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USC football commit to forgo senior season after CIF delays fall sports

USC football commit to forgo senior season after CIF delays fall sports
Xamarion Gordon is rated as the No. 19 safety in the nation and will enroll early at USC hoping to make an immediate impact. (Courtesy: @XamarionG/Twitter)

DOWNEY, Calif. (BVM) – It’s been Xamarion Gordon’s plan to graduate from Warren High School in December and enroll early at USC in January for months now. But he envisioned the transition happening after he played his senior football season for the Vikings.

The California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) announced on Monday that the start of the high school sports season in California will be delayed until December or January. The City Section and Southern Section both announced that football practice would begin Dec. 14, with games beginning Jan. 8.

Just hours after the CIF’s announcement, Gordon made one of his own on Twitter. The four-star Trojans commit will forgo his senior season and go through with his plan of enrolling at USC in January.

“The season got pushed back and I had a decision to make whether to still go to SC early or just skip my whole senior season,” Gordon said. “I talked with my coaches, some of the USC coaches and I just felt it was the better idea to get right to USC for my development and start training with my coaches.”

As long as top recruits can enroll early at their future destination, Gordon believes the number of athletes who take this route will only grow in the coming weeks and months. The last day of CIF section playoffs is now scheduled for April 10, giving athletes signed to play FBS or FCS football just weeks before officially enrolling in the summer.

With a risk of injury and not much to gain from one more season of prep football for most Division I prospects, the decision, actually, isn’t a tough one.

“With me, I was just weighing what was more important,” Gordon said. “The next level or high school football? Obviously, I chose the next level.

“It’ll just help me in the long run over other commits who don’t get there as early as I do. I’ll have that little gap of experience that they don’t have.”

At 6-foot-2, 190-pounds, Gordon is rated as the state’s No. 25 player and the No. 19 safety in the country by 247Sports. The versatile defender committed to USC in April after fielding offers from nearly 20 programs such as Oregon, Notre Dame, Oklahoma and Arizona.

Part of what makes Gordon one of the highest-rated commitments of the Trojans’ 2021 class is his ability to play multiple positions at the next level. The high school safety has the frame and athleticism to bulk up for an outside linebacker, hybrid position, much like Isaiah Simmons did for Clemson last season before being drafted No. 8 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals.

That idea wouldn’t surprise Gordon at all, and it’s one the defensive staff at USC is likely to bring to life.

“I could definitely see myself playing a safety, hybrid-linebacker position,” Gordon said. “I played it all in high school so I wouldn’t be too surprised if they had me play something like that in college. Post safety, come down in the box, cover the slot. I wouldn’t be too surprised.”

A large reason Gordon was sold on USC was its proximity to his hometown of Downey. Family and friends will have to travel just 30 minutes to Los Angeles to see Gordon play, and he hopes it’ll be sooner than later.

“I’m trying to come in and start as a true freshman, get there and play right away,” Gordon said. “In my three or four years there, I want to win a championship, get a ring and really just set a new culture for USC.”

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