In 2018, Jordan-Swilling was beaten out for one of the inside linebacker spots by David Curry, who played the vast majority of the snaps this past season.
The UVA game remains a highlight. Starting in place of the injured Brant Mitchell, Jordan-Swilling was a playmaking force, tying for the team lead with 11 tackles with the aforementioned big plays (he returned the interception for a touchdown).
Why this spring is important
As is the case with the other defensive players who have been on the team since the 2017 season, Jordan-Swilling will be playing for a third different defensive coordinator in as many years, with Thacker following Ted Roof and Woody. The series of transitions may have been more challenging for Jordan-Swilling than others on the defense, as he played running back in high school and had to learn to play defense and the linebacker position once he arrived at Tech.
He wasn’t able to win much playing time in his first two seasons, but the graduations of Mitchell and Victor Alexander (and, for that matter, Jalen Johnson, who moved to linebacker from safety in 2018) opens opportunity for him to realize the hopes that Swilling and many others have had for his career.
He figures to be in the mix with returning starter David Curry, Jaquan Henderson, Quez Jackson and Charlie Thomas, although with a new scheme there’s undoubtedly position changes ahead. For example, Justice Dingle came to Tech last year as a linebacker but was moved to defensive end in the 3-4. Jordan Domineck, Jakob Brashear and Tyler Cooksey are potential candidates, as well.
What his role could be
Thacker’s defense is multiple – the Temple defense typically started out in a 4-2-5 (four defensive linemen, two linebackers, five defensive backs), but also had four- and three-linebacker looks as well. Other players may move into the group, but there’s clearly room for Jordan-Swilling (and others) to advance and begin to secure a starting spot.
A member of Tech’s former coaching staff:
“I think he was making great strides on being a great player on that side of the football. … It just takes a little longer just to catch up on how to do things on the other side of the ball. I thought he was coming along. Really impressed with him.”
The series so far:
Tight end Tyler Davis
Quarterback Lucas Johnson