The spring recruiting season is in full gear, which means elite prospects across the country are making their way to different campuses and spring football practices in the hopes of narrowing down their options.
The same goes for Trent Gordon, a 3-star cornerback out of Manvel (Texas) High School who has enjoyed one of the busiest springs of any 2018 defensive back in the nation.
Gordon, who measures up at 6-footand 175 pounds, is the nation’s No. 37 cornerback in the 2018 recruiting cycle, per the 247Sports Composite rankings.
At the beginning of the spring, Gordon boasted a short but impressive offer sheet comprised of national powers such as LSU, UCLA, Texas A&M, Kentucky, Cal and Oklahoma. By the end of January, that list started to swell as the budding cornerback recruit drew offers from Michigan, Penn State, Tennessee, Northwestern, Duke, Oregon, TCU and Florida, among several others.
Gordon and his family waited until he eclipsed the 30-offer mark before trimming his options down to 10 on Monday evening. LSU made the final cut along with Texas A&M, Tennessee, UCLA, Florida, Michigan, Oklahoma, Duke, Cal and Penn State as he prepared to give his verbal pledge on Wednesday.
So, will LSU be the choice?
Gordon camped at LSU last June as an under-the-radar prospect that had just transferred to Manvel (Texas) High School, which is just outside of Houston. At the time, Bradley Dale Peveto was still recruiting the Lone Star State for the Tigers under former head coach Les Miles.
Gordon worked out with Corey Raymond and saw a ton of one-on-one action on the final day of the high school camp session. He met with Peveto, Raymond and Miles, but returned to Texas without an offer in hand.
The 3-star cornerback returned to campus twice that fall to watch the Tigers in person and eventually landed the offer from LSU soon after Ed Orgeron was named the team’s full-time head coach. Gordon told SEC Country in January that Raymond was in regular communication with him and was grounded by the opportunity to play in Baton Rouge.
“They want me to bulk up, get my speed up, and they told me that I’ll be a perfect fit to start on defense for LSU,” Gordon said at the National Playmakers Academy exposure camp in Houston. “I told them: ‘I got you and that I can do that.’”
Gordon added that of the schools recruiting him this January, LSU was making the second-hardest push behind only UCLA.
Will it be LSU for Gordon?
Wednesday’s announcement may not have as much drama as originally anticipated.
Gordon is coming off a Big Ten tour through Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State, and a finalist pit stop in Tennessee to end spring break earlier this month. In the process, Gordon was a no-show for LSU’s national junior day on March 18 and was unable to make the trip back to the Bayou a week later for a spring practice.
One source close to Gordon told SEC Country on Monday night that he was not being courted by Raymond or the Tigers as hard as he had wanted. Another source in the LSU building told SEC Country that the coaches are a big fan of the cornerback, but there are other defensive backs on the board right now garnering the staff’s attention at the moment.
On Tuesday, I placed a Crystal Ball pick in for Gordon to Penn State. His father informed SEC Country that Gordon was “very high” on the Nittany Lions offer even before he visited Happy Valley earlier in March. The family’s inaugural visit there represented a major transgression in his recruitment leading into the announcement on Wednesday.
Prediction: Penn State
What’s next for the Tigers?
LSU’s 2018 recruiting class already includes commitments from one cornerback and three safeties. That includes 4-star corner Kelvin Joseph, 4-star safeties Nadab Joseph and Caden Sterns, and 3-star nickel Ar’Darius Washington.
The team could bring as many as three to four more defensive backs on board by National Signing Day.
It seems unlikely that Raymond would add another safety to this class, but he is continuing to recruit at the position in case of a de-commitment or a flip. Names such as B.J. Foster and Leon O’Neal are on the radar, but LSU is also pushing for Foster as a running back and could use Neal at either corner or safety.
LSU’s cornerback board is where the action will take place between now and signing day. There are 19 corners in the 2018 cycle with offers from LSU and at least three more will likely come on board.
Here’s a look at the top CB options:
- Pat Surtain Jr., 5-star (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
- Tyson Campbell, 4-star (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)
- Jalen Green, 4-star (Houston)
- Anthony Cook, 5-star (Houston)
- Verone McKinley III, 4-star (Carrollton, Texas)
McKinley is expected to commit sometime toward the end of this spring, while the other targets will likely hold off until the fall or closer to signing day. In other words, it should be a rather eventful close to the 2018 cycle. In my first mock signing class, I named Surtan, Campbell and Green as the choices to join Kelvin Joseph at cornerback.
From 31 to 10…..what a blessing. Commitment coming Wednesday ?❗️❗️❗️ pic.twitter.com/2FqQp3ASGQ
— SAVAGE 1️⃣8️⃣ (@_TRENTG_) March 28, 2017