Lovejoy defensive back Jordan Collier, who transferred from Stone Mountain, has four interceptions heading into tonight’s Class AAAAAA playoff game against Marietta. (Staff Photo: Derrick Mahone)
HAMPTON — It seemed like the perfect match for Jordan Collier.
The versatile senior had already made a name for himself at Stone Mountain High last season. He was drawing the attention from college coaches after becoming one of the top tacklers in talent-rich DeKalb County.
But Stone Mountain lacked some statewide respect because it wasn’t a regular participant in the playoffs.
Collier decided to transfer last spring, and landed at Lovejoy, which has produced college prospects and playoff victories.
The 6-foot-1, 185-pounder has found a home in the second-ranked Wildcats secondary.
“I really feel good about my move over here,” said Collier, as he and his teammates prepared to meet Marietta tonight in the first round of the Class AAAAAA playoffs.
And the feeling is mutal among the Lovejoy players and coaching staff. Collier is versatile enough to play safety, cornerback and some linebacker in the Wildcats’ defensive scheme.
“He has been a big addition to us,” Lovejoy defensive end Randy Anyanwu said. “He has come in here and really helped our team. Jordan is one of the hardest hitters on the team. He has that big-play ability.”
And the Wildcats can point to their 24-23 win at Alpharetta in September as good evidence.
In that win, Lovejoy benefited from eight turnovers but held on when Collier broke up a potential game-winning two-point conversion attempt with 27 seconds left. It was his second big play of the game.
Earlier in the non-region contest, Collier returned an interception 100 yards for a touchdown.
“He is such a good athlete,” Lovejoy coach Al Hughes said. “He has come in here and played a big part of our team’s success. We can use him in several positions on defense. He has been a very big surprise for our team. Jordan has played just about everywhere for our defense.”
Last season, Collier ranked No. 6 in DeKalb County in total tackles. He also had five tackles for loss, but no interceptions.
This season, he finished the regular season with four picks for the Lovejoy defense. Collier said the Lovejoy defense, which graduated all its defensive backs from last season, plays more man coverage than he was used to at Stone Mountain.
A four-year varsity player, Collier has already committed to Furman, a Div. I Football Championship Subdivision school in South Carolina. Sporting a 3.4 grade-point average, Collier said he chose Furman for academic reasons.
“It is a good school with a great reputation,” Collier said. “I really like what Furman had to offer, so I’m pleased with my decision.”