NEW YORK, N.Y. – Harvard senior running back Gino Gordon has been named to the American Youth Football (AYF) Ring of Honor.
AYF has always focused on promoting good sportsmanship, teamwork, high moral and physical standards and the importance of scholarship and academic achievement. These lessons and values have allowed AYF members to succeed in the classroom and on the field and a select few are honored each year for bringing their abilities to the high school, college and professional ranks.
Gordon, a co-recipient of the Asa S. Bushnell Cup which honors the Ivy League Football Player of the Year, was previously honored in a ceremony at the Waldorf=Astoria Hotel in New York City. Gordon is the sixth Harvard player, and fifth in the last 10 years, to earn Player of the Year honors.
Gordon (Bonita, Calif.), a two-time All-Ivy League first team selection and three-time all league honoree who was also named to the New England Football Writers' All-New England team, ran for 1,059 yards this season, the seventh-highest single-season mark at Harvard, becoming the first player in four years to reach the 1,000-yard mark.
Gordon led the Ivy League at 6.3 yards per carry and became just the fifth player at Harvard to record 10 rushing touchdowns in a single season. Notably, Gordon did significant damage on the road, where he averaged a gaudy 7.7 yards per carry this season in five games away from Harvard Stadium.
He had six 100-yard rushing efforts including one 200-yard outburst on the season. In the month of October alone, he collected more rushing yards than he had in all of 2009 in a year in which he was a first team All-Ivy selection while averaging 8.1 yards per carry. The month of October saw Gordon start with 170 yards and two touchdowns on just 12 carries at Lafayette. He played in just one series of the second half with the Crimson up big – and capped his day with a 74-yard touchdown, marking the longest run from scrimmage for Harvard since 2006. Following 158 yards against Cornell and 118 versus Lehigh, Gordon had a career day on the road at Princeton.
Against the Tigers, Gordon had 204 ground yards on 20 carries with a touchdown and four receptions for 30 yards to earn the New England Football Writers' Gold Helmet as the top performer in the region.
The following week, Gordon ran for 93 first half yards in a win at Dartmouth before sitting out the second half with a comfortable lead. That broke his string of 100-yard games but he was back at it the following week with 109 yards against Columbia. Against defensive stalwart Pennsylvania, Gordon had 113 yards, becoming the first player in 33 games to do so against the Quakers' defense.
For his career, he ran for 2,643 yards – the fourth-highest mark in school annals. He ran for 23 touchdowns and had 25 scores in all. Gordon will graduate as Harvard's all-time leader in yards per carry at 5.3, ahead of the Ivy League's all-time leading rusher Clifton Dawson '07. Following the season, he was chosen by his teammates to receive the Frederick Greeley Crocker Award as the program's most valuable player.
2011 AYF Ring of Honorees:
Santonio Holmes, New York Jets
Chris Long, St. Louis Rams
Marcus Smith, NFL Free Agent
Gino Gordon, Harvard
Mike Bellamy, Clemson
Brett Hundley, UCLA