In a flash, Gordon picks UT

Kiffin's intensity helped sway versatile cornerback

Eric Gordon

Eric Gordon

Eric Gordon signs with the Vols

Eric Gordon

Eric Gordon

Tennessee’s newest commitment is widely projected to play cornerback in college. That, however, doesn’t come close to describing Eric Gordon’s skills.

It’s his athleticism and versatility that had newly hired UT coach Lane Kiffin zeroed in on the Hillsboro High School star.

Kiffin visited with the 5-foot-9, 185-pound Gordon last week and then was in the stands in Murfreesboro for Hillsboro’s Class 4A state championship win last Saturday against Maryville.

Kiffin’s dedication paid off; Gordon committed to UT on Tuesday.

“A lot of it had to do with him,” Gordon said of his commitment. “Just visiting with him made me realize who he is and what he’s about.”

Gordon said Kiffin’s intensity and game plan for building a winner at UT stood out. Kiffin expects Gordon to play cornerback, slot receiver and kick returner at UT, Gordon said.

For more proof of Gordon’s versatility, just look to that state championship game. Gordon, the brother of former Mississippi State basketball player Jamont Gordon, was named the offensive MVP thanks to 88 all-purpose yards and Hillsboro’s only touchdown.

“I think he is the best pure athlete I’ve ever coached,” Hillsboro coach Scott Blade said.

Gordon has played a number of positions at Hillsboro, mainly cornerback during his freshman, sophomore and senior season. Gordon played free safety as a junior.

While his main high school priority was defensive back, Gordon also played running back, wide receiver and even threw three passes in 2008. He also returned kicks and punts.

Gordon proved effective at all the above. He rushed for over 600 yards, had over 800 receiving yards and intercepted six passes.

Gordon scored five different ways in 2008: rushing, receiving and returning a punt, kickoff and interception for a touchdown.

All that made Gordon — the News Sentinel’s sixth best preseason prospect in the state — a top prospect for Kiffin, who vowed to close the recruiting borders on Tennessee during his introductory press conference on Dec. 1.

Gordon also cited playing for Kiffin’s father, Monte Kiffin, as a reason UT suddenly became so enticing.

Monte Kiffin is widely considered one of the top defensive coordinators in the history of the NFL. Now with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, he is expected to join his son at UT following the Bucs’ season.

“It was big,” Gordon said of playing for the elder Kiffin. “I know his dad is one of the greatest ever. His son is good too. They’re going to recruit a lot of guys and hopefully be a dynasty.”

Gordon also considered Oklahoma, Miami and Alabama before choosing UT.

“It was just the right time,” Gordon said. “I felt good about it.”

Get Copyright Permissions © 2008, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
Want to use this article? Click here for options!

© 2008 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Related Stories

Comments » 155

RoyaltyVol writes:

congrats!

jgvol8 writes:

Great job coach! Keep 'em coming!

lonewolf writes:

keep'em at home, now go get allen and teague

tennesseePhatz writes:

WE NEED A *****QB AND WE NEED ONE NOW !!!!!

RoyaltyVol writes:

I still can't believe Maryville lost!

SemperVol writes:

One door closes, the other opens. Good work Kiffin, this guy is good.

Now on with some hog mauleys!!!

yeavols#228407 writes:

The Wizard of Vols, Kiffin is pulling through..

jobrando#216494 writes:

Border Patrol victory for coach Kif
Bring us big Oline and Dlinemen next

King53 writes:

Great job Coach K!!! By the way, who else had offered Gordon?

ctownvol writes:

in response to tennesseePhatz:

WE NEED A *****QB AND WE NEED ONE NOW !!!!!

I have a feeling we will be making due with what we have, which isn't much I'm afraid, til next year's recruiting haul.

BuckheadVol1 writes:

Great to hear. My Christmas wish list...
QB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Defensive linemen
Offensive linemen

SemperVol writes:

in response to jobrando#216494:

Border Patrol victory for coach Kif
Bring us big Oline and Dlinemen next

You got that right!

He just drove his first fencepost. Now, can he claim Dominique Allen, Marlon Brown, and Marsalis Teague?

We might have to invade Alabama or South Carolina to steal a worthy Olineman for the Hardesty, Creer, Poole, and Oku show.

ctownvol writes:

in response to King53:

Great job Coach K!!! By the way, who else had offered Gordon?

According to Rivals...
Bama, Miami, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, South Carolina, Miss. State, Louisville, Colorado

velovol writes:

way to headline the giles story govolsxtra.

Volunatic writes:

Glad to have you join us, Eric!

Volunatic writes:

in response to tennesseePhatz:

WE NEED A *****QB AND WE NEED ONE NOW !!!!!

We already have Bryce Petty. He fits Kiffin's system very well.
Coleman probably can, too, with some competent coaching.

rabidvol1998 writes:

in response to SemperVol:

You got that right!

He just drove his first fencepost. Now, can he claim Dominique Allen, Marlon Brown, and Marsalis Teague?

We might have to invade Alabama or South Carolina to steal a worthy Olineman for the Hardesty, Creer, Poole, and Oku show.

I think Kiffin is doing well and hope he continues to. But don't fall for the ole " build a fence" around TN stuff. You do that and you get a big Strawberry farm with a fence, not a championship football team. Also the logic is flawed. We are going to get all the top recruits in OUR state to stay home and get all the top recruits in OTHER states to leave?

I'm all for optimism, but recruiting at TN is hard, has been hard and will always be hard.

Only 3 traditional powerhouses must recruit nationally, Nebraska, ND and TN. Notice any similarities in recent results.

Go Vols.

VOLorado writes:

in response to velovol:

way to headline the giles story govolsxtra.

my thoughts exactly...

this story (about Gordon) should definitely be the lead.

giles not coming to Tennessee was maybe news the first time, but now.....

tripper writes:

in response to King53:

Great job Coach K!!! By the way, who else had offered Gordon?

He had over 14 offers, but we stole from Alabama. He was also heavily recruited by Oklahoma. Fantastic pickup, not only because of the player, but that Kiffin really impressed and we took him away from Satan.

jack007 writes:

in response to ctownvol:

According to Rivals...
Bama, Miami, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, South Carolina, Miss. State, Louisville, Colorado

Rivals rates him 4 stars out of five...pretty good

JBruce writes:

Morgan Moses is looking good for the Vols. Our biggest challenge will come from Virginia Tech I think. He said he’s already talked to Lane Kiffin and has been very impressed with the new Tennessee head man. He is definitely going to visit UT and Ohio State according to him.

SemperVol writes:

in response to rabidvol1998:

I think Kiffin is doing well and hope he continues to. But don't fall for the ole " build a fence" around TN stuff. You do that and you get a big Strawberry farm with a fence, not a championship football team. Also the logic is flawed. We are going to get all the top recruits in OUR state to stay home and get all the top recruits in OTHER states to leave?

I'm all for optimism, but recruiting at TN is hard, has been hard and will always be hard.

Only 3 traditional powerhouses must recruit nationally, Nebraska, ND and TN. Notice any similarities in recent results.

Go Vols.

No argument here, rabid.

I said we'll need to invade other places to get a worthy brigade of Linemen. By no means turn away recruits in other states. That's foolish. I don't think anyone said that here. But there's a handful of guys in-state that can be productive and we should always lock them down.

Go Vols!!!

BigMikeUT writes:

Taking Eric Gordon over Bama and Oklahoma is a big win for Kiffin. You can't find two hotter programs right now in college football than those two. Looks like Gordon is the first piece of the fence! Go get Allen, Teague, and Brown now!

tripper writes:

in response to rabidvol1998:

I think Kiffin is doing well and hope he continues to. But don't fall for the ole " build a fence" around TN stuff. You do that and you get a big Strawberry farm with a fence, not a championship football team. Also the logic is flawed. We are going to get all the top recruits in OUR state to stay home and get all the top recruits in OTHER states to leave?

I'm all for optimism, but recruiting at TN is hard, has been hard and will always be hard.

Only 3 traditional powerhouses must recruit nationally, Nebraska, ND and TN. Notice any similarities in recent results.

Go Vols.

Your logic is flawed. You ask, "We are going to get all the top recruits in OUR state to stay home and get all the top recruits in OTHER states to leave?" That's exactly what we are going to do. It's called recruiting. We lock down the 12-14 best players from this state and cherry pick the best recruits from any state in the US.

Hopson2008 writes:

I remember someone saying that this guy is related to Jamont Gordon (Miss St. All-SEC b-ball player) and he went to the same high school. Does anyone know whether Eric is Jamont's little bro, cousin, etc?

Volunatic writes:

Maryville's George Quarles was pretty impressed by him as an offensive player, also:

http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2008/dec...

Hillsboro's speed starts with Eric Gordon. The 5-foot-11, 185-pound Mr. Football finalist has 44 catches for 774 yards and nine touchdowns this season - and offers from Tennessee, Alabama and Oklahoma among others.

"I know we haven't played anyone as fast as Eric Gordon, who cuts like he does," said Quarles. "He can make one guy miss and then, gone.

"He's everywhere. He lines up at fullback, tailback. He lines up out wide. They do a good job of getting him the ball. They'll decoy him, too."

NoogaVol55 writes:

On the college FBall homepage on ESPN...you can type in a recuits name and get a rundown on his abilities and see some film. Eric Gordon looks impressive. Seems like he can compete for the jump ball too, which will help with his height 5'9. Great pick-up for us. You can never have too many athletes on a team. Seems like he brings a lot to the table.

ctownvol writes:

in response to Hopson2008:

I remember someone saying that this guy is related to Jamont Gordon (Miss St. All-SEC b-ball player) and he went to the same high school. Does anyone know whether Eric is Jamont's little bro, cousin, etc?

Little brother.

tripper writes:

Next year, in this state we will have 15-20 legitimate national recruits that we must try and lock down. Jacquez Smith, Marc Gooch, Justin Maclin, Harrison Jones, Ferlando Bohanna, Barry Brunetti, Zac Tait and my favorite from Ensworth Orleans Opoku Darkwa just to name a few.

VolPatrick writes:

I watched him play my high school alma mater the first game of the year. Hillsboro got behind big in the first half, but came back to nearly win against a 5a state runner-up. Gordon ran for a 33 yard TD and caught a 15 yard TD in the process, against a defense which became one of the better ones in the state. He is quite impressive.

This is a great pickup and gets the positive momentum going. Coach Kiffin was in a good place last weekend to view lots of the state's talent, so hopefully more inroads were made.

golfballs03 writes:

Solid Grab

Basketball_Jones writes:

I think you'll see the QB picked up in next years class. This year is too late. We know USC doesn't need one

paden312#514997 writes:

Scout says that he is 5-11 and runs a 4.4. His brother is/was a basketball player for Miss St and was actually quite good. Overall, i think its a good grab and an even better message to all the other teams that a fence around the TN state line is being constructed as we speak

SignalMtnVol writes:

in response to King53:

Great job Coach K!!! By the way, who else had offered Gordon?

Oklahoma, Miami, Alabama, Texas Tech, South Carolina, Mississipi State, Louisville, and Colorado all offered scholorships to Eric Gordon.

blitzshoot writes:

If UT cannot secure a qb, why let Boyd walk away?
Needless to say, if UT does not acquire some linemen,
it won't matter who the qb is.

Waldorf writes:

in response to rabidvol1998:

I think Kiffin is doing well and hope he continues to. But don't fall for the ole " build a fence" around TN stuff. You do that and you get a big Strawberry farm with a fence, not a championship football team. Also the logic is flawed. We are going to get all the top recruits in OUR state to stay home and get all the top recruits in OTHER states to leave?

I'm all for optimism, but recruiting at TN is hard, has been hard and will always be hard.

Only 3 traditional powerhouses must recruit nationally, Nebraska, ND and TN. Notice any similarities in recent results.

Go Vols.

What you say is true.

But if there is a top-flight athlete from TN, we've got to make sure they go to school on The Hill. Too many very good players have gone to school out of state recently. You may not can fill a class, but you can get 3-7 players a year.

bobbyutvol writes:

Thank you you man for joining the VOLS.. This is a much better pickup than Giles the thug

orngbluded writes:

Giles who? thank you Eric Gordon and welcome to knoxville,dont worry the people from maryville hated you last weekend but they will LOVE you as a Vol.Good Job Kiffin!!!

gohawks1 writes:

in response to Basketball_Jones:

I think you'll see the QB picked up in next years class. This year is too late. We know USC doesn't need one

I hope you're wrong on this one. If we don't pick up a QB until next year's class, then he won't be on the roster until the 2010 season, and he'll be a true freshman at that. We need help NOW.

smokyredbone writes:

in response to Hopson2008:

I remember someone saying that this guy is related to Jamont Gordon (Miss St. All-SEC b-ball player) and he went to the same high school. Does anyone know whether Eric is Jamont's little bro, cousin, etc?

Little Bro!!!!

MrBamSeydu writes:

Nice. I did not see this one coming, I'll admit it.

Vol_in_Mich writes:

5'9", 5'11" ? Maybe he's still growing. Sounds like a good pick up. We may have enough RB's & really didn't need Giles. Sounds like he has some baggage & we don't need a kid trying to tell us which coach to keep. As far as a star QB, there may not be one out there this year. We'll have to see if Stephens, BJ or Petty can do the job with proper coaching. Won't be a Tebow or McCoy, more like a John Parker Wilson, he seems to have done pretty good for Bammer. Need some linemen & a kicker (also a special teams coach)
Just my opinion.

Go VOLS!!!

SemperVol writes:

in response to Vol_in_Mich:

5'9", 5'11" ? Maybe he's still growing. Sounds like a good pick up. We may have enough RB's & really didn't need Giles. Sounds like he has some baggage & we don't need a kid trying to tell us which coach to keep. As far as a star QB, there may not be one out there this year. We'll have to see if Stephens, BJ or Petty can do the job with proper coaching. Won't be a Tebow or McCoy, more like a John Parker Wilson, he seems to have done pretty good for Bammer. Need some linemen & a kicker (also a special teams coach)
Just my opinion.

Go VOLS!!!

I share that same opinion...

cainclifton23 writes:

in response to tennesseePhatz:

WE NEED A *****QB AND WE NEED ONE NOW !!!!!

No we Dont.

We have at least 2 who can play.

Crompton has all the tools just needs to learn more.

Stephens takes care of the ball,

We just need a good QB coach

chuckfromwoodbury writes:

Time to get rid of Drayton. After fulmer was fired he told Giles to go somewhere else, well he did! Coach Kiffin, do you really want a fulmer lackey on your staff. Fire Drayton! Fire fulmer II.

luvorange writes:

Love it! Welcome to the Big Orange! or should I say the "Orange Swarm"?

airvols#371403 writes:

Nothing better than a Tennessee kid playing for the Big Orange. We need all the Tennessee kids we can get. Great Job!

OakyVol09 writes:

in response to MrBamSeydu:

Nice. I did not see this one coming, I'll admit it.

Me neither. I thought it would be too late in the game to make up ground on Bama for this kid. Great get Kiffin. I really do not think the old staff gets Gordon. Hope Kiffin has this effect on some others.

Madkels writes:

in response to bobbyutvol:

Thank you you man for joining the VOLS.. This is a much better pickup than Giles the thug

I recommend not posting negative things (thugs) when recruits are involved. Let the coaches make the decisions about who they want or don't. After a 5-7 season and coaching change, we need to be 100% positive. No recruit has put ink to paper yet!

calvolfromkingsport writes:

Good job CLK.

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features