This year a player who has exploded onto the scene is Briarwood Christian standout athlete Matthew Gordon.
The top target of Auburn commitment Barrett Trotter since their sophomore seasons, Gordon is putting together one of the top seasons of any receiver in Alabama this year. Showing off his good speed and hands, the 6-1, 190 Gordon has become a dominant weapon on offense, defense and special teams for the Lions.
Entering Friday night's game with Russellville in the second round of the Class 5A Playoffs, Gordon had already done more in 11 games than most players do in a career. On offense he had 30 receptions for 880 yards and 15 touchdowns. As a safety he had also added 35 tackles, nine passes broken up, and two interceptions. His latest interception came in the first round last week when he returned it 98 yards for a score.
This past Friday night he did nothing to diminish his totals as he put on a superb performance for Briarwood in a 34-14 victory. With touchdown grabs of 63 and 35 yards, Gordon added to his impressive stats on offense. He also added three point-after touchdowns as a kicker and two kickoff returns of over 40 yards.
Gordon looks for running room against Russellville Friday night.
With those kinds of numbers, it's no wonder that Gordon has started to hear from college coaches. He says that currently he has two offers with more schools starting to show him attention.
"I have offers from Air Force and Samford," Gordon says. "I'm hearing from Mississippi State, Vanderbilt, Ole Miss and a couple of smaller schools like Furman and Wofford. I forgot about Marshall. They are looking at me as a kicker. They said I could play defensive back or receiver, but they really need a kicker.
"Pretty much everyone is looking at me as a defensive back, but they have seen my film from this year and think I can play receiver," he says. "I can play either one--just get me on the field."
A strength of Gordon's game is his speed. A standout in track for the Lions and part of a state title 4x400 team last year, Gordon says he has a personal-best 40-yard dash hand time of 4.37 seconds and has run a 4.49 electronic time. He notes that he was hoping to make more of a splash during the summer, but it didn't quite work out that way.
"I was hurt this summer so I didn't have as good of a showing as I wanted," Gordon says. "I went to Auburn, Vanderbilt, Ole Miss, and Louisville."
One place Gordon did have a good showing was in San Antonio for the Scout.com Junior Combine. Measuring in at 6-0 1/2, 189, Gordon ran a 40-yard dash time of 4.56 seconds on a slow track, had a 4.37 second short shuttle time, and added a 30-inch vertical leap.
Auburn is one place Gordon hoped to have a good showing considering he has been a fan of the Tigers for as long as he can remember. Now with good friend Trotter committed to play for Coach Tommy Tuberville's club, Gordon says he would love to join him on the Plains because he's certain Trotter has what it takes to be a good one in the Southeastern Conference.
"My dad went to Auburn and I grew up an Auburn fan," Gordon says. "Auburn-born. I would love to play there with Barrett. He's amazing. He's in there working as hard as anyone. He's got talent, but he also understands the game so well. Our coach said last week that a third of his touchdowns, of the 40 he's thrown, are him checking off at the line because he reads the defenses. It's just amazing. You get open by a yard and he's going to get you the ball."
Gordon, Trotter and the Lions will take to the road this coming Friday night when they travel to Huntsville to face Jomarcus Savage and J.O. Johnson at Milton Frank Stadium in the third round of the playoffs.