When Ohio State left guard Michael Jordan speaks with reporters, he is all business — polite but quite serious.

Some of that may be a carryover from last year, when he earned a starting job as a true freshman and wanted to show he was mature enough to handle it. But Billy Price sees another side of Jordan.

“Mike is a goofy guy,” said Price, OSU’s senior center. “Just some of the things he says, he’s always light-hearted. He’s smiling all the time and he’s (perpetually) happy.”

That includes those early mornings when Price shows up for workouts in maybe not the best mood and is greeted by Jordan’s big smile.

“I’m like, ‘Mike, go away,’ ” Price said, grinning. “I love Mike.”

Jordan became the first true freshman to start on the Buckeyes’ offensive line since Pro Football Hall of Famer Orlando Pace did so in 1994. Ohio State coaches weren’t necessarily thrilled with that. To them, it was an indictment of recruiting and development at that position that a freshman could start right away.

When Jordan proved to be the best option, he braced for some resentment among older teammates. He said it didn’t happen.

“That’s where Ohio State is really different,” Jordan said. “It’s a brotherhood. Honestly, the best person deserves to play for the O-line. J.T. (Barrett) deserves the best five up front. J.T. is trying to do big things, so we need the best guys. I thought it was going to be like that — hard conversations — but it wasn’t. We all love each other.”

Jordan proved up to the task, even if there were the inevitable rough moments.

“Overall, I think it was decent,” Jordan said of his play in 2016. “Not where it needed to be, but decent.”

He expects much more this year.

“I feel a lot more prepared,” Jordan said. “Last year, I was just getting here. It was kind of like getting thrown into the fire. I’m just trying to survive. This year I’ve learned from my mistakes, and I’m a lot better. I got stronger, I got faster and I understand the offense better this year.”

With that comes the realization that youth can’t be used an excuse in 2017.

“There’s no more, ‘I thought this,’ ” Price said. “You’re not 18 and just got into the program. You’re 19. You’re a full year into the program. Let’s rock and roll. I expect a lot out of him. He does the same with me. That relationship is really strong between me and him.”

As it is with the player on the other side of Jordan — left tackle Jamarco Jones. Though Jones also was a first-year starter in 2016, it was his third year in the program. He embraced mentoring Jordan. Jones watched film with Jordan after practice. After grueling drills known as “Team Up North” workouts, players have to do 15 pushups.

“Every time, he was right there by my side, helping me through those pushups,” Jordan said.

That shared sacrifice has created a bond that Jordan holds sacred.

“My approach now is to keep going harder for the guys I’m next to,” he said. “I love my brothers.”