I think it's time to take a break from the endless coaching debate. There are individuals under the illusion that there is no one talented on this defense at all. To that I take objection, there are many players( besides Mike Martin) that i believe will be great. One of those players is Cam Gordon. While many of you may chuckle at this assertion, i sometimes wonder if we are watching the same games. I see a player that is making plays, but does make mistakes. I mean this is to be expected out of a freshmen position switch guy. Believe Cam is indicative of the defense in general, very talented, but prone to the mistakes of inexperience.
I have previously stated my disdain for stats, I believe that stats often present logical fallacies. The numbers point to an outcome, but then are confounded by a different outcome altogether. However, because statistics are the coin of the realm I shall expose my coin purse ( pun intended ). All of my stats are compiled by cfbstats.com .
I am using Cam Gordon as factoid, and for purposes i will be comparing him to Linebackers, most notably to OLB. This is do to the lack of comparable nomenclature to the position that he plays currently in the 335, and most common 3-4, 4-3 defenses ( I believe that his ultimate position will be OLB at some point anyways, he has the frame to grow into that position).
The consensus pick for best big ten linebacker is greg jones. So i took a look at Greg Jones' Freshmen year stats. http://www.cfbstats.com/2007/player/416/1009826/index.html now lets look at Cam Gordons http://www.cfbstats.com/2010/player/418/1024821/index.html Jones comes in with 78 tackles, and 4.5 sacks. While Cam Gordon comes in at 73 tackles, and 2 picks ( with 1 game left to play). Now lets look directly at the OLB position. According to Espn the number one OLB that will be drafted is Akeem ayers of UCLA. Let's take a look at his Freshmen numbers. http://www.cfbstats.com/2008/player/110/1008517/index.html he comes in with 43 tackles and 5 sacks.
With this data in hand, i would draw the following conclusion: For a freshmen season, Cam Gordon seems to be on par with the best at his position, and likewise if we only analyzed these players in their freshmen years under the lens of having no potential for growth, then might these players get the same aspersions cast against them that Cam Has? I believe the future for Mr. Gordon like this defense in general is bright, they are just a young team, and They are likely to get better. Is this a logical Fallacy? You be the judge, but the evidence is there to point out otherwise.
P.S. I forgot to mention that these players started all games of their freshmen seasons just like Cam Gordon.