Ohio State football suffered a significant loss Friday when Michael Jordan declared for the 2019 NFL draft.
A three-year starter, the Michigan native was named an All-American at center in 2018 after starting at guard for two seasons.
“In my heart, I know I am ready for the NFL largely because I have been coached by the very best,” Jordan wrote on Twitter. “I am immensely grateful to my offensive line coach, Greg Studrawa, head coach Urban Meyer and strength coach Mickey Marotti, who have tirelessly trained me and my brothers to work hard towards achieving our goals.”
His exit means left tackle Thayer Munford will be the only returning starter on the 2019 offensive line for the Buckeyes.
Miamisburg graduate Josh Myers, who made his debut as a redshirt freshman last season, is the favorite to start at center next season while classmate Wyatt Davis is penciled in at one guard spot.
The other could go to Branden Bowen, a starter in 2017 before breaking his leg midseason, while Josh Alabi figures to get the first crack at replacing All-Big Ten right tackle Isaiah Prince, who graduated.
Jordan is the fourth Ohio State player to announce he is going pro early, joining running back Mike Weber and defensive linemen Nick Bosa and Dre’Mont Jones.
Jordan’s announcement came amid a flurry of news following Ohio State’s win over Washington in the Rose Bowl.
Ohio State gained a quarterback in Justin Fields while losing an assistant coach.
Fields is transferring from Georgia after serving as the Bulldogs’ backup as a true freshman last season.
An offseason workout partner of Haskins, Fields was a five-star prospect in the class of 2018 and will be able to work out with the Buckeyes this winter and take part in spring practice.
To be eligible to play this fall, he will need to obtain a hardship waiver from the NCAA. There is no guarantee that happens, but the organization has become far more lenient in granting them over the past year.
New Ohio State head coach Ryan Day has a new spot on his staff to fill after the departure of Alex Grinch, who is leaving to become the defensive coordinator at Oklahoma.
Grinch was considered a rising star in the profession when he was hired away from Washington State a year ago, but the 2018 season is not one that will highlight the resume of any Ohio State defensive coaches.
The Buckeyes allowed more points and yards than any season in school history and also established program high marks for points and yards allowed per game.
Grinch’s safeties were among the weakest links on the worst defense in Ohio State history, often struggling with pursuit angles and tackling.
The Grove City, Ohio, native had the title of co-coordinator to Greg Schiano, though how much influence Grinch has on the scheme was unclear.
Ironically, Grinch’s new job will be to fix an Oklahoma defense that was much worse than Ohio State’s but did not prevent the Sooners from making the College Football Playoff over the Buckeyes.
On Wednesday, Ohio State announced the hiring of Mike Yurcich.
He will replace Day on the offensive staff after previously serving as offensive coordinator at Oklahoma State.