Following the Kyler Gordon coming-out party against California, a performance that no doubt caught the eyes of every conscientious NFL scout because of the need for cornerbacks, the question posed to Jimmy Lake was an obvious one.
Would the University of Washington coach, when dealing with the football future of his young defender, who's still just a sophomore, try to convince him to return in 2022?
Lake's response, which easily could have leaned to vague and noncommittal, was surprising for its immediacy and bluntness.
"We don't do that," he said. "If the information says that he should leave and he can't improve his value, I tell them to leave. Just like I told Byron Murphy, Budda Baker [and] Taylor Rapp. I say I'd love to have you, but you need to go. You need to go chase your dream."
This is just one more reason Lake is widely known as a dedicated player's coach, which ultimately should help him more in recruiting. He could push only the collective interests of his own football team, but he doesn't.
Lake, who was a defensive-backs coach in the NFL for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Detroit Lions, chooses to act as a conduit for his best players.
Gordon, who started briefly each of the previous two seasons before becoming a full-fledged regular now and a player on the rise, had the game of his UW career. On Saturday night, he came up with a pair of interceptions and a game-high 10 tackles in the Huskies' 31-24 overtime victory over the California Bears.
For Lake, this UW football leader wants his guys to leave for the pros as soon as they're ready. And if they're not, he'll voice a candid opinion about that scenario, too.
"With any of our players, if any of that information says they'll be in the top 32 or early second round, after talking it over with their families, if the information says they should go, that's what I'll tell them," Lake said. "If they get information that says they should come back and improve their value, I'm going to tell them that, as well."
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