Pulling on jersey No. 2, Kyler Gordon shows up first on the University of Washington football roster because 0 and 1 remain unclaimed, unrequested.
The junior cornerback from Mukilteo, Washington, himself wears a digit that normally would be off limits — it's one of three retired numbers in Husky history — yet the family of deceased running back Chuck Carroll, honored following a 1928 consensus All-America season, has generously given permission for others to use it.
Gordon's quest should be to make 2 all about him. Encourage others to want to take it out of service in his name. Let no one else have it.
Coming out of spring practice, this fluid and acrobatic cover guy seems well on his way to having his coaches rely on him.
"These guys come here and they're highly touted recruits and they want to play right away and, you know, Kyler Gordon needed a lot of work to play corner at a high level," UW coach Jimmy Lake said. "We all knew he was an extraordinary athlete. You can see the smile on his face as it's, 'Coach, I know what I'm doing now.' "
Going down the roster in numerical order, this is the first of our post-spring assessments of all of the Husky talent at hand, gleaned from a month of observations, as a way to keep everyone engaged during the offseason.
Over 14 workouts and the closing spring game, the 6-foot, 190-pound Gordon was the only defensive back at any position who basically ran with the first-unit defense from start to finish, sharing his spot with no one.
Fellow cornerback starter Trent McDuffie missed considerable time with an injury, as did previous No. 1 strong safety Asa Turner and former first-unit free safety Alex Cook.
Oklahoma transfer Bookie Radley-Hiles, the new nickel back and a three-year starter for the Sooners, rotated in and out of the top unit until he had a good grasp on the way the Huskies do things.
Gordon went 15-for-15.
Freakishly athletic, he had Husky football videographers continually training their cameras on him during spring practice for highlights to post on social media, and he didn't disappoint.
"I feel really good knowing what I'm supposed to do, locked in, doing extra stuff every day, just making sure I'm prepared," Gordon said. "Preparation allows you to play more freely."
As he enters his fourth season in the Husky program, after starting part-time for the past two years, the cornerback appears ready to make big things happen.
2021 Outlook: Projected cornerback starter.
UW Service Time: Played in 21 games, started 5.
Stats: 52 tackles, 2 TFL, 5 pass defends, 1 forced fumble, 1 fumble recovery, 1 kickoff return.
Individual Honors: Two-time All-Pac-12 honorable mention pick for special-teams work.
Pro prospects: NFL Draft 2023, high- to mid-round pick.
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