TJ’s Jordan Mayer on Looking Up to T.J. Watt, Playing for Paul Chryst at Wisconsin
Defensive end Jordan Mayer was a force to be reckoned with in Thomas Jefferson’s 38-0 win over West Mifflin on Friday night. It seemed like whenever there was a third-and-long situation, Mayer would just tee off and get pressure on West Mifflin’s quarterback Tayshaun McMillan.
“It got to be every play,” Mayer said about creating havoc in the backfield. “If you’re a big-time player, you got to make big-time plays, and it’s expected. You got to fly around to the ball and be dominant. It all comes down to effort really. Every play you got to give 100 percent effort.”
Standing at 6-foot-5, 230 pounds, Mayer is the prototype for a premier pass rusher. He also has a relentless motor. Mayer, who will play outside linebacker at Wisconsin next fall, is the first Big Ten commit to come out of Thomas Jefferson since Chase Winovich. Winovich starred at Michigan and is currently a defensive end for the Browns.
“Paul Chryst was just a guy that I could go talk to and not have to be so professional around, and I just love that about him,” Mayer said. “Same program as T.J. (Watt), you know that hard grittiness grind. And I just f****** love it.”
Mayer said Chryst told him that he is kind of like an exact prodigy of Watt, which is certainly high praise.
“Oh yeah, of course,” Mayer said about looking up to Watt. “I look up to a lot of people, but at the same time, I just try to do me and control what I can control.”
Mayer said a lot of Power 5 schools were recruiting him — programs such as Texas A&M, Michigan, Ohio State, all the MAC schools, ACC schools, Boston College, etc. Mayer committed to Boston College in March, but received an offer from Wisconsin a few weeks later and decided to reopen his recruitment. Mayer changed his mind on Boston College and committed to Wisconsin in June.
“It’s definitely a big stadium, big atmosphere,” Mayer said about Wisconsin. “That’s always what I dreamed of as a kid, just to go play in the Big Ten and the SEC. Just some big-time football, where it’s that straight grind.”