Since the move, Gordon has gained about eight pounds. He now weighs 270 pounds. Defensive tackle coach Clint Hurtt believes Gordon has the physical tools to become a great pass rusher at tackle in the future.
For now, Gordon says he needs to just work on his technique and gain weight.
"Right now, everything is going real good," Gordon said. "The coaches are teaching me a lot of technique and moves. I am learning from the upperclassmen like Teraz and Bryan. Right now I get a lot of work as a pass rusher. I am not working as much during running situations."
"The biggest thing for me right now is putting on weight to play defensive tackle," Gordon said. "I am trying to gain weight by just eating more. The players are a lot bigger on the interior of the offensive line and at tackle, I don't have as much space to run around the lineman."
Gordon says that he is already seeing results in practice during pass rushing situations. He is able to get to the quarterback by using his freakish combination of quickness and strength for a player his size.
"Right now I feel like I am doing real well in pass rushing situations," Gordon said. "I got little things on technique that I have to catch up on, but other than that, every time I am in one-on-ones I am dominant."
"I guess Coach Hurtt looks at me as a Bryan Pata type of player," Gordson said. "When Pata first came he was playing defensive end and he was playing at like 270 pounds and right now he is at about 285 pounds."
Gordon received his only playing time at tackle of the season versus FIU. He says he was "a little shaky with my technique, but I did my job."
An area where Gordon is excelling is on special teams for the kickoff coverage. Even at 270 pounds, Gordon is always one of the first players down the field to get to the ball carrier.
"That is one of my favorite things for me to do right now," Gordon said. "Whenever we kickoff, I am trying to be the first player down to get the returner and make plays. It is fun to just be out there running around."
Gordon cracks a smile when asked if he can see the fear in the eyes of a little return man when they see him coming down the field at full speed.
"I try to get them thinking about me coming. I let them know that when I give them a hit they are going to get it."
David Lake can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Freshman Spotlight: DL Richard Gordon
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