By Gary Fauber
Assistant Sports Editor
Jordan Jeffries is an intelligent young man who has successfully been able to balance football with a demanding major of engineering.
Unfortunately, football is no longer part of the equation for the Oswego, Ill., native. A hip injury has forced him to make the decision to end his career a few games prematurely.
“He has a hip that the doctors told him every time he steps on the field will affect the quality of his life down the road,” Marshall coach Doc Holliday said Tuesday in his weekly press conference. “He’s made that decision, and he made the right decision.”
Jeffries, a 6-foot-8, 310-pound senior, is a former starter who had been backing up senior Gage Niemeyer at left tackle. He will actually remain with the Thundering Herd, just not as player.
“The only difference is that instead of having a uniform on he will have a whistle and a hat on,” said Holliday, whose team will play at Florida Atlantic at 5 p.m. Saturday. “He’s a great kid that will be an engineer one day. He’ll be fine.”
Jeffries’ exit is a slight hit to the offensive line’s depth, coming a week after left guard Josh Lovell also decided to leave. But the line is far from thin.
True freshman Michael Selby has been a surprise this year. The 6-2, 275-pound Sandersville, Ga., native is the backup to center Chris Jasperse and also has played left guard behind Sebastian Johansson.
Also, former Woodrow Wilson High School standout Clint Van Horn continues to impress. He has played 137 snaps as the backup right tackle behind senior Garrett Scott.
Van Horn, a 6-4, 294-pound redshirt sophomore, missed most of last Saturday’s 34-10 win over UTSA with concussion symptoms, but he should be good to go at FAU. He was mentioned specifically by Holliday in the postgame press conference.
“He’s plenty good enough,” Holliday said Tuesday. “We’ll get him in there and then roll Garrett Scott back to left tackle a little bit. We’ll be able to roll Scott, Van Horn and Gage Niemeyer at the tackles, and Michael Selby is playing really well, too. Selby played more snaps than anyone else on the offensive line except for Jasperse.
“You don’t ever want to lose anybody, but we feel pretty good at where we are.”
— E-mail: gfauber