'07 Unwrapped: Gino Gordon

Some of the most fun recruiting stories to follow each year are those of the "athlete" - versatile and open in what position they might play in college. Stanford offered running back/defensive back Gino Gordon in the last week, adding an "athlete" to the Cardinal recruiting radar. Gordon also happens to be a high school teammate of Stanford's newest verbal commitment, Tyler Mabry.

Last week, Stanford secured a commitment from offensive lineman Tyler Mabry out of Francis Parker High in San Diego.

The man for whom Mabry opened holes, running back Gino Gordon (5-11, 185), just picked up an offer from Stanford, and there is a chance that the two teammates could end up in college together.

"The whole thing about Stanford, I didn't realize they were interested in me until a couple of weeks ago," Gordon says.  "I was making my unofficials, and I realized that they were interested so I went by the school.  The head coach [Walt Harris] wasn't there, but I talked to them and they gave me a verbal offer.  Then they sent me an offer in the mail."

Gordon says that the Cardinal did not specify a position on the field when they tendered their offer to him.

"They offered me as an athlete," the recruit reports.  "I'm pretty sure they have a need for DB's, so unless something drastic happens, I'll be playing cornerback."

Attending one of the top schools in San Diego, Gordon has accumulated a 3.86 GPA (weighted) and scored a 1790 on the SAT, which he plans to take again.

"Parker is one of the hardest schools in San Diego County," the student-athlete states.  "This year is going to be my hardest and most challenging year.  I'll have three AP classes and one honors class.  Last year, I had two honors and one AP class.  Rather than cruising, I'm trying to raise my level."

Gordon adds that Stanford just recently mailed their application for admission, and he eagerly awaits its arrival.

"I know I have to do the application and I have to make it in to get the scholarship," Gordon notes.

The educational aspect is one of the major factors in Gordon's decision, and he's not afraid to turn down a high D-I scholarship if the situation at an Ivy League school is better for him.

"I'm aiming differently," Gordon explains.  "I'm trying to get into schools like Harvard, the Ivy Leagues.  I'm not set on any school yet.  I'm just looking for the best situation possible - even if it's the Ivy Leagues.  They don't give scholarships, but they give financial aid.  I want to major in Marine Biology, and Stanford has a good program."

Harvard is recruiting Gordon at his primary position at Parker: running back.  He plays safety for the Lancers but acknowledges that cornerback is where he thinks he may be best suited.

"Really, it's the best situation for myself that will matter," Gordon opines.  "Even though I want to play running back in college, that isn't going to hinder my decision if I play in the secondary."

Gordon just completed a whirlwind, national tour of some of the top academic/athletic schools in the country.

"I went to places like Harvard, Boston College, Oregon (his first scholarship offer) and Northwestern," he lists.  "I was just making my rounds.  I'm also hearing from Washington, Brown, Columbia and Dartmouth."

So with Mabry having committed to Stanford, what does that mean for Gordon?

"Stanford is a great school, and the fact that my friend is there, that's a pretty good plus," Gordon admits.  "It gives me some kind of comfort zone with a friend there already.  It's not a major factor, but it's a nice plus."

The running back/defensive back recruit also says that he is interested in making his decision early.

"It would be nice to make an early commitment," Gordon allows.  "I've been talking with my parents, and if it's the best situation, I might commit early.  Really, I'm in an excellent situation and this is the best possible way to get to my goals, which is to get a degree - a strong degree."

What he has accomplished so far, on the field, in the classroom and now with scholarship offers, has left a big impression on Gordon's family.

"My parents are ecstatic," the son says.  "My dad is from the South and my mom is from Japan, and there just haven't been that many people from my family that have gone to a university, so this is definitely a good opportunity for me to have."

Last fall, Gordon was a key reason why Parker won the CIF Division V title in the San Diego Section.  He had 973 yards rushing on 139 carries and scored 12 touchdowns, while adding 11 receptions for 251 yards and three touchdowns.  Defensively, he added 50 tackles, five interceptions and a sack from his secondary position.

He has not set any goals this year outside of winning another title.

"We've got a good amount of seniors coming back," Gordon shares.  "I don't like to set statistical goals.  I just want to win that championship and solidify us as the best team in San Diego County.  We'll probably get more respect and help the school more later."

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