Weight: 237 lbs.
High school: Detroit (MI) Inkster
Class: Redshirt senior
Jersey number: #4
Last year: I ranked Gordon #28 and said he would be the backup SAM with 30 tackles, 2 sacks, and 1 interception. He had 17 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, and 1 pass breakup.
Gordon has been quite an interesting player throughout his career. From wide receiver in 2009 to free safety in 2010 to 3-3-5 strongside linebacker in the second half of 2010 to SAM under Brady Hoke, he's played everywhere. His best statistical season came as a redshirt freshman when he had 77 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 3 interceptions, 4 pass breakups, and 2 fumble recoveries; since then he has totaled 21 tackles and 3 tackles for loss. He was nominally the backup SAM in 2012, but starter Jake Ryan rarely came off the field. And if the team went to a nickel package, they would sometimes put Ryan at defensive end, remove the SAM linebacker spot, and insert a slot corner. This spring, after Ryan tore his ACL, junior Brennen Beyer moved to SAM from weakside end and started at his new position in the spring game; Gordon was relegated to backup duty once again.
Beyer also played ahead of Gordon back in 2011 (although Gordon was suffering from a minor back injury at the time), so evidence suggests that Beyer will be the starter in 2013. He's been ahead of Gordon every step of the way. But Beyer's next big play will be his first, and I think he's just an average player. Gordon appears to be slightly inconsistent, but he's a much better athlete and has more big-play potential. I think Gordon should be the starting SAM until Ryan recovers, and I'm going to hope that the coaches agree with me.
Prediction: Starting SAM linebacker; 40 tackles, 3 sacks, 1 interception