Over a weekend this spring, Michael Jordan’s life is scheduled to change.
The All-America corner out of Missouri Western will be watching and waiting as the NFL Draft unfolds April 28-30 in Chicago. Most followers of MIAA and Division II football think the Hazelwood, Missouri, native has a strong chance of hearing his name called and embarking on a professional career.
Right now, Jordan puts in preparation time at a Florida training facility on the heels of an appearance in the East-West Shrine Bowl to give the best possible showing for scouts next month. Sometime in March, NFL evaluators will descend on Western’s campus and decide whether the Cliff Harris Award finalist is worthy of an investment.
That is not a question in the eyes of Griffons coach Jerry Partridge. He said Jordan has the physical tools to play on Sundays and well as one of the other traits all professional athletes require.
“He has that ability to put away the good play or the bad play and move ahead at all times,” Partridge said. “He’s also a good person, as well.
“All those things give him a chance to make it.”
Jordan’s trip to the Shrine Bowl gave him a chance to prove it to more than just Partridge and the MIAA teams trying to game plan around him. The game put Jordan in front of NFL scouts and executives every day at practice and as one of just two Division II players invited to participate, he might have been nervous.
“It was just another day at the office,” Jordan said. “You are just in a bigger stadium with a little more people, but at the end of the day you still have a job to do.
“It was definitely a fun experience and it was a humbling experience being there with some of the best guys around the country.”
While it was fun for Jordan — who ranks second on Western’s career interceptions list — his experience at the event meant more than playing football. Despite that, he said he didn’t really have to change his game. It was just playing football and there are great athletes at all levels, so it just means taking care of business.
On the business side, he knew it was part job interview and part competition.
“It was a little bit of both,” he said. “I knew there was a lot at stake, but at the same time you still want to have fun with it.
“That was kind of my mindset throughout the week, was it is important but it’s still the game that you loved since you were younger. So you have to go out there and have fun.”
While practicing for the Shrine Bowl, Jordan said the players had interviews every day with representatives from NFL clubs, but after the initial go-round the questions were pretty familiar.
For now, he is back to the grind of preparing to show scouts what Partridge already knows — that he’s ready.
“I’m continuing to train, train, train for my pro day,” he said. “Hopefully I’ll put up the numbers that I want to see in the individual workouts.”