Breaking: Senior Johnny Jordan Opts Into 2020 Season
Sources confirm to All Terrapins that senior center Johnny Jordan has returned to the program.
The news serves as a big boost for Maryland’s offensive line as the unit now returns a trio of starters from a season ago, joining right tackle Marcus Minor and left tackle Jaelyn Duncan. Head coach Mike Locksley announced Jordan as one of six opt outs for Maryland last month, joining quarterback Josh Jackson, cornerback Vincent Flythe, defensive tackle Jalen Alexander, offensive guard Austin Fontaine and linebacker TJ Kautai.
Just one day ago, athletic director Damon Evans and head coach Mike Locksley reaffirmed that each opt-in would be handled on a case-by-case basis, but Jordan’s return provides as a huge returning starter in the trenches.
“First and foremost, for student athletes that did opt out, their scholarship remains intact, as we as a Big Ten agreed to do that. The University of Maryland agreed to do that prior to the Big Ten mandating that and in the NCAA so we felt that was the most appropriate thing to do,” Evans said on Wednesday. “As it relates to a student athlete status regarding opting back in, we will leave that up into the coach's discretion so Locksley will make decisions based upon what he feels is most appropriate for his team.”
The former Gonzaga lineman made his first appearance as a Terp in his first game as a true freshman, where he went on to play in six games as veteran Brendan Moore showed him the ropes. That first-year experience came in handy as a sophomore when Moore moved along the offensive line, setting Jordan up with six starts at center. That's when Jordan was able to develop consistency as he appeared in eleven games with six starts as he and the offensive line paved the way for the 17th-best rushing offense in the country.
Jordan reassumed starting duties under first-year offensive line coach John Reagan, but again started in six games as he rotated in and out of the lineup before missing the final two games due to “personal issues,” according to Locksley at the time. Heading into 2020, Jordan will hope to provide a big piece of consistency as the lone returning interior lineman. Consistency plagued the offensive line in 2019 as the reshuffling deteriorated offensive momentum throughout conference play. Maryland will hope that added familiarity up front can help the offense take a step forward in 2020.