The Notre Dame Fighting Irish have a roster full of players, and we want to talk about all of them. One Foot Down’s player profile series will take a look at every single one of them, and hopefully we all learn a little bit more about these guys, and Notre Dame’s chances for the upcoming 2018 season.
#2 Jordan Genmark Heath
Jordan Genmark Heath was just a freshman on the 2017 ND team that rose as high as #3 in the country before a late-regular-season collapse, and so he was limited in his playing time last year (although he did play in 8 games overall).
A fantastic athlete, Genmark Heath came in as a safety recruit but appears to also be a guy who can fill in at linebacker, potentially backing up Drue Tranquill or providing solid depth at the Rover position. No matter what, he played pretty well as a reserve and on special teams last season, picking up some valuable on-field experience and putting himself in a position to compete for some more serious playing time in 2018.
3 Things To Know About Jordan Genmark Heath
- JGH was born and raised in Stockholm, Sweden, before his family moved to California. This allowed him to have, bar none, the best Twitter handle on the Notre Dame football roster: @SwedishBlackGuy. Dude is a Goddamn legend for that.
- Genmark Heath was originally committed to play football for the California Golden Bears, but flipped to the Irish in January 2017 after the new Mike Elko-led defensive coaching staff put together a strong effort to fill positions of need late in the recruiting game.
- As a freshman in 2017, JGH played in 8 total games, mostly on special teams or in garbage time on defense, collecting 15 total tackles. Furthermore, he wore #13 last year, but has since switched to #2, earning him an earlier slot in this player profile series.
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Country, Condiment, Or Canon
Identifying the player as either a country, condiment, or member of the Star Wars Canon.
An egg. Okay, so I know what you’re probably thinking - picking an egg as a condiment (assuming I’m not trying to say an egg is a country or a member of Star Wars Canon) is a bit of a stretch. However, in this day and age, it’s very likely you’ve gotten a specialty burger at a restaurant somewhere with an egg on top, and you know how utterly delicious that can be — I know I’ve enjoyed the ones I’ve had.
To me, that egg on the burger is Jordan Genmark Heath. He’s not a definite starter yet that you’d put on every burger/on the field for every play on defense, but he’s a guy with tons of potential that you can plug into the equation and get a lot of production out of if it’s the right situation. Plus, considering the various different ways you can cook an egg, Genmark Heath’s versatility and ability to play a few different positions makes him an even better fit for this absurd condiment choice by me. I stand by it.
I think Jordan Genmark Heath will be a key reserve on Clark Lea’s first defense. With a year of seasoning under his belt, he should be able to step in and pick up some playing time at linebacker (backing up Tranquill), strong safety, or even the Rover position thanks to his combination of decent size (6’1”, 212 lbs.) and athleticism.
However, at this point it’s not certain where JGH stands on the depth chart for those positions, so it will be interesting to see, come summer camp and the beginning of the season, where he stacks up amongst guys like Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Asmar Bilal, Jalen Elliott, Devin Studstill, etc.
Even if he doesn’t earn a ton of time on defense, though, he will probably be a key contributor on special teams, potentially being a big-time tackler on kickoffs and punts thanks to his athleticism and experience from last year.
He’s just a versatile athlete who can help the team in a lot of different ways, and so I definitely see him contributing in 2018 and MAYBE working his way into being a returning starter, or an expected new starter, by the time the 2019 season opener comes around.