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Michigan State Football: Spartans officially hire Brandon Jordan as pass rush specialist

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NCAA Football: Peach Bowl-Michigan State at Pittsburgh Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Mel Tucker and Michigan State have officially filled one of the vacant assistant coach positions on the coaching staff. On Saturday, MSU announced that Brandon T. Jordan has been added to the defensive staff as “pass rush specialist.”

The move was expected, as news broke of Tucker’s plan to hire Jordan earlier in the week. Jordan is expected to coach Michigan State’s defensive ends and pass rushers, while defensive line coach Ron Burton was expected to shift his sole focus to the defensive tackles.

Update: Ron Burton will actually be leaving his role at Michigan State, creating another vacancy on the coaching staff. Burton announced this move on Sunday, Jan. 16.

Jordan joins the staff after former Michigan State cornerbacks coach Travares Tillman left for Georgia Tech and former running backs coach William Peagler took a job with Florida.

Tucker filled Peagler’s role by bringing Effrem Reed back to East Lansing to take over as running backs coach. However, initial reports indicated that MSU will likely not be filling the cornerbacks coach vacancy left by Tillman, and will likely have secondary coach Harlon Barnett now coach both the cornerbacks and safeties. With that said, these plans may still change with Burton’s departure and it is unclear at the juncture whether Tucker now plans to bring in another defensive line coach, a cornerbacks coach or a different position coach

Jordan is a unique addition to the coaching staff, as he doesn’t necessarily come to East Lansing from the traditional coaching route. While he does have college coaching experience, he has most recently focused on training athletes.

Jordan has spent the past few years working as CEO of his company, Brandon Jordan Trench Performance, as a defensive line and offensive line specialist. He has trained 195 players who are currently on active NFL rosters. He has also trained high school and college athletes.

Jordan’s NFL players client list includes T.J. Watt (Pittsburgh Steelers), Cameron Heyward (Pittsburgh Steelers, brother of MSU’s Connor Heyward), Maxx Crosby, (Las Vegas Raiders), Chandler Jones (Arizona Cardinals), Josh Allen (Jacksonville Jaguars), K’Lavon Chaisson (Jacksonville Jaguars), Jadeveon Clowney (Cleveland Browns), DeMarcus Lawrence (Dallas Cowboys), Von Miller (Los Angeles Rams), William Gholston (Tampa Bay Buccaneers and former Michigan State Spartan), Brian Burns (Carolina Panthers), Bradley Chubb (Denver Broncos), Danielle Hunter (Minnesota Vikings), DK Metcalf (Seattle Seahawks) and more.

In a tweet, Coach Tucker called the hire “cutting edge” and says he “can’t wait” to get started working with Jordan.

“I am extremely excited to have @CoachBTJordan join our family,” Tucker said. “This is a cutting edge hire that will propel the program. I can’t wait to get to work.”

Jordan began his collegiate coaching career at his alma mater, Missouri S&T (Science & Technology), in 2012 as an assistant offensive line coach, working with the tackles. He helped the Miners to a 10-1 record that season.

After his time at Missouri S&T, Jordan then took a graduate assistant position at McKendree University (Division II school in Illinois) in the spring of 2013, where he coached the tight ends and offensive line. However, in the fall of 2013, Jordan took a graduate assistant job at Austin Peay (Tennessee) to help coach the offensive line and tight ends.

Jordan quickly worked his way up with the Governors. He helped coach the defensive line during spring ball in 2014 before ultimately being promoted to full-time defensive line coach for the 2014 and 2015 seasons.

After his stint at Austin Peay, Jordan then spent three seasons as the defensive line coach at John Ehret High School in New Orleans (2016-2018). Jordan then launched his training company in December 2018. During the 2021 offseason, Jordan gained valuable experience in the NFL Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship program with the Arizona Cardinals.

Hailing from New Orleans, Jordan lettered for one season at Ouachita Baptist (Arkansas) in 2006. He later transferred to Missouri S&T, and earned three letters as an offensive tackle for the Miners (2007-2009).

This is certainly an innovative and exciting hire by Tucker that should, at the very least, increase the Spartans’ pass-rushing technique and production, and have wide-reaching recruiting implications. With that said, it will be interesting to see how Jordan fares in this full-time role at the Big Ten level.