Jordan Kitna is headed to Michigan State University.
The former Lincoln High School quarterback who threw 55 touchdown passes last year before moving with his father and coach Jon Kitna to Waxahachie High School in Texas will head to Michigan State as a preferred walk-on.
It wasn’t the ideal situation, but Jordan Kitna is eager to prove he belongs.
“The fun part was watching him become a man and process things himself and say, ‘I’m willing to bet on myself,’” said Jon Kitna, a Lincoln grad who went on to play for Central Washington University before a 16-year NFL career.
“The kid has been around NFL locker rooms his whole life. That’s his dream. He feels like he’s been overlooked and I agree. … He was just caught in an in-between place in terms of being a late bloomer and moving from Washington and how underrecruited Washington state is.”
Jordan Kitna threw for about 2,100 yards and 21 touchdowns in seven games for Waxahachie this past season, despite missing five weeks with a broken collarbone. That after throwing for 3,702 yards and 55 touchdowns his junior year at Lincoln.
Jon Kitna said recruiting picked up tremendously after moving to Texas. Where he might see 5-7 schools at Lincoln in a year, he saw 55-60 this year at Waxahachie, he said.
Former Lincoln tight end Devan Brady, whose family also moved to Texas, signed his letter of intent with Southern Nazarene University in Oklahoma.
Jordan Kitna has added 25 pounds of muscle since Waxahachie’s season ended Nov. 6. Jon Kitna said Jordan was 6 feet, 170 pounds when they moved to Texas last spring, but now he’s 6-2, 215.
“That’s exactly what I did. I grew after I was 18,” Jon Kitna said. “He’s not done growing, and he’s betting on that.”
Jon Kitna told Jordan, who was also considering walking on at Ohio State, that he wished he would have taken advantage of bigger options when he came out of Lincoln.
“I told him I always kind of regret not taking my shot coming out of high school and taking kind of the easy route when I had the chance to walk on at Boise State or Eastern or Idaho at the time,” Jon Kitna said.
“But I told him, ‘If you feel like you are ready to do that kind of work and go in knowing you’re going to be sixth or seventh on the depth chart when you get there, then let’s go. Let’s go for it.”
He also added that he was proud to see current Lincoln seniors sign: Tony Archie (Central), Kameron Smith (New Mexico) and Darien Williams (Central). But he’s frustrated that others weren’t among them.
“I think it’s great what they’re doing at Lincoln and I love what the league is going to look like for them football-wise next year,” Jon Kitna said. “But I’m very frustrated with the recruiting process because I know (running back) Dionte Simon can play in college. (Receiver) Alvin Johnson can play in college. I know (lineman) Frank Williams can play in college. I see it and I know it. The recruiting process is frustrating.”