Name: Thomas Gordon
Weight: 205 lbs.
High school: Cass Technical High School in Detroit, MI
Position: Nickel cornerback
Class: Redshirt sophomore
Jersey number: #15
Last year: I ranked Gordon #23 and said he would get 60 tackles as the starting Spur. He started 4 games, making 23 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, and 2 sacks.
I’ve taken a liking to Gordon and repeatedly called for him to get more playing time last season. He was beaten out by Carvin Johnson for the starting Spur job for the beginning of last season (though Johnson promptly got injured), but Gordon handled himself well in his somewhat limited playing time. He’s not a speedster, but he’s good in limited space and can blitz a little bit. The only thing I can imagine is that Gordon had some off-the-field issues that contributed to him standing on the sidelines for Wisconsin, Ohio State, and Mississippi State, which were powerful running teams against which a stout kid like Gordon would seem to have fared well. Meanwhile, Johnson wasn’t spectacular (18 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 1 pass breakup) and both lost their starting job to converted safety Cameron Gordon.
This season Thomas Gordon looks to be the nickel corner, replacing a defensive lineman or linebacker in passing situations. This would seem to be an excellent fit for him, because he has some of the same abilities as former nickel extraordinaire Brandon Harrison, though Gordon isn’t as speedy. He should be able to play a little bit of zone coverage, support the run, sniff out some screen passes, and blitz off the edge. I would be a little concerned about his ability to man up against some of the Big Ten’s slot receivers, but that can be schemed around a little bit.
Prediction: Nickel corner
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