Michigan football recruit Jordan Paskorz a 'cut' above at linebacker
Jordan Paskorz had just returned home from an unofficial visit to Virginia last spring when he received a letter from Michigan in the mail.
Paskorz grabbed a knife, slit open the envelope and emptied its contents to find a written scholarship offer - one he accidentally cut in half.
Several weeks later, his commitment secure, Paskorz asked the Michigan football coaches for a new letter to hang alongside the one his brother, Steve, a fullback, received from Notre Dame.
The Paskorz brothers will play against each other for the first time next fall in a game that’s already circled on both calendars.
“Me and my brother are pretty close,” Paskorz said. “He supported my decision (to go to Michigan). There’s no tension whatsoever, unless game time comes and I have to run into him.”
A first-team all-state linebacker (and first-team all-conference tight end), Paskorz has developed quite the reputation for that.
He led Hampton (Pa.) High School to its first state semifinal appearance, making 13 sacks and 85 tackles on defense, and spearheading the Talbots’ rejuvenated run game on offense.
“I’m sure all the computer breakdowns would say that we were so right-handed because he played as our tight end to the right side,” Hampton coach Jacque DeMatteo said. “And he just mauled people. It was fun to watch. It was really nice to be able to coach something like that.”
As good a blocker as he is, the 6-foot-3, 230-pound Paskorz will play defense at Michigan.
He projects at the quick end spot, where Craig Roh started as a true freshman last year, and DeMatteo said Paskorz’s size and speed combination - he runs the 100-meter dash and throws the shot put in track - portends to a bright future.
“He’s going to have to go in and get bigger, stronger,” DeMatteo said. “There’s going to be the mental aspect, too, that he’s going to have to adapt to. I think he’s capable of doing that.”
Paskorz said he picked Michigan over Virginia and Pitt after visiting campus during spring practice last year. He liked the facilities, academics and football tradition, and he hit it off with Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez, who he met previously when Rodriguez recruited his brother to West Virginia.
“He didn’t change so you know he’s not fake. It’s not a show,” Paskorz said. “And I’ve seen him during practice, so he just seemed like one of the coaches I wanted to play for.”
At Michigan, he'll get that chance.
Dave Birkett covers University of Michigan football for AnnArbor.com. He can be reached by phone at 734-623-2552 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.