NICK LUCERO | rivals.com
It's not uncommon to hear excitement in the voices of tight ends when talking about Stanford. That was the case with 2019 Houston, Texas, recruit Thomas Gordon, who was impressed by the environment at Stanford and how they use his position.
"I really like the city and the campus," Gordon said. "The coaches were all just really nice. You could just feel that they were really good people and you don't get that at every college. They were honest, too. Some colleges will try to say all this stuff but I felt like Stanford was really sincere about what they were saying."
He camped at Stanford June 20 and stayed in the area for the junior day on June 21. The morning session of the camp focused on Gordon's strength as a big receiving target.
In the second session they focused on blocking: "I learned a lot. I wasn't asked to block a ton this year (at Strake Jesuit) but the coaches were good at teaching what I needed to do."
With offers from Baylor, Duke, SMU and others -- not to mention interest from TCU and other Big 12 schools -- there are a number of schools involved in Gordon's recruitment who use tight ends in spread offenses.
Stanford's coaches ask a lot of their tight ends and that appeals to Gordon.
"They showed film of what needs to be done to be a Stanford tight end and what they do with that position," he said. "It was cool to see everything that you need to be able to do. I think they use the tight end the best in the country."
Gordon's ability to move as a 6-foot-5 athlete is helped by his time playing basketball.
"It's a key part of what I do," he said. "A lot of people try to tell me to not do it and focus on football. But there are so many players -- especially tight ends such as Jimmy Graham and Tony Gonzalez -- who played basketball through college. Getting a rebound in basketball ... is the same as getting a jump ball in the end zone. It makes me healthy for football season."
Gordon worked the most during the camp with special teams coordinator Peter Alamar, who also is his area recruiter. He had several conversations with Alamar and tight end coach Morgan Turner before he visited Stanford.
The junior day showed the other side of the Stanford student-athlete experience. Gordon enjoyed talking to George Foster, a professor in the graduate school of business.
"He was a really cool guy," Gordon said. "He was talking about how he consults with Nike about branding and working with Jerry Jones and the Cowboys. I thought it was neat that we got to talk to professors. That was the only college that I really got to talk to a professor."
Gordon also liked what he heard about the Stanford admissions process. He finished his sophomore year with a 4.0 GPA and he took the ACT already without prepping for it. He plans to take the test again to make sure he has the score he needs for Stanford.