Paul Jorgensen wears No. 81, but he probably won't for long: he got the number so he could sometimes catch passes this year, but the 6'6, 295-pound Michigander is headed back to straight offensive line duty, so don't expect him to be wearing it come August. Bummer for fans of the complete accuracy of the series, but deal with it. Anyway, let's read up in Jorgensen, who is likely going to start at an offensive tackle spot.
Jorgensen hails from the mitten, Dewitt, to be exact, which borders Lansing, which borders East Lansing, which is where another school exists that was interested in Jorgensen, but that's something for a few sentences from now. Jorg played both sides of the ball at Dewitt. With Jorgensen in the trenches on both sides, his squad went 12-1 and won the league and district championships. His sheer size pitted him as an offensive tackle, and a good ones: the best in the state, No. 25 in the country per ESPN. No. 80 per Rivals, a three-star guy all around, the No. 15 guy in the state per Rivals. That earned him some nice offers: notably the hometown squad of East Lansing, alongside Illinois and Indiana from the B1G, Stanford and Duke from national smartypantses, and Central Michigan, the No. 1 school in the country at developing offensive tackles apparently. He chose the Wildcats July before his senior year.
Jorgensen redshirted as a freshman and played 11 games as a backup right tackle and blocker on field goals and punts his redshirt freshman year. Last year he got his most interesting role: Jorgensen became Northwestern's goal-line/short-yardage tight end, replacing defensive lineman Anthony Battle midway through the year. This is why he was No. 81: so he could hypothetically line up in those spots and be an eligible receiver. It's nice to have a 6'7 dude with offensive line talent blocking up front and came in handy on goal-line plays, and NU even used it trick-wise once.
Jorgensen's most notably play is pretty obvious: up 34-14 against Illinois, Fitz delved into the playbook for a bit of trickeration: a pass play where left guard Brian Mulroe split out wide but remained ineligible. Jorgensen, the hypothetical left tackle, was eligible, and ran a seam route uncovered for a 24-yard touchdown. It's silly rules-based randomness that I don't fully understand, but it was nice Illinois trollery. MountainTiger broke it down as one of his plays of the week after the win. The play doesn't say much about Jorgensen, except that he's reasonably athletic for an offensive tackle, but the good news is it seems to work consistently: NU had run it the year before against Nebraska for a big gainer, but messed up the formation and saw it called back for a penalty.
Anagram of choice
Discovering the Wildcats' true inner selves through spelling
Paul Jorgensen, anagrammed, is
A PERSONNEL JUG
Jorgy's an offensive lineman, but he's also got tight end-like skills that Northwestern's been able to use. He is a personnel jug. (Rejected options: "Persona Jungle", which is an awesome way to describe a schizophrenic person, or the much more boring "a jungle person", "No Juleps Anger", a rich mad dude at the Derby, "Jeer pun slogan", which makes up about half the stuff we yell at sporting events, "Run along jeeps" which is fast, and "Senor Plane-Jug", which is a name a crazy person might call themselves.)
Jorgensen tweets at @jorgensenp, a relatively young account that ears testament to how much food offensive linemen can put away, along with country music.
Nothing like watching a game of plinko to get pumped for the day ahead #thepriceisright— Paul Jorgensen (@jorgensenp) May 22, 2013
Nothing quite like country music and sunshine #thelife— Paul Jorgensen (@jorgensenp) May 18, 2013
How he can help
Northwestern needs a right tackle. Jorgensen's high school credentials and the fact that Northwestern wanted to figure out how to get him on the field, even though both tackle spots themselves were cemented. The question is whether his athleticism, size, strength, and all the other attributes that make him look like a great offensive lineman on paper translate when Northwestern actually slots him into a starting offensive tackle role for the first time. The good news is that his progression - backup-to-goal-line-tight-end-to-starter-at-right-tackle - is exactly the same pattern followed by Jack Konopka, who fit in swimmingly as Northwestern's right tackle this past season.
We have Jorgensen's as Northwestern's starting right tackle. He'll receive some pressure from Shane Mertz and Eric Olson, but of the three, Jorgensen is the one with the most experience at Northwestern and the one it would make the most sense to play. It will be a position battle, though.