Tampa DB commits to LSU

An outstanding high school football player can often be his own worse enemy. Such was the case for Tampa-Plant standout Keron Gordon, who established such a dangerous reputation as a junior that teams accounted for him throughout his senior season. Still, it hasn't kept colleges away – namely LSU, who received its 12th commitment for the 2002 signing class from Gordon on Thursday.

Gordon (6-1 ½, 175) raised eyes all along the Gulf Coast during his junior season at Plant when he led the county with seven interceptions and had five kick returns for touchdowns. As a senior, opponents kicked away from Gordon for the most part but couldn't avoid him entirely when he played defense.

Working at free safety in Plant's defense, Gordon had three interceptions this past season, including one he returned 105 yards for a touchdown against Tampa-Blake. He also returned a missed field goal 95 yards to set up another Plant score.

Gordon has been a starter on the varsity level since he was freshman and was a valuable defender for all four years under head coach Darlee Nelson.

"He's played everywhere in the secondary for us," Nelson said. "He's usually our safety in our open-field defense, and he plays corner when we're in goal line. Many colleges like him as a big corner, but he's good enough to play any position in the secondary."

Although his senior year statistics came up short of what he did as a junior, Gordon is still a hot commodity in recruiting circles. He made his official visit to LSU in November and also traveled to Auburn.

Nelson says LSU assistant coach Stan Hixon has done a good job of showing an early interest in Gordon and maintaining contact with him throughout the recruiting process.

"Coach Hixon has recruited this area for LSU and has done a good job of selling LSU," Nelson said. "When you look at the SEC, you see where they are playing the top football in the country. That's where Keron sees himself competing when he moves on to the next level.

"Coach Saban has seen a trend in college athletes getting bigger and faster, and he recognizes the need to have bigger and quicker defensive backs to cover them. Keron definitely falls into that category."

Nelson reports that Gordon, who is as dedicated in the classroom as he is on the football field, is fully qualified with a 3.0 grade point average and an 850 on his most recent attempt at the SAT.

Auburn and Central Florida were also offering Gordon scholarships, and he was also considering visits to Florida, Purdue, North Carolina and Rutgers.

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