A case for Cam Gordon

Submitted by bluefrombirth on November 29th, 2010 at 10:14 PM

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.


Zone Left

November 29th, 2010 at 11:28 PM ^


Check that out. Forcier had a better Freshman season than Montana's Senior year at ND, they're about the same size, have similar arm strength, and have "moxie."

You can find numbers to back up whatever truth you want if you just look a little bit.

Also, Kovacs isn't going anywhere. He's got none of the measurables the NFL wants.


November 29th, 2010 at 11:08 PM ^

I look for two of the underclassmen on D this year to make a decent leap forward.  Possiblities include Avery, Carvin, and T. Gordon but Cam will do just fine as well.  And having T-Wolf back is really valuable.  Our secondary took a major major dive with D. Warren's departure and T-Wolf going down with the injury.

Imagine those two in the secondary this year.

Demens is a ball player.  Hell if he would have made it in the line-up sooner we may have pulled another game in.  No knock on any of the current & graduating players.  Love'em all.  I hope they all become outstanding on and off the field.


November 29th, 2010 at 11:15 PM ^

If Gordon became half the player Jones is, then everyone would be ecstatic.  I think he will be a good player provided he never plays another down of FS, and hopefully the early playing time will pay off.  I do wonder, though, how he will be utilized under the new defensive coordinator, presuming GERG is gone next year.  He's a decent-size OLB, but his troubles tackling make me think the new DC would be a little concerned. 


November 29th, 2010 at 11:28 PM ^

I don't think he was a bad tackler this year.  The problem was that he was playing FS, putting him in space against guys who were faster and more athletic than him.  He came up to make kill shots and either whiffed or didn't wrap up.  From the LB position, which is closer to the line of scrimmage, he'll likely go for the kill shot less often and be more inclined to wrap up.


November 29th, 2010 at 11:28 PM ^

No doubt that if Cam sticks at OLB, he'll be a very good football player. I think he'll be the best LB we've had since maybe David Harris. He's not a big 245 lbs monster, but neither are Greg Jones or Brian Rolle, and I would love to have one of those guys on our team.


November 29th, 2010 at 11:35 PM ^

but remember the upside Obi Ezeh had? His freshman year he had 67 tackles and 2 sacks, a forced fumble, and a pick, and everyone thought he was going to be the next big thing.  It's to early with these kids to know.  Sure, he had a DECENT freshman season and he does have upside, but don't get to caught up in the kid. He didn't flash anything super special and while he very well may turn out to be a stud in the future, it is wayyy to early to jump on this kid's bandwagon.


November 30th, 2010 at 12:59 AM ^

Your comment goes toward exactly what the point of the post is. It's too early, for all the people saying there is no talent on this D. Or that they couldn't play for, or start anywhere else. Codemning or anointing a player for their freshmen is follie. I see a lot of good play in Cam. He is just raw, as a freshmen is supposed to be. Will he be the next Sam Sword/ Ian gold. Or will he be the next Over Easy? too early to tell. However according to the stats, he right on pace to be great. Do you now understand why i have such disdain for stats?

Dr. Defense

November 30th, 2010 at 8:12 AM ^

I thought this was a decent first year of action for Cam. Minus the blatant exception (the Rudolph play), I thought he played the pass pretty well this year. The run, on the other hand, was a disaster. However, I expect both his tackling and aggressiveness against the run to improve with confidence and more practice time.