EDMONTON - Lawrence (Flash) Gordon knows he’s quick.
How quick? If it came down to a footrace between him and his teammates, he’s confident about a top finish.
Gordon picked up his nickname as a high school track star in Florida. Ran the 100 in 10.6 seconds, the 200 in 21.5 and the 400 in 48 flat.
“I was a pretty fast athlete,” said Gordon. “I went state in my junior and senior years and placed in the medals. That’s kinda where I got my name from and it carried over into college (Florida Atlantic University). The coaches knew me from track and field. They knew the guys called me Flash and it kinda carried on into college.”
It’s become such a large part of his persona that Gordon includes the word Flash whenever he signs autographs.
“I kinda stuck with it and added it into my initials,” said Gordon.
“I’ve had it for so many years now, 10-12 years, I feel it’s a part of me now.”
All that speed came in handy when Gordon made the jump to pro football. He was Hamilton’s candidate for CFL rookie of the year in 2006, the place he has spent his entire career before signing here as a free agent in March.
“The more speed, the better, as long as you can control it,” said Gordon.
“If we did sprints in training camp, I’m pretty sure I’d come out near the top. Top three? I don’t know.”
So, who would be able to give him a good race?
“We have a lot of good speed here,” he said. “No. 89 (rookie WR Tremayne Kirkland), 37 (DB Roderick Williams). I’m pretty sure I’m competitive enough. I would be in there, I would say.”
Gordon missed his only chance to appear in a playoff game due to injury last year, when the Tabbies finished second in the CFL East.
It was with somewhat mixed emotions that he decided to sign here.
“Every time we came to Edmonton from Hamilton, it was a place I always enjoyed,” said Gordon. “The environment always felt great. It just seems that players who have left Hamilton or other places and came here, whenever you talk with them, they always express it’s just a great place to be.
“The love (from the fans) is here, the dedication is here and the commitment is here. I always felt like this was a place I’d love to be. I’m here now and I’m going to take advantage of it.”
Part of the informal recruitment committee was former Tabbies Kamau Peterson and fellow defensive back Jason Goss, with whom Gordon shares a passion for bowling.
“Those guys always expressed to me it’s a great place,” said Gordon.
“I’m glad they sought out to have me here and I’m glad to be here.”
Gordon is part of a secondary that’s been retooled and has been taking reps at all the defensive backfield spots.
“I feel like I have a great chance to fit in somehow,” said Gordon.
“I’ve been rotating in at a lot of positions, trying to be as effective as possible at each position so the coaches can see that I’m a guy who should be around and could be a great value to the team.”
Head coach Richie Hall appreciates Gordon’s ability to adjust into whatever situation he’s been thrown into.
“What he brings is his versatility,” said Hall. “The more you can do, the better. He’s one of the few guys who can play inside and play outside. That’s not always an easy task. Good, quickness, good change of direction and his aggressiveness enhances our defence.”