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August 11, 2011

Gordon snapping for success

Your typical Mississippi State fan may never have known the name Aaron Feld in the four years he spent as the Bulldogs long snapper.

That's probably because Feld never had a bad snap in his career. With his departure last fall the snapping duties now fall on redshirt freshman Reed Gordon.

"I'm excited," Gordon said. "It's going to take a lot of work to get to the level that (Feld) was. He's a great long snapper and did great things here. It's going to take some work but I think I can do it."

Gordon came to MSU last summer and spent an entire year working and learning under Feld's tutelage.

"It was a great experience especially with him playing for four years and having all that knowledge," Gordon said. "He passed it down to me. I'm glad it worked out that way. I'm glad I wasn't thrown into it and I think that helped out a lot."

Dan Mullen, who also serves as the Bulldogs special teams coach, is always looking over his shoulder at practice each day observing Gordon and feels that he might have the potential to also leave a legacy like Feld.

"Right now Reed Gordon's times are better than Aaron's, which is a real positive," Mullen said. "The difference is going to be that he's never been in a game situation. For a guy like Reed, we've just got to keep the pressure on him. We did that a lot last year a lot of the time. He (was) a true freshman No. 2 long snapper so for any pressure situation in practice, he was the guy.

"I'm rough on those guys in practice. I try to create adversity and make him nervous and scared at practice because when they roll out there in a game you're going to know. It's a lot of pressure when everyone's eyes are on you as a long snapper."

The 6-foot-4, 220-pounder originally walked on to the team but was promised Feld's scholarship during his recruitment following the 2010 season. The Bulldogs kept their end of the bargain this spring by giving Gordon a full ride.

"I was really excited," Gordon said. "There really wasn't anything written down that it was for sure going to happen. That really made me decide that they want me here."

Gordon split his practice time last year between long snapper and tight end. However it appears this year that his only duties will be to snap.

"Right now it seems like my tight end days could be over with," Gordon said. "But you never know what could happen. They brought me here to long snap so that's what I want to focus on and make sure I do good. I don't want to disappoint anybody so I'm going to make sure that's what I've got down perfect."

The MAIS All-Star at Porter's Chapel Academy in Vicksburg, Miss., lined up at tight end, slot receiver, defensive end, linebacker and long snapper as a senior. He had 20 catches for 260 yards and a touchdown on offense and made 50 tackles as well as six sacks defensively.

But the leap into the Southeastern Conference was admittedly a huge step for Gordon which is also where his redshirt year is beneficial.

"It's a huge difference," Gordon said. "It's really nothing like it was in high school, a completely different game.

Gordon turned down offers as a tight end to Arkansas-Monticello and Henderson State and has enjoyed his time in Starkville thus far.

"It's great," Gordon said. "So many people would love to be in my shoes right now. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else."

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