Playing in the shadow of the program’s best defensive lineman in the history of the school would be a daunting task for any kid coming out of high school.
But that was the position defensive lineman Jordan Burch put himself in when he decided to play for South Carolina in 2020 where he was billed as the next Jadaveon Clowney.
Those are some big cleats to fill and after three seasons of not being able to become the next great Gamecock, Burch has decided to go as far away from Clowney’s shadow in hopes of becoming his own player, now as an Oregon Duck.
At 6-foot-6 and 275 pounds, Burch will definitely compete for a starting spot along the Duck defensive line. He’s coming off his best season in Columbia, with 60 tackles and 3.5 sacks. Burch is a former 5-star recruit as the No. 8 player in the 2020 class, and was projected as a possible first-round draft pick coming out of the prep ranks. With a good season in Eugene, he will be among those drafted in 2024.
Are you looking to learn a bit more about Oregon’s newest defensive lineman? We’ve got you covered.
Definitely not a Clown(ey)
Bob Self/Florida Times-Union
When Jordan Burch committed to South Carolina, the Gamecocks envisioned the second coming of Jadaveon Clowney. But Burch has taken some time to come into his own. At 6-foot-6 and 275 pounds, it would be easy to compare him to the Gamecocks’ best defensive lineman ever.
Although he’s not Clowney, Burch just had his best season ever and is poised for a breakout senior season in 2023. He finished 2022 with 60 tackles, 7.5 for loss and 3.5 sacks.
Familiar with Dan Lanning
Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports
As one of the top recruits in SEC country in 2019 and 2020, it’s no surprise Georgia and its defensive coordinator Dan Lanning tried to get Burch to play in between the hedges in Athens. But after a late push from LSU and Georgia, Burch decided to stay home and play for South Carolina, which wasn’t a surprise.
He could still declare for the NFL draft and not transfer
Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
Burch could very well not transfer anywhere and declare for the NFL draft, but all indications suggest he would behoove himself to play one more season at the collegiate level. He has the size of an NFL defensive lineman at 6-6 and 275 pounds, but the skills aren’t quite there yet.
Coming to Oregon and playing under Ducks DC Tosh Lupoi and D-line coach Tony Tuioti, both of whom have experience coaching in the NFL and know what it takes to play on the next level, was a major selling point for the Ducks.
He could play anywhere along the Oregon D-line
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
At 275 pounds, Burch could be molded into what the Ducks need from him the most. He could lose a few pounds and become a devastating pass rusher from the edge. Burch could also gain a few pounds with muscle and be an interior lineman. It sounds like South Carolina didn’t exactly know what to do with him. The Gamecocks also had a couple of coaching changes while Burch was there.
Burch was a Top 10 player nationally and was projected as a first-round draft pick in the NFL draft when the time came. As of now, his prospects are not that high. Perhaps with the right coaches and system, that will quite literally change Burch’s fortunes.
Burch isn't one to rush the process
Andrew Nelles / Tennessean.com / USA TODAY NETWORK
If his high school recruitment is any indication, Burch takes his time signing with a new school. According to an article in The Athletic from 2020, Burch announced on two separate occasions that he was going to be a Gamecock, but didn’t sign the appropriate paperwork to make it official.
According to Steve Wiltfong, director of recruiting for 247Sports.com:
It’s got to be right up there (with other strange recruiting sagas). They have announced the college decision two different times. I am perplexed. I don’t know all the details of why they haven’t signed so I don’t want to speculate, but I would just say it’s odd that we have had two announcements for the young man and still no signature. That’s memorable.
The reasons weren’t fully given as to why it took so long for Burch to sign his Letter of Intent, but he eventually did. Now he’s looking to go through the process one more time.