FORT CAMPBELL, Ky. - When you're playing alongside the likes of four-star rated and highly touted prospect Micah Johnson who is listed as the No. 1 strongside defensive end in the country, the shadow can be cast over your abilities.
However, quietly cornerback/safety Leonard Gordon is picking up scholarship offers and developing some big time recruiting interest of his own. At 5-foot-10, 195 pounds, the three-star rated No. 5 prospect in the state of Kentucky, has already earned scholarship offers from Notre Dame, Penn State, Vanderbilt, LSU, Kentucky, West Virginia, and many others.
Needless to say, Gordon is making his own name.
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"It comes both ways for us," Gordon said about his relationship with Johnson. "I don't have to be the one to push him or him push me because we push each other as a team. That's how you win a state championship – by pushing each other every day in practice."
"We're a big family here because inside of these gates we count on each other."
Those gates are one of the bigger military stations in the country and many of the family members of players like Gordon are part of the armed forces. That discipline translates into a hard working team that is full of heart.
Gordon's hard work on the field has translated into recruiting interest form several big name schools. His plan is to start narrowing his list.
"I've been to schools close to home like Kentucky and Louisville on some visits," Gordon said. "I want to get up to Notre Dame and I'd really like to get out to LSU. I'll start thinking more about that now because I want to get my list down to three schools."
One thing Gordon does not want to be known for is a prospect that makes a show of the recruiting process. He'll commit when he knows, not when everybody is watching.
"I'm not one of those players that are going to hold out," he said. "When the time is right, I'll know and then I'll commit."
For Gordon and the rest of his teammates at Fort Campbell, the focus is on a season that they've been waiting for over the last several years. It will start with the heralded Army Bowl where the two military high schools Campbell and Fort Knox (Ky.) High School will meet up as they have done every year.
The unique situation under which the game is played each year, being the only federal high schools in the country that are in the same state, is enough to motivate Gordon and his teammates towards a second consecutive win this year and a big step towards the title.
"They say three is the lucky number and we could have won state the last two years but fell short," he said. "This game, this year is definitely the year to play without mistakes. It's definitely the year."
Gordon is rated as the No. 36 cornerback in the nation. His stellar junior year was highlighted by 94 tackles and four interceptions. Sharing time on offense, he put in four receptions with two touchdowns.