The I-5 10: Jordan Burch needs the Oregon Ducks just as much as they need him
The former 5-star defensive end is here to disrupt.
In the vein of lofty, farcical, and, quite frankly, downright unfair expectations, Jordan Burch was given a raw deal.
After landing with South Carolina, despite some serious melodrama during the 2020 recruiting cycle, Burch, then a top-10 player nationally, drew comparisons to former Gamecock defensive lineman Jadeveon Clowney.
He was billed, both in stature (Burch measured one inch shorter than Clowney, at the same weight), and prestige (the program’s highest ranked recruit since), as the closest anyone had come to one of the most feared edge rushers in college football history and author of one of the sports’ most dominant, viral, plays.
Burch was tasked with replacing an unassailable aura, seven years after its departure.
Surprise: He did not.
In fact, Burch’s career arc has gone the way of, well, many other exceedingly talented college football players. He played a rotational role during his first two seasons, earned a starting job last season, and then fled for the portal this winter while weighing the option to go pro — granted, carrying far lower stock than when he was projected as a future first-round NFL draft pick as a high schooler.
In hopes of avoiding a drawn-out process, he held past relationships in high regard when choosing his new school, committing to the Ducks — the first team to offer him in high school — and a head man in Dan Lanning who was one of his “favorite coaches” to recruit him.
“I really wanted to be a part of this defense,” said Burch.
And this defense really needs him, which lands Burch an easy spot here in The I-5 10 series highlighting the new faces of football in Oregon.
Though for Burch, it’s not all unfamiliar territory. Burch has faced quarterback Bo Nix before in SEC play. Burch’s favorite memory of his new teammate came during his freshman year when, after performing a stunt and nearly landing a sack on Nix, the quarterback uncorked, and completed, a deep ball.
“I was like, ‘Damn, that’s crazy,’” Burch recalled.
Like Burch, Nix came to Eugene a wildly decorated recruit having shown elite flashes, but never showcasing the full width of consistency needed to truly cash in on the hype that tailed his exit from the prep scene. Thus far the transition has gone seamlessly for Nix.
Could the same be true for Burch?