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#TGW: The Call of the House of Usher

By Jon Cooper | The Good Word

 

Jordan Usher has a knack for coming off good on video.

Usher came off so good on video — and live — in high school (three years at Sequoyah High in Canton, then, as a senior at Wheeler High School in Marietta), that Coach Josh Pastner recruited the 6-7 guard/forward, hard to come to Georgia Tech.

Nothing’s really changed.

After two years at USC, where he played his freshman season and 12 games of his sophomore year before seeking a transfer, then about three-quarters of the 2019-20 season on the Flats, Usher still looks good on video.

While Jordan certainly had his moments in his 23 energetic games for Georgia Tech – he started all of them, eight times scoring in double-digits (the Yellow Jackets were 6-2), with four of those coming over the season’s final seven games (the Jackets were 4-0 and 6-1) – he may never have looked better or delivered more than he did in a recent 32-second clip he posted on social media.

In it, he talked about how best to take advantage of Georgia Tech’s newly implemented online academics, using a light, often tongue-in-cheek tone.

“It’s been a bit of a change, but I feel like most of us have gotten used to it,” he said. “The Academic Department, which always helps us, has been giving us our tutoring and making sure that we’re on track with everything. So really, it’s just been being at home with the laptop, getting the work done.

“I enjoy going to all my classes, but being able to do it from my bedroom – I’m not going to lie – is pretty good, too,” he added, with a laugh. “The only class I actually wish I could go on campus for is my stats class. You know some of the classes you just feel like you want to be in front of an instructor. So that’s probably my only downfall with that, but the rest of them, I’m fine.”

Usher cited the Tech’s academic services department as inspiration for him to do the spot.

“Really, just a shout out to my advisor, (academic support coordinator) Shelby (Varner),” he said. “She knows that I like to do little, silly videos and stuff. So she hit me up with the idea, and I made it.”

Usher shot the video at his mom’s house in Woodstock, where he’s quarantining. With his usual film cohort Cameron Cox, a fellow Canton, Ga., native and a junior point guard at West Florida, unavailable, Jordan enlisted his mom to serve as camera person.

“She’s good,” he said. “We did it in one take each time. We just had to walk to a different spot to do the clips, but she’s good. We got it done pretty fast. For sure, I’d use her again. Shout out to my mom!”

Talent on and with the camera may be hereditary. Jordan admits he’s always had an interest in working with the camera. It was part of what led him to the West Coast out of high school.

“Ever since I had an iPod touch or something that had a camera, me and my homeboys were always making little, silly videos,” he said. “When I went to USC, I was actually in the film school, the business film school.”

His delivery and dry sense of humor also are typical.

“Most of my videos that I will make are more of a dry comedy,” he said.

What’s atypical is Jordan’s movie producing role model.

“When it comes to actual film and production, for sure, (Quentin) Tarantino because I like action,” he said. “I like gory, out-there movies. His (movies) are always going to give you a locked-in view.”

Jordan hopes his fellow Georgia Tech student-athletes and students will lock in on his video.

“Maybe just (give them) a good laugh,” he said. “Everyone’s situation right now is a little different so you never know what somebody is going through, so maybe that makes them laugh. Maybe it gets someone motivated to do their work. I doubt that, but hey, if you get a laugh, I’m cool with it.

“My teammates are laughing at it,” he added. “They’re like, ‘You’re goofy,’ this and that. But I think they liked it. Coach Pastner said he likes it.”

With Atlanta being the film hotbed it is, you never know who’s watching — possibly even Tyler Perry.

“I don’t know about going THAT far, I think it’s just silly for me and my homeboys, just for fun,” he said, although he kept the door open adding, “But hey, Tyler Perry, I’ll do a job, or something, be in a skit or a movie.”

Usher also kept open the possibility of maybe one day teaming up with former Jackets’ football player Lou Young, who brings a killer Steve Harvey impression.

“I never met (Young) but if we could link up and he wants to be in a video, then for sure!” Jordan said. “I can’t do any impressions. That’s not really my lane.”

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