Kill joked that everyone likes to take credit for a recruiting success story, and he ultimately praises the Lynch family for their firm commitment after that June camp in Jordan's junior year. Kill had looked beyond the limited number of passes Jordan threw in high school and, since leaving for Minnesota three years ago, he has seen the quarterback throw and run his way to a BCS berth last year and a Heisman trip this year. Which sheds light on the other defining characteristic of Jordan's career: His durability. He has never been hurt. At least not playing football.
"He had no broken bones," his mother says.
"What about when he hurt his leg?" his father replies.
"Oh no, I ... " Sheila says, her voice horrified.
The family is back on the red couch, with Jordan's trophies, plaques, photos and other mementos now spread across the living room table.
Jordan was 6 or 7 years old, playing catch with a neighbor back when the family lived in nearby Bridgeport. A new house was being built on the block, and there was no construction fence where the foundation was poured, and Jordan was running to get a ball that he missed and ...
"Trips, falls in-between the earth and the foundation," Jim says, "and on the way down falling, the piece of rebar stuck him in the side of the butt and ripped him all the way down to his knee."
Sheila corrects, "Not down to his knee, no, but just kind of an L-shape."
"Kind of like right on his side," Jim Jr. adds.
The family jumped in the car, took Jordan to the hospital and, upon arrival, noticed a hole in his leg that exposed bone and left a scar that still remains.
"He had to stay like that in the emergency room for an hour or two until they got all the specialists in there to see if there was any nerve damage or anything," Jim says. "But lemme tell ya something, that was probably one of the sickest things I've ever seen. I was like, Oh my god, how are they gonna close it? Because it was so wide open. I didn't see they could just pull the skin back together and staple him.
"We get him home ... "
"... A week later," Sheila continues.
"Bumps it and busts a couple staples open," Jim says. "He has to go back."