The spring-practice goal for Georgia Tech backup quarterback Matthew Jordan, who redshirted last season, is to develop enough by the end of it for coaches to feel he’s game ready.
“I’d like for us to be comfortable putting him in a ballgame and not feel like there’s that much dropoff between him and the guy in front of him,” quarterback and B-backs coach Bryan Cook said Monday following the first day of spring practice. “For us to feel like he can really develop into a starting quarterback here at some point, whenever that needs to be based on the situation.”
Tech is obviously hoping that’s not until 2017, the year following Justin Thomas’ presumptive senior season. Jordan, from Jackson, Ala., would be a junior. It's a long time from now, but at this point he's the most likely candidate. Tech has two quarterbacks coming in this summer - Christian Campbell and TaQuon Marshall. Jaylend Ratliffe is likely a January arrival.
Monday, Jordan was off to a good start.
“He’s going to get a ton of snaps and a lot of opportunity,” Cook said. “You can tell just watching him day one he’s put in a lot of work in throwing the ball, so I think he’s anxious for the opportunity.”
Jordan, who was an early-enrollee last spring and was a redshirt for the 2014 season, confirmed Cook’s assessment. Jordan said he had been throwing with Thomas and the receivers since the end of the season and also watching video of games and practices. Two particular emphases in his practice sessions was quickening his release and becoming more adept with the mesh with the B-back on option plays.
Jordan did practice with the Yellow Jackets offense last year, so his development is ahead of where it would be had he been with the scout team.
“Today, obviously I was a little rusty,” Jordan said. “I think everyone was just a little bit, but it was a lot different. I was getting a lot more reps than I was during the season because I was redshirting.”
Coach Paul Johnson has already said that he plans to lighten the workload for Thomas and backup Tim Byerly, meaning more opportunities for Jordan. As for Jordan’s own spring goals, they aligned with his coach’s: to become more comfortable with the pre-snap checks and “making Coach Cook comfortable enough that he can play me.”
As for the viability of that goal?
“It doesn’t feel far away,” Jordan said. “It feels like a reachable goal for me.”