Jordan Domineck has unlikely explanation for going into transfer portal

Notre Dame quarterback Tyler Buchner throws as he is hit by Georgia Tech's Jordan Domineck during a game Nov. 20 in South Bend, Indiana. Domineck, who went into the transfer portal Friday after leading the Yellow Jackets in sacks each of the past two seasons, said he is leaving Tech because he wants to become a physical therapist after his football career is over and that the institute doesn’t have the sort of degree program he’s looking for to help him in that pursuit. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

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Notre Dame quarterback Tyler Buchner throws as he is hit by Georgia Tech's Jordan Domineck during a game Nov. 20 in South Bend, Indiana. Domineck, who went into the transfer portal Friday after leading the Yellow Jackets in sacks each of the past two seasons, said he is leaving Tech because he wants to become a physical therapist after his football career is over and that the institute doesn’t have the sort of degree program he’s looking for to help him in that pursuit. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

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The reason that former Georgia Tech defensive end Jordan Domineck gave for going into the transfer portal was PT. However, it wasn’t playing time, but physical therapy.

Domineck, who went into the transfer portal Friday after leading the Yellow Jackets in sacks each of the past two seasons, said he is leaving Tech because he wants to become a physical therapist after his football career is over and that the institute doesn’t have the sort of degree program he’s looking for to help him in that pursuit.

“That’s just my main thing right now, is to get into PT school, because football’s going to end one day,” Domineck said.

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It is, to be sure, an unusual reason for a player of Domineck’s caliber. Domineck said coaches who have recruited him out of the portal were not expecting that explanation.

“A couple of them asked, ‘All right, now what’s the real reason?’ when I told them,” Domineck said. “‘Yeah, it’s really the PT thing.’ They were like, ‘Oh, wow.’”

Arriving at Tech in 2018 from Lakeland, Florida, Domineck played in 31 games, starting 15, including eight this past season. He was named ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week three times and was particularly recognized for his unyielding effort on the field.

He insisted that his reasons for going into the portal were not football-related, nor connected to the departure of his position coach, Marco Coleman, to Michigan State. Domineck praised David Turner, hired to replace Coleman’s spot on the staff, as a “big name” and an “amazing” coach.

“They have a great program,” Domineck said. “The new defensive scheme that they thought up is crazy. I would definitely love to play it. This is more so educational purposes. What am I going to do with my future at the end of the day?”

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Domineck, who received his bachelor’s business degree in December, said he had been considering transferring “for a while.” After his graduation, he said he began to think earnestly about what he wanted to do career-wise post-football. He said he realized he didn’t want to pursue a prototypical business career, but he wanted to become an entrepreneur and stay close to football. He envisions becoming a physical therapist and opening his own practice or possibly working in conjunction with a football team.

He said he was impacted by working with Tech head football trainer Mark Smith, whom he said always looked out for him.

“I didn’t do as much rehab as I could have, should have, but he always had his best interest and he always looked out for me,” Domineck said.

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To pursue that field, that meant to Domineck a school where he could earn a degree in a field such as exercise science, which Tech doesn’t offer. He said coach Geoff Collins and defensive line coach Larry Knight understood.

“We had tried to make it work with the classes and the class load and the schedule and everything,” Domineck said. “But I just honestly thought about it and I was like, ‘You know what? As much as I love it, Tech just isn’t the place for me academically anymore.’”

When he contacted his coaches to inform them of his decision, he called it “a bittersweet goodbye.” Asked about the other players who have transferred since the end of the season – now 12 – Domineck said each player has his own reasons.

“They have a great program. The new defensive scheme that they thought up is crazy. I would definitely love to play it. This is more so educational purposes. What am I going to do with my future at the end of the day?"

- former Georgia Tech defensive end Jordan Domineck, who recently went in the transfer portal

“I don’t really know too much about (safety Wesley Walker) leaving or anybody else leaving, for that matter,” he said. “But I believe they have their own personal reasons, they have their intentions, the way they want to better their future the same way I want to better my future.”

He said he leaves feeling grateful but unsatisfied. In the past two seasons, in which he played in 21 of 22 games and started 12 games, Domineck had 7.5 sacks and 14 tackles for loss.

“I had some production. But, honestly, I feel like I could have done more,” he said. “Like I feel like I’m leaving a lot on the able. I definitely know the people that are still here are definitely going to pick up my slack. Kyle (Kennard), Kevin (Harris), all those great guys, I know they’re definitely going to pick it up and probably going to be even better than me, honestly, if I’m thinking about it.”

On his Twitter account on Monday and Tuesday, Domineck posted tweets reporting scholarship offers from Auburn, Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa State and Penn State, among others.

Domineck said he’d like to stay in the Southeast but is open to anything. He does not plan on making a decision soon.

“It’s been an amazing experience,” he said. “It’s been fruitful. I definitely have some lifelong memories, and I want to say thank you to everybody. It’s just been great being around y’all. Thank you.”