2009 cornerback prospect Eric Gordon knows that to be the best you have to beat the best, which is why he enjoyed a big Friday night matchup between his Hillsboro Burros and Nashville's Montgomery Bell Academy.
This season, Hillsboro High School out of Nashville, Tenn. will be seeking its fifth trip to the 4A state championship game since 2001. On three of those trips, including last season, the Burros have lost the state title game to Maryville High School, a team currently ranked by Rivals.com as the No. 19 team in the country.
Last Friday night, Hillsboro played one of the top teams in the state and Gordon came to play.
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"I'm glad we scheduled [MBA] so that we can prepare for down the line when we have to play teams like Maryville," Gordon said. "That's good for us to play that kind of game early on."
Though Gordon's team lost a close 17-12 decision to the Big Red of MBA, his play on the big stage proved that he is a definite name to watch for the 2009 class. Gordon lined up at safety and wide receiver for the Burros and he demonstrated an impressive slew of tackles and a dangerous ability to run with the ball.
As far as what position he enjoys the most, Gordon is just happy to be on the field.
"I played corner the first game but now I'm playing safety because teams could just run to the other side when I was at corner," he said. "Now I can be much more involved in every play. I love hitting, I also like pass coverage, but I also like running away from people with the ball. Basically I just love the game of football."
Early in the recruiting process, Gordon lists Alabama, LSU, Florida, West Virginia and Texas as some teams he hopes to hear from. He has already made one unofficial trip to Alabama to see the Western Carolina game and he has another scheduled trip to Tennessee to see the Vols play Georgia.
"I went to the Alabama game with one of our assistants," Gordon said. "I really liked Alabama a lot and it was a great atmosphere. I got to talk to all of the coaches except the head coach and they seemed cool. I'm also going to the Tennessee game on October 5."
Gordon's brother is Mississippi State junior point guard Jamont Gordon, who is a potential first round NBA draft pick. At 5-foot-10, Eric doesn't have the basketball size of his brother, but he has a thick frame and could be one of Tennessee's top prospects in the class of 2009.