2009 Recruiting: Cameron Gordon

Submitted by Brian on May 7th, 2009 at 11:47 AM

Previously: S Vlad Emilien, S Thomas Gordon, CB Justin Turner, CB Adrian Witty, LB Isaiah Bell, LB Mike Jones, LB Brandin Hawthorne, DT Will Campbell, DE Anthony LaLota, DE Craig Roh, OL Michael Schofield, OL Taylor Lewan, and OL Quinton Washington.

Inkster, Michigan - 6'2" 211
camerongordon_thumb4 Scout 3*, #82 WR
Rivals 4*, #36 WR, #233 overall
ESPN 78, #63 ATH
Others --
Other Suitors Michigan State, Iowa
YMRMFSPA Jason Avant, or maybe Prescott Burgess
Previously On
MGoBlog
Hello: Cameron Gordon
Notes Teammate of 2010 QB commit Devin Gardner

Of all the recruits in Michigan's 2009 class, Cameron Gordon is the one with the most uncertain position. You'll note he's been filed under the skill recruits here and that both Rivals and Scout have him listed at wide receiver. However, Gordon's rangy linebacker frame brings the conversation back to his potential on defense time and again.

Here's an example:

Moving down to Nos. 8 and 9, Inkster's Cameron Gordon flip-flopped positions with Grosse Pointe South tight end Reid Fragel thanks to his impressive defense for the Vikings. At 6-2 and 215 pounds, he has impacted a number of games with bone-jarring hits while playing linebacker or strong safety.

ESPN says coaches on both sides of the ball will "fight for him" but spends most of its scouting report focusing on his defensive talents:

Could potentially tip the scales at the 215-range making defense a strong possibility. You would never now he was a flashy wide receiver when watching him pursue the football as a hybrid safety/outside linebacker. He chases plays down with good range, burst and intensity. A strong tackler who displays good upper-body strength dragging down ball carriers from behind. Covers a ton of ground quickly with little wasted motion. Has a long stride and can make plays sideline-to-sideline.

They do mention the one consistent complaint about Gordon's skillset, saying top-end speed is a "question mark" and he lacks "great initial burst with the ball." He's the opposite of Jeremy Gallon.

Allen Trieu echoes (note: original article is now behind a paywall. I quoted it in Gordon's commit post):

"Cameron has great tools," said Trieu. "On offense, his size and strength create matchup problems, plus he has good hands. On defense, he finds the ball well and is a big hitter. His only drawback would be that he isn't a true burner as far as the receiver position goes. That would limit his potential on offense. I think he could play either position well in college, but it will likely come down to what a particular school needs. If I had the luxury of choosing, I'd want him at linebacker."

On the other hand, local preps blog Next Generation Sports saw his potential at WR:

Cameron Gordon, Inkster- had a quiet day but was still efficient because he opened the field up for other receivers by drawing double coverage every play. He's so big and fast but I was most impressed by how hard he runs every possible route.

More from NGS:

Cameron Gordon, Inkster- Gordon is just too physically gifted for the high school level and he's just as good of a OLB/safety as he is a receiver. He gave Gardner a huge block 40 yards down field on the long TD run, he made a heck of a play on his INT, and his 42-yard catch displayed great hand-eye coordination.

Gordon's stats were nice on offense (49 catches for 863 yards, almost 18 per) but eyepopping on D: 126 tackles, five sacks, and five interceptions. Judge for yourself in this highlight reel featuring plays from both sides of the ball:

(Yes, that's Devin Gardner doing the throwing.)

This correspondent's opinion: the rumor was that Michigan's offer came late because Gordon was insistent he was a wide receiver, and once he started opening up like so

"I feel I am a football player, so it really wouldn't stop me from going to a school if I had to play defense,” Gordon said. “This is my first year playing safety and I really like that position, too. I still am a receiver, but it's not something that will hold me back from going to a college.”

…Michigan promptly sent him a letter. Or once Michigan sent him a letter, he started opening up. Though neither linebacker or wide receiver is particularly deep right now, a quick glance at the recruiting board shows five WR and zero LB commits. Most analysts think his potential is higher on defense, where a lack of hot burning speed won't hold him back as much.

When Gordon committed I thought he had a 75% chance of remaining on offense, but the WR recruit flood has changed my mind. I think Gordon's headed for linebacker in six months or a year. In a futile attempt to forestall RCMB posters from posting things like "Rodriguez LIED, Cam Gordon DIED lol I'd hit itsmiley_panic" let's point out that Michigan was explicit that they were bringing him in as an athlete (link ibid):

“(Michigan) offered me,” Gordon said. “They mostly said how they want to sign me and that I’ll be able to play both sides, just depending on what side is best for me to play for their team."

Right now that side appears to be defense; Michigan has a couple of possession receivers in the works and should be fine until the wide receiver cavalry shows up next year.

Etc.: Transferred to Inkster to play for Greg Carter; Trieu interview w/ more highlights.

Why Avant or Burgess? Bulky 6'2" wide receiver who will push 215 and lacks deep speed == Avant. Rangy linebacker who needs to put on 20 pounds, switch positions (sort of) and probably struggle with the mental part of being a college linebacker for a while == Burgess.

Guru Reliability: Low. One major outlier amongst three votes and it appears that the sites have rated him at a position he's probably not going to play in college.
General Excitement Level: Moderate. Two of three services say "eh," and the position uncertainty strikes me as a guaranteed waste of a year at WR.
Projection: Moves to linebacker halfway through his freshman season and hopefully hasn't burned his redshirt by then. Then he'll have one more year to wait behind Mouton before challenging for that OLB spot. Tough to say whether he'll be better than Jones or Hawthorne or Demens by then.

Comments

Don

May 7th, 2009 at 6:46 PM ^

from my cake-eating high school, Grosse Pointe South. Fragel has to be the first guy from GP to play Division 1 ball since the late 60s. Bizarre that Fragel's going to that school down south.