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Archive for Friday, January 6, 2006

Kansas’ Gordon considering jump to NFL

January 6, 2006

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Kansas University football standout Charles Gordon continues to mull a decision whether to declare for the NFL draft or return for his senior season - and time is running out.

Reached Thursday in Carson, Calif., Gordon's mother, Terri Wilson, said no decision had been made. She declined to go into any details, such as discussing reasons her son would want to go pro or why he'd be interested in returning for his senior season.

"I don't know," Wilson said. "I really don't."

A message left for Gordon wasn't returned. KU coach Mark Mangino was out of town recruiting Thursday and unavailable for comment.

Gordon's situation particularly is intriguing for several reasons. For example, it's never certain where he's going to play. His versatility has had him popping up at cornerback and wide receiver and returning punts and kicks during his three seasons in Lawrence, and Mangino always has been unwilling to be definitive about Gordon's place on the field when questioned.

Many football minds agree, though, that Gordon's best chance at the next level is at cornerback. His coaches have raved about his footwork and instincts while on defense, and his reliability at catching the football is a plus for a defensive back.

The downside? Gordon is listed at 5-foot-11, but that might be a two-inch stretch.

To compare, Texas University's starters in the secondary, for example - perhaps all NFL prospects and, thus, Gordon's competition - stand 6-foot, 6-foot, 6-1 and 6-2, and all are known for remarkable athleticism.

Gordon's selling point is on-field performance, something that had pundits excited after he led NCAA Div. I-A with eight interceptions in 2004. He had just two in '05, but his part-time status on defense in the second half of the season had something to do with that.

Whatever Gordon decides, he'll have to do so quickly: Early entrants are required to notify the NFL by Jan. 15.

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Where to?: So where, if anywhere, is Gordon ranked among draft experts?

The answers vary wildly, and almost humorously. One Web site, draftboardinsider.com, lists Gordon as going in the first round at 24th overall, saying "there's no reason Gordon should fall this far."

However, ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper Jr., thought to be one of the most well known and connected experts on the subject, recently omitted Gordon from a list of the top 12 defensive backs in the junior class.

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