football Edit

Exclusive: Rivals250 DB Trent Gordon discusses PSU commitment

Trent Gordon became Penn State's eighth four-star commitment in 2018 on Wednesday
Trent Gordon became Penn State's eighth four-star commitment in 2018 on Wednesday (

The phrase where there’s smoke, there’s fire was truly epitomized when it came to Rivals250 defensive back Trent Gordon’s commitment to Penn State this week.

In the days leading up to his announcement Wednesday morning, rumors that he was indeed committed grew inside the Nittany Lions fan base - and beyond. The embers had been smoldering since his recent unofficial visit and subsequent inclusion of Penn State in his top-ten that he released on Monday.

“Really, I actually enjoyed that people kept asking me Where are you going? Where are you going?” he said. “I liked to keep it under wraps until the day-of because I like the anticipation aspect of it. It was hard to keep it low-key, but I kept it on the down-low as possible.”


Confirmation of what Penn State coaches and fans had been hoping for is cause for celebration nonetheless. All the innuendo in the world means nothing until news was made official by Gordon himself.

While PSU’s staff had to feel good about where they stood with him, that didn’t stop them from suggesting to their current commitments to do some last-minute shmoozing with Gordon on Twitter. Letters - hundreds of them - came in the mail, and coaches from the remaining programs in his top-ten were in a frenzy trying to figure out where they stood.

“My dad actually told me to turn my phone off,” he said. “As soon as I posted my top-ten it was like, after like, after like. Retweet after retweet after retweet. DM’s from coaches, different reporters, I couldn’t focus and my dad was like ‘turn it off, you’re not doing this tonight.’”

That’s all due to pick right back up again now that Gordon has made his commitment, but the context will be very different. Undoubtedly, his inbox will include excited reaction from PSU cornerbacks coach Terry Smith, who Gordon has developed the strongest relationship with among coaches that have recruited him throughout the process.

Smith and head coach James Franklin ultimately won him over with their belief in him as more than just a football player.

“I think their attitude towards me actually got better after seeing me in person,” he said. “I can’t even describe it because it was such a great feeling just being there - their whole vibe was so good.

“The fact that they really enjoyed me as a person and more than just a football player,” he added. “They like me, they like my family and what I am motivated by. That’s what kind of captivated me when it came to how they recruited me - it was about me as a student as well.”

Gordon said that Penn State really took the lead in his recruitment about a month ahead of his mid-March campus visit, but that didn’t mean others were cast aside. On the road trip that included his stop in Happy Valley, Gordon also made stops at LSU, Michigan, and Tennessee - all programs that also made his shortlist of finalists.

“Surprisingly, they weren’t that far off,” he said. “It was actually a hard decision to make because a lot of schools had what interested me. Some schools, on the other hand, weren’t as interested in my family or me as a person; they were strictly about football and me helping them out with the program.”

While he isn’t entirely sure that he will remain specifically at cornerback throughout his college career, Gordon’s versatility is a point of pride and he said that he’s not nearly done improving this season. He added that having made his commitment now gives him the benefit of getting better in his final high school season without the added task of entertaining the numerous programs still vying for his attention.

“My commitment is just motivation for me to get better,” he said. “That’s just going to push me to do better, make the most of the rest of my high school career and prepare me for the college level.

“When Penn State offered at first, I didn’t know much about them, the offers were just all coming in still,” he added. “As the weeks went on and they kept contacting me and I found out more about them, I realized this was actually a powerhouse school. That’s when I started falling in love with them.”