Archive for Sunday, November 7, 2004

Mangino lobbies for do-all Gordon

November 7, 2004


Mark Mangino is convinced.

How could he not be?

Following Saturday's 30-21 loss to Colorado, the Kansas University football coach spoke of sophomore do-all Charles Gordon, who filled the stat sheet with an array of plays on defense, offense and special teams.

"I don't like to go around and brag up my players," Mangino said, "but if he's not one of the top football players in America, he's got to be among the best.

"I mean, who does what he does?"

Good question. Saturday was one of Gordon's best showings as a college talent, and that is saying something.

Gordon had two interceptions on balls he quite simply wasn't supposed to catch, would have had a third interception had the ball not spit out after he fell on it, recovered a fumble, sacked CU quarterback Joel Klatt and caught a pass on offense for 22 yards.

He also returned a punt 22 yards -- after nearly getting killed upon catching it.

All in a day's work for Gordon, but this performance had even Mangino coming out of his shell.

"He makes interceptions, he covers people, he returns punts," Mangino said. "In his spare time, we put him on offense, he makes plays there."

Gordon was used almost exclusively at cornerback Saturday, one week after most of his work came at wide receiver against Iowa State. He has moved around more than a military family, but he has yet to say a negative word about it.

"I'm all right," Gordon said. "I get a lot of time to rest, so I feel pretty good."

With six interceptions, Gordon is among the Big 12 Conference leaders in picks. Saturday's pair were two of his best: the first a long pass that Gordon hauled in with outstretched hands, the second a long pass that Gordon snuck around the receiver to grab.

Soon after the second, Gordon almost made a diving interception near the CU sideline for the trifecta, but he fell on the ball, popping it out and knocking the wind out of him in the process.

No matter. Gordon already had made sure Saturday's game would elevate his stature as one of the nation's top playmakers. Mangino was more than happy to say as much, too.

"I haven't seen all the major-conference schools in person," Mangino said, "but he's got to be among the top 10 or 15 players in the country."

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