Footwork helps Mooney’s Jornigan solidify o-line

YOUNGSTOWN — Set. Move. Shuffle. Throw.

Each movement is about repetition, which becomes second nature for a shot put thrower.

Cardinal Mooney senior Kyle Jornigan took his talents to the state track and field meet in June, finishing fifth in Division II.

Three-point stance. Hands blocking. Exact movement of each foot. Repetition. Precision. Execute.

The 6-foot-5, 325-pound offensive left tackle has offers from 13 schools and has narrowed down his choices to Ohio, Purdue and Kentucky.

Cardinals coach P.J. Fecko sees a senior lineman who finishes blocks, plays and has the size to play at the collegiate level. Did we mention his footwork?

Yelling. Screaming. Jornigan isn’t the boisterous type. Action. Effort. Intensity. That’s how he draws respect from teammates, coaches and recruiters.

“All of that considered is why he has all of those offers,” Fecko said.

Business or civil engineering. Jornigan’s choice of majors. Current focus is studies and football, especially the offensive line.

“I’m a little biased with this, but I think it’s the toughest position to play on the field because you have so many different jobs you have to do, so many aspects to the position itself,” Jornigan said. “In the end, you have to make sure you’re focused, keep your eyes open, do a lot of scouting and really work on the key, basic technique. The basic technique will take you far, whether you’re athletic or not. You have to make sure you have the technique down.”

Success. This three-star recruit came to Cardinal Mooney from the Lakeview school system before high school.

Friends. He has many. Some who might be lifelong. It’s a tight-knit community at Cardinal Mooney. Jornigan couldn’t imagine his football career flourishing anywhere else.

“After being at Mooney for two years, it felt better,” he said. “I felt we were more strongly connected and everything. In my opinion, it doesn’t get much better.”

The Cardinals were ousted in the second round by eventual Division IV state champion Steubenville, an arch-rival during the postseason.

Cardinal Mooney hasn’t been to a state championship game since 2013, while 2011 was the latest of eight state championships the Cardinals have won.

The offensive line is the staple of most Cardinal Mooney state championship teams. Jornigan wants pride back with the Cardinals.

“We want to be physical and fast,” he said. “We want to make sure, no matter what, the team we played came off the field knowing who we were. People have downplayed us for a little while now. I think we’re tired of it. We’re ready to get out there and play physical and hard, make sure people know who we are now.”

It all starts with basic moves repeated numerous times in the preseason.