he said. “I try to watch a lot of film I try and meet with the coaches a lot to iron out literally anything that could happen. I think that’s worked for me. As I’ve gone throughout the season, I’ve felt that I’ve improved and I’ve been able to kinda loosen up my game a little bit and play with a little bit more explosiveness.”

Where does that explosiveness come from?

“I think just not worrying about the consequences of what I’m doing, as bad as that sounds,” Glasgow said. “I mean, you always play through your responsibilities, but you can’t be scared to make a mistake even while you’re doing that. You’ve got to play with a little bit of looseness, a little bit of disregard in a way. If you want to make some big plays, you’ve always got to go through your job, but you’ve got to try and extend past what the coaches expect of you and what you expect of yourself and try and do something more.”

Before this season, Glasgow admitted he was tired of fielding questions about his brothers and their careers at Michigan as walk-ons-turned-NFL players. His oldest brother certainly gets that.

“All of us played different positions, so I think in his own right, he’s going out and doing his own thing,” Graham Glasgow said. “He did it in his own way and in his own time. He’s finally getting to play, and he’s a fifth-year senior so I know the type of work that he put in to get here.

“It makes me very proud as an older brother to see him finally reap the rewards that he’s been sowing seeds for four years now and I’m glad he’s finally getting a return on that.”

Jordan Glasgow will step back and consider the Glasgow’s legacies at Michigan, but with four-regular seasons games left, starting at Maryland on Saturday, he has tunnel vision.

“I’m not done creating my story here, and I still have a lot to contribute,” Glasgow said.

In other words, more games to annoy offensive coordinators.


Twitter: @chengelis

Michigan at Maryland

Kickoff: Noon Saturday, Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium, College Park, Md.

TV/radio: ABC/950

Records: No. 14 Michigan 6-2, 3-2; Maryland 3-5, 1-4

Line: Michigan by 21