While he has not claimed the starting job officially, Georgia Tech quarterback Matthew Jordan is surely in the right place.
The school that prides itself on teaching its students to problem solve and look at the world analytically has a quarterback who doesn't compare football to something prosaic like life or a chess match.
Rather, he sees a direct correlation between football and his studies of supply-chain management.
“Like I tell people interviewing me for an internship, job, whatever, if you think about it, I’ve been around supply chain my whole life,” Jordan said. “My father’s business and football. Football, it’s making strategic decisions of getting the football from whatever yard line to the goal line. That’s what supply chain is – moving from a commodity, which is a good, to the consumer, which is a touchdown.”
(Dictionary.com defines “supply chain” as “a channel of distribution beginning with the supplier of materials or components, extending through a manufacturing process to the distributor and retailer, and ultimately to the consumer.”)
Jordan’s father Rodney runs a family timber business in Alabama. The comparisons between supply-chain management and quarterbacking became clearer to Jordan as he closed in on his degree, earned this past May.
“Since I’ve really learned about supply chain, I was like, Oh, I’ve been running this for a long time,” he said. “Like in football, you want to choose the most efficient play or route to get to where you need to be.”
Jordan has had a similarly process-oriented approach to his academic career as a whole. When he realized that he would redshirt as a freshman after enrolling early in January 2014, Jordan made the plan to graduate in May 2017, which would give him enough time to earn a master’s degree by the time he was finished playing.
Jordan not only achieved his goal, earning his business degree this May, but finished with a 3.11 GPA, he said. He made dean’s list (3.0 or better) in six out of seven semesters and nearly graduated with honors (3.15), he said.
Jordan is interning this summer at Lexicon Technologies in Conyers, where he has helped improve processes for the IT support that the company provides to several county school systems in Georgia.
With his degree, Jordan’s plan is to pursue a master’s in supply-chain engineering. If it goes as planned, he would earn his master's in December 2018, about the time his Tech career would be ending.
“It’s not official, but it’s what I’m going for,” he said.