Hello: Cameron Gordon

Submitted by Brian on December 11th, 2008 at 4:05 PM

Instate receiver Cameron Gordon has committed to Michigan. Informative update coming.

Informative update:

cameron-gordon

GURU RATINGS

Scout Rivals ESPN
3*, #79 WR 4*, #222 overall, #31 WR 78, #64 ATH

Rivals is considerably higher on Gordon than others are, and ESPN abstains from declaring a position from him at all. That positional uncertainty was an early theme of Gordon's recruitment: reports from Michigan's summer camp were that the staff really liked him… as a linebacker. Gordon has made it clear he wants to play wide receiver. Thus a significant delay in Michigan's offer; if Bryce McNeal hadn't decommitted Gordon might still be waiting.

Scout's Allen Trieu on the positional dilemma:

"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."

Next Generation Sports scouted a couple Inkster games; their take on Gordon's performance:

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.

And #2:

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 catch displayed great hand-eye coordination.

ESPN on Gordon:

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. … Shows good hip and body adjustment to the deep throw. Can break tackles with is strong frame after the catch or make defenders miss with his deceptively good movement skills. Top-end speed is a question mark and he does lack great initial burst with ball. That said, Gordon is a great athlete with coveted physical skills to develop as a college player.

The rest of the scouting report is heavily focused on defense, too. FWIW, that early preference for WR seems to be less important now:

“(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."

On the other hand:

Before the fall, Gordon strongly preferred the playing offense, but he has softened his stance on that issue.

"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.”

Emphasis mine. Said emphasis indicates that position preference still exists. So he's coming in as a wideout, got it?

OFFERS

Gordon wasn't as heavily pursued as you might imagine. Michigan State offered him in February and Minnesota did so sometime in the summer, but those remained his only BCS offers until Iowa came in with one in late October. Michigan followed suit a few weeks ago.

STATS

Jim Stefani has his underclass numbers:

As a junior starter on a 10-2 team, he had 38 receptions for 532 yards (14.00 Avg.) and 1 INT from his OLB spot…………..As a sophomore starter, he had 19 receptions for 308 yards (16.21 ypc) and 1 TD, 7 carries for 58 yards and 1 TD, 19 tackles, 26 assists, 1.5 sacks and 3 fumble recoveries

I couldn't dig up season stats for this year, unfortunately.

FAKE 40 TIME

In the video below, Gordon will claim he is 6'2", 195, and runs a 4.6. I give this two FAKES(!) out of five. However, this:

Now tipping the scales at 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds, and still capable running the 40 in the 4.6 range, Gordon is a bone-jarring presence in the Viking secondary.

Gets a third FAKE(!), as adding 20 pounds in a year and maintaining your 40 is… eh… improbable.

VIDEO

Here's Sam Webb interviewing him, with highlights interspersed:

The crotchety old man in me is like "son, don't chew gum when you're being interviewed."

PREDICTION BASED ON FLIMSY EVIDENCE

Gordon is a big, physical receiver with good hands who supposedly runs pretty good routes. I feel like I've compared a half-dozen possession-type receivers to this particular person in the past, but that sounds like Jason Avant. Avant absolutely maximized his physical ability, though, and a guy like Gordon is not likely to be as good as a guy currently in the early stages of a 15-year NFL career.

And then there's the defense option. Michigan is bringing in a ton of linebackers in this class (IMO, both Mike Jones and Isaiah Bell will be OLBs) but the numbers there are really thin and there's probably a reason everyone under the sun thought he projected better on defense. Sometimes kids get to college firmly intending to play their favorite high school position, figure out that they're really in a tough spot to get playing time there, and quickly switch to the position the project best at. See: Prescott Burgess, who was insistent he was a safety, and Joe Barksdale, who had a major falling out with Michigan because they projected him as an offensive lineman. Burgess was a linebacker at Michigan after about two weeks and Barksdale was a freshman starter for LSU… at right tackle.

This gives Gordon two shots at being a contributor, and the flexibility there bodes well for his future. It's probably 75-25 he stays on offense given his personal preference and the composition of this recruiting class, but the option remains.

UPSHOT FOR THE REST OF THE CLASS

Gordon's commitment and the recent news that TX WR commit Dewayne Peace was once again a solid verbal solidifies the outside WR position for this class, especially with Ricardo Miller and Jeremy Jackson committed for 2010. Unless something unexpected happens—like Rueben Randle tripping over a branch, hitting his head, and having a humorous sitcom concussion that makes him think he's the reincarnation of Anthony Carter—Michigan is probably done at the position.

Gordon is commitment #21, so Michigan has somewhere between four and six slots left. The recruiting board currently shows 24 open slots without accounting for the probable departure of Sam McGuffie; Michigan could also not renew fifth years for Savoy or Criswell. Potential errors therein: I'm not providing scholarships to Sheridan (reasonable), Moundros (probably not reasonable), and Morales(who knows?).

In any case, Michigan needs a couple more offensive linemen, Will Campbell, and a corner or two.

A side note: Inkster is a good school to get hooks into, as their new head coach is former Detroit DePorres HC Greg Carter and he's looking to make Inkster into a perennial powerhouse. In 2010 Inkster already has top instate quarterback Devin Gardner, and the hot rumor is that top 2010 running back Austin White is going to transfer in, as well.

Etc.: He looks like Seal in this picture; watch him morph from FOUR STAR STUD to guy MSU didn't want in this RCMB thread; 52-yard touchdown photo; couple additional pictures; transferred to Inkster from Melvindale.

Comments

Zone Left

December 11th, 2008 at 6:07 PM ^

Sparty will always say that Michigan doesn't recruit in-state talent. Shit, they've always got a disproportionate number of out of state starters and RR didn't get too much from West By God Virginia when he was there either. I think the problem is this...Michigan isn't in-between Dallas and Houston.

I like winning more than giving the shitty player from Traverse City a shot.

BTW, Inkster was one of the worst teams in the area before Coach Carter and the dePorres pipeline showed up.

jamiemac

December 11th, 2008 at 4:28 PM ^

....I though all the in-state talent was, from here to forth, going to East Lansing.

I'm confused as its not that often that Sparty fans and the local press are both wrong.

ShockFX

December 11th, 2008 at 6:02 PM ^

Key point here guys. He could become a WR/TE hybrid. Massive blocks for Odoms/Gallon/Robinson on screens that they still have to respect him going downfield.

Game, set, and match.

Runaway beer truck from the slot!

Chrisgocomment

December 11th, 2008 at 6:33 PM ^

That RCMB thread is a delight, do check it out if you have time. There's a million posts about what a great athlete the kid is and how "MD could talk him into D" and what great hands he had and blah blah...then he commits and you immediately get the "we didn't want him"...and "lol sloppy seconds". It's great. There are some voices of reason on there.

Yinka Double Dare

December 11th, 2008 at 6:48 PM ^

The actual voices of reason in that thread were for the most part the few Michigan fan posters on that board.

Of course, we have some people on the boards here who say when someone decommits or goes elsewhere "screw him, we didn't want him anyway" but most of us can understand when, say, Nick Perry goes to USC. We may not like it, and we may think he's bats for trying to go somewhere loaded with multiple 5 star guys at his position already there, but we do understand when someone picks USC and don't try to claim it's because we pulled his offer. Which is what the MSU loons on that board were claiming, that they didn't want him anyway and that he probably didn't have an offer and yada yada yada.

I have no idea where Gordon will end up playing though I suspect it will be defense, but given our WR situation if he runs good routes and doesn't drop passes he might be able to work his way onto the field as a WR. I'm assuming they'll figure this out relatively quickly in practice this fall -- if he doesn't look like he's going to be able to get in there relatively soon, he may need to move to D given what we're likely to have coming in at WR in 2010.

Sgt. Wolverine

December 11th, 2008 at 6:34 PM ^

Yeah ... I think about half the Inkster football team transferred in because of the coach. (That's an exaggeration, but there's plenty of truth there.)

Gordon didn't do a lot of notable things when Inkster played Chelsea, but that's probably because the weather was absolutely miserable and not conducive to a lot of passing, which is fine when you have Gardner at quarterback.

Seth

December 12th, 2008 at 7:57 AM ^

I don't want to put the diss to Greg Carter, because he runs a spectacular program, and it's true that a lot of kids (including Gordon) came here in part because of that.

But the reason Inkster's numbers are swelling is because the school now offers an AP program. It's not just football players who are flocking there.

See their ad.

They're building an education monster, and they're building it to compete.

CrankThatDonovan

December 11th, 2008 at 8:04 PM ^

Have you SEEN Bennie Fowler's highlight tape? Every single play is a highlight! It's like the kid is made of bottle rockets or something. WHOOSH! That's the sound of Michigan State STUD wideouts running past scUM trash like Cam Gordon, because everyone knows that the greatest wide receivers go to STATE. Not Florida State, not Penn State, not Louisiana State, but MICHIGAN STATE! I can't EMPHASIZE that enough!!

wlvrine

December 11th, 2008 at 7:54 PM ^

ShockFX, I was thinking the very same thing when I finished reading his stats. He doesn't have to be a blazing deep threat if he has the tools to block like hell. So many times it seemed the only person stopping Odoms from ripping off a huge play was the outside CB who beat his block. This kid could be the hammer on the bubble screen. And his good hands will keep the defenders honest at the line of scrimmage.

Michigan Arrogance

December 11th, 2008 at 8:21 PM ^

"This kid sounds like Top 10 in-state talent. I didn't know much about him until just now. He's got me excited. 6'2" WR? We make stars out of kids like this at Michigan State. Everybody knows you go to MSU if you want to be a star at WR."

Wow.

Rush N Attack

December 11th, 2008 at 10:42 PM ^

the first couple passes he caught in the State Championship game, that EGR started double teaming him.

I was watching the game specifically to check him out (and Gardner of course), and his BODY TYPE reminded me a little bit of Anquan Bolden. If I recall correctly Bolden didn't exactly blaze the 40, but I'm more a believer in "game speed" anyways.

One very minor thing that bothered me was when he came up to lay a lick on this one particular play, he actually crossed his arms across his chest(!) when he went to make the hit. Obviosuly, he is a little raw on that side of the ball.

Also, doesn't this say alot about what the coaches think their chances are of landing another stud outside receiver?

Garvie Craw

December 12th, 2008 at 8:04 AM ^

Um, I think it's um a pretty good pickup for Michigan. Um, I guess,um, no one was around, um, to tell him not to,um, chew gum and, um, say "um" during his interview. It's nice to, um, see Sparty lose this kid since, um, they now own the state. Um, go blue!

STW P. Brabbs

December 12th, 2008 at 10:57 AM ^

"Um" = nervousness, lack of public speaking skills. Understandable. FFS, there are professionals on ESPN who revert to "um" sometimes (though that is perhaps a different story.)

Chewing gum = dipshit move.

Note: one time my brother chewed gum while giving a presentation during a Princeton Review training class, and it made him look kind of stupid - even though he was someone with a 1600 SAT and a 176 LSAT.

So it's not a personal attack, it's just a dipshit move.