Zach Gordon, who is considered by some to be Georgia’s No. 1 college football prospect at tight end, committed to Wake Forest on Friday.
The 6-foot-5, 245-pounder from Carrollton High School picked Wake Forest over Stanford among his 17 offers, which also included Kentucky, Virginia and South Florida.
“When I made my decision, I took football completely out of the equation,” Gordon told the AJC. “I thought to myself, ‘Which school would I like to be at, even if I wasn’t playing football?’ That’s what it came down to. And that’s why I picked Wake Forest. It’s that gut feeling you get when you know it’s right. Once I stepped on the Wake Forest campus, I got the feeling in my heart that it was the right place for me.”
Georgia has three tight ends that are candidates to be ranked No. 1 at the position — Gordon, Colquitt County’s Ty Smith (committed to UGA) and Buford’s Kurt Freitag (undecided).
“Zach is probably the best blocking tight end I’ve ever coached in 26 years,” Carrollton coach Rayvan Teague said. “I mean, he just dominates people along the line of scrimmage.”
Teague recalled last year’s season opener when Gordon was matched up against Allan Carson, the 6-foot, 330-pound defensive tackle from Oxford (Ala.) High School who later signed with Tennessee. “Zach weighed about 220 pounds last year when we played that game, and he pancaked [Carson] about four times.
“They just don’t come any better at tight end than Zach Gordon. He’s a prototypical blocker that you can flex out to catch the football. He doesn’t have wide receiver speed, but he 6-5 running a 4.8 in the 40-yard dash with good hands. He could play football for any college in the country, without a doubt.”
What about UGA and Georgia Tech? Gordon said he never really had any serious contact with either but has no complaints. “I am very blessed with the opportunities I have,” Gordon said. “I couldn’t ask for a better fit for me both athletically and academically than Wake Forest.”
Gordon has a 3.8 GPA and aspires to be a school teacher and football coach. “I feel like my football coaches have had such a big and positive impact in my life that I would like do the same for other kids one day.”
Perhaps most impressive for his young age, Gordon is heavily involved with his church and community. For the last 5-6 years, he has volunteered with a community outreach program under the direction of his mother at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church. “I’m like the ‘carrying man,’” Gordon said with a laugh. “Whatever they need delivered around town or to the food shelter, I carry it around in the back of my truck.”
Gordon delivers “backpacks of snacks” to children of lower-income families so they can be assured of food over the weekend. He also helps tutor elementary kids in an after-school program. “That’s just the way my family raised me, making me passionate about helping others,” Gordon said. “It gives you a good feeling to be able to do things like that.”
Note: Through covering high school sports, I am fortunate to meet hundreds of kids every year, and there are always a small handful that make you say “Wow, they really have it together.” Zach Gordon is certainly one from this year. What about football? I think you can make a strong case for Zach as the state’s No. 1 tight end. He plays for one of the Georgia’s top high school programs under one of the state’s most successful veteran coaches. Zach immediately passes the eyeball test with his towering physique. I’ve seen most of the state’s top offensive linemen (linemen and tight ends), and the only 2012 prospect I can think of with a comparable body frame is Cedar Grove offensive tackle Brandon Greene, who is committed to Alabama. Tall, lean and not much baby fat. Surprisingly for a tight end (they all want the rock thrown to them), Zach loves blocking, which is music to the ears of any college coach. He is a proven commodity as a player with his performances on the football field during last year’s march to the state championship game. Don’t let the church/community outreach thing fool you; Zach is mean and nasty between the lines. He has had a tremendous growth spurt over the last six months. He seems to have an overwhelming amount of intangibles with his leadership, academic excellence, and high character. He reminds me a lot of outstanding student-athletes like UGA’s Chris Burnette (valedictorian candidate at Troup High School in 2009) and James Vaughters (4.0 GPA at Tucker High School and signed with Stanford last February).
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– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog Got a recruiting item? firstname.lastname@example.org
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