Signee profile: Eric Gordon

He was fast but now he's faster. He was explosive but now he's more so. He was highly regarded but now he's a potential Game 1 contributor.

That's the latest from Tennessee football signee Eric Gordon. The 5-10, 187-pounder from Nashville Hillsboro believes he has come a long way since he signed with the Big Orange last February.

"I haven't gotten any bigger but I've gotten way faster," he said. "I'm more explosive. I've practiced with my track team a lot – working on quickness more than anything."

Gordon says he hasn't been timed lately but he's sure he's a step or two faster than last fall. He's also convinced he's a significantly better football player than he was last season, when he led Hillsboro to the Class 4A state title.

"I'm eating right, studying in school and working out every day," he said. "I'm running once a day right now, but when I get out of school I'll run and work out twice a day. And I've got a defensive playbook (from UT), so I look over it pretty often."

Remarkably versatile, Gordon posted 510 rushing yards and 716 receiving yards last fall – scoring nine touchdowns on the ground and nine more through the air. He also registered 37 tackles and five interceptions. Basically, he can play any skill position.

"I'm good at every position but I like cornerback and punt returns best," he said. "At corner I like run support ... most definitely. And I like to stop somebody; it feels pretty good to lock somebody down at the end of the night ... zero catches."

Gordon says Tennessee coaches have told him he'll play corner and "maybe a little wide receiver." Special teams is likely to be in his future, as well.

"They say punt returns is open to anybody," he noted, "and I can try out for that."

Since signing with UT last winter, Gordon has become something of a celebrity around Nashville.

"The most interesting thing that's happened to me is just the amount of people coming up to me and congratulating me," he said. "Even the UPS guy came up to me and said, 'Hey, you're the guy I've read about. Congratulations.'"

Gordon says he's fully eligible after making an 18 on the ACT. Still, he plans to take it again before enrolling at UT. He had hoped to attend the first session of summer school but now believes he'll hold off until the second session.

Although he isn't a big guy, Gordon is a big hitter. He looks forward to showcasing his aggressive nature as a member of Tennessee's secondary this fall.

"I bring physicality, explosiveness and a dynamic factor ... in my eyes anyway," he said.

With Dennis Rogan splitting time at free safety and fellow cornerback Brent Vinson coming off shoulder surgery, Gordon could play as a true freshman – maybe even start. That's not high on his list of goals, however.

"My goal is to win a championship," he said. "I don't care about personal awards. It's all about winning a championship."


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