Many Spartan fans that share the same football passion for the Detroit Lions will be seeing a familiar name on the roster this upcoming fall — Kitna.
Jordan Kitna, son of former Detroit Lions quarterback Jon Kitna, will join MSU Football as a preferred walk-on next season, following in his father’s footsteps as a signal caller. Jordan Kitna, a two-star pocket-passer from Waxahachie, Texas, didn’t receive a ton of recruiting attention thanks to his size and a broken collarbone that limited his senior season. Despite suffering a broken collarbone that kept Jordan Kitna (6 feet 0 inches and 201 pounds) out for three games, he completed 116-195 passing attempts for 1,906 passing yards, 20 touchdowns and three interceptions in his senior season for Waxahachie High School.
Connecticut was the only FBS school to offer Jordan Kitna, but he turned down that offer to be a part of MSU. Kitna would have had a lot more offers without the injury. Kitna joined Hondo S. Carpenter, Sr. on Spartan Nation Radio after the national letter of intent signing day.
Jordan Kitna mentioned a number of different reasons for why he chose to become a Spartan, but religious faith may have played the biggest role.
“I wanted to go to a place where I can grow spiritually as well as a football player, and that was one of the big things about (head coach Mark Dantonio),” Jordan Kitna said. “When I met with him the first thing he said was I don’t want you to come here and lose your faith, and that was his biggest thing. (He said) I know you’re a believer, and I want you to come here and grow spiritually as well as a football player. That was one of the biggest things coming into it.”
Jon Kitna served as Jordan’s head coach at Waxahachie High School, and has played a direct role on his progression as a quarterback. Jordan Kitna said his playing style is similar to his father’s and has been lucky to have someone of his nature impact his playing ability.
“I play pretty similar,” Jordan Kitna said of his father, who played 14 seasons in the NFL. “I’m a pocket passer. I’m not really a run it guy. If it happens and comes down to it then I can run a little bit, but I like to stay in the pocket. Play the mind-side of football. I know the coverages. I just pick apart the defenses by knowing where the soft spots are and knowing what route combinations work against what coverages and a lot of stuff like that.
“My dad has taught me a lot about coverages, and knowing the little details of the game that not many kids know at my age. Stuff that he learned (from his) … years in the NFL. It’s been a real blessing to have him help me. Through the last few years I’ve learned a lot.”
Jordan Kitna, who will major in Business with a minor in Sports Business Management, added that he considers himself a natural leader that leads without having to be the loudest guy in the locker room.
He will officially arrive to East Lansing in July for preseason camp, and before then he is looking to beef up in preparation for the college game. On top of trying to “gain muscle mass”, Jordan Kitna is working on learning different schemes and adjusting to the tempo of premier college football.
As Jordan Kitna prepares for his time at MSU he understands it’ll take a lot of work to make it onto the field. However, regardless if he becomes the next great MSU quarterback or simply serves as a scout team signal caller he is happy with his decision to become a Spartan and looks forward to his future on the banks of the Red Cedar.
“I’m in a really good spot at Michigan State, a place where I can enjoy college,” Jordan Kitna said. “If I never play a down of football that I would enjoy going to college there. I think that’s something that’s very important.
“I love the coaches there and I feel like I can grow physically, mentally and spiritually there, and that’s something I look forward to. Obviously my family is pretty excited about it too. We know a lot of people up there still from my dad’s stay in Detroit, and I think I’m in a really good place.”
Kitna’s father was not the most highly sought after recruit when coming out of high school and he parlayed that into a tremendous pro career. Having tutored his son, don’t bet Jordan out.