Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Commit Q&A: ESPN 300 Jordan Poland
By Blair Angulo
Fifteen months ago, ESPN 300 offensive lineman Jordan Poland (La Jolla, Calif./Country Day School) became the first member of USC's 2014 recruiting class by verbally committing to the Trojans. The 6-foot-7, 330-pound prospect has since used up his final year of high school football eligibility and seen a new position coach take over at USC, but the four-star athlete remains firmly entrenched in the class.
We caught up with Poland this week for an update on his offseason workouts, his impression of the other offensive linemen and overall thoughts on the Trojans.
ESPN 300 offensive lineman Jordan Poland says he's sticking with the Trojans.
WeAreSC: Now that your high school football days are done, how does your schedule look like?
Poland: If you want to be great, there’s never time for a break. Sure, I have a little time for some things, but other than that I’m still as busy as I ever was. I'm still making sure I get my grades and stay on track with graduating in time to enroll early.
WeAreSC: You were a steady visitor during fall camp and plan to make it to the Coliseum on Saturday when USC takes on Washington State. Are you still listening to other schools or are you locked in with your longtime commitment?
Poland: I am sticking with my commitment. I absolutely love the program. I've realized there’s no beating USC. Yes, there were a lot of other good offers out there but, once you commit to your team, you’ve got to show some loyalty. I love the guys up there, the coaches up there and I can’t wait on campus.
WeAreSC: You are one of three offensive linemen currently committed to the Trojans, with Toa Lobendahn and Jordan Austin. What's the relationship like between you guys?
Poland: They’re good dudes. I can’t wait to play alongside them. I feel like we’ll definitely be able to make a difference and bring some changes. We need to set a higher bar that maybe USC hasn’t achieved with linemen in a while. I’m glad I can establish relationships this early with those guys so we can be more fluid once we're there together.
WeAreSC: How difficult is it for you to only work out and train while being away from contact, which linemen surely crave?
Poland: Oh, I’ll go to the games on Fridays, sit there and say to myself, 'I’d do anything to be out there.' I can’t sit still, man. It's crazy. There’s only so much I can do in the time being, so I’m trying to stick this out and use it to achieve my goals in the classroom.
WeAreSC: With many other offers to choose from, has it ever been difficult not to waver?
Poland: Yeah, it's crazy, but I don’t necessarily think any other schools pose a threat. USC has been the school I’ve wanted to go to since the beginning, but a bunch of other schools hounded me during this process.
WeAreSC: You have gotten the opportunity to meet and build a relationship with new offensive line coach Mike Summers since he joined the staff. What has he said about your role on next year's squad?
Poland: It all comes down to work. They want me to work so I can go in there and play. If that means I have to show and prove that I can be the guy right away, then that’s what it’s going have to be. They’re going to have me at left tackle and want me to come in with a good mindset. The main thing for me will be getting into the playbook. I want to make sure I know everything so I can read defenses and make every check to be successful.