Sam Gordon has made her mark on the Utah football scene.
That impact spreads beyond the state, as well, as the 14-year-old Herriman native received the inaugural Game Changer award during the NFL Honors ceremony Saturday night.
Five years ago, Sam Gordon took the football world by storm when her father, Brent, posted a video of the then-9-year-old girl running circles around the boys in her youth football league.
More recently, Sam Gordon and her father played a major role in launching the Utah Girls Tackle Football League, the first all-girls tackle football league that doubled in size its second year, and it laid the groundwork for other leagues starting up in Indiana, Georgia and Canada, according to an NFL release.
The Game Changer award was established to recognize individuals who are committed to moving the game of football forward while making a positive contribution to the sport in their community.
Her message was simple but strong during the ceremony.
"I want to let you in on a little secret: girls love football," Gordon said during her acceptance speech.
"Before Title IX, some people thought that girls weren’t interested in playing sports but they were wrong. They were just as wrong as people who argued that women did not want to vote, to hold public office or to be lawyers or doctors.
“People who think girls don’t want to play football are wrong, too.”
Her father echoed those sentiments.
"She’s taking steps to finish what Title IX started, finish equal opportunities for women in sports," he said during a taped video segment of the awards show.
Gordon shared her dream of equality in the sport, from women being able to play football to finding an influential place in the broadcast booth to the front office.
"Throughout history, women have had to fight for the right to follow their dreams. My dream is that high schools and colleges will offer girls football teams, and I’m going to fight to see my dream come true,” she said.
"Utah will be the birthplace of girls high school football."
Mock draft time
It didn't take long after the Philadelphia Eagles beat the New England Patriots 41-33 in Super Bowl LII for the focus around the league to turn to April's NFL draft.
Bleacher Report's Matt Miller released his seven-round mock draft the morning after the championship game, and if it's any indication, this will be a slower year for locals taken in the annual draft. Last year, the University of Utah had a record eight players taken in the NFL draft.
The first Utah tie off the board in Miller's mock is former Logan High and Washington State quarterback Luke Falk, who heads to the Arizona Cardinals in the third round.
Other local picks include former Bingham High and Stanford tight end Dalton Schultz to the New York Jets in the fifth round, Weber State cornerback Taron Johnson to the Los Angeles Rams in the sixth round, Utah defensive end Kylie Fitts to the Tennessee Titans five picks later and Bingham High and Utah defensive tackle Lowell Lotulelei to the Cardinals and BYU linebacker Fred Warner to the Washington Redskins in the seventh round.
See the full mock draft here. This year's NFL draft runs April 26-28.
- Eric Rowe didn't know he would start in Super Bowl LII until right before kickoff (WEEI)
- Winners, losers of the Alex Smith trade: Kirk Cousins benefits (NFL.com)
- Detroit Lions free agency predictions: Haloti Ngata (Detroit Jock City)
And finally ...Former BYU running back Jamaal Williams, who just finished up his rookie season with the Green Bay Packers, joined the NFL Network's "Good Morning Football" program along with fellow Packers back Aaron Jones the day before the Super Bowl. Williams shared his first experience with the Lambeau Leap, a Packer tradition.
"I got halfway up, and my butt was sticking out," Williams said. "It was against the (Tampa Bay) Bucs, and I was just tired. I stood up, I did my dance and I was like, all right, Lambeau Leap time. I was tired, I just jumped. … That Lambeau Leap is low-key high."