A highlight reel of a youth football player has become an Internet sensation with two million+ views and counting. Why the big deal? Because the video showcases 9-year-old Utah native Sam Gordon playing in an all-boys tackle football league. And, yeah. Sam is a girl.
Posted on YouTube by the Sam's father, Brent (who must be the proudest dad on the planet), the video displays the girl's talent for bursting through coverage, making incredible runs, breaking tackles and making tackles of her own. She also shows that she can take a hard hit -- just like the boys.
Sam finished the 2012 season with ridiculous stats including 35 touchdowns on 232 carries, totaling 1,911 yards and averaging 8.2 yards per carry. She also added 65 tackles, for good measure.
USA Today reports Sam participated in the greater Salt Lake City area's Ute Conference where nearly 200 kids tried out for the Gremlin age group. After out-shining the boys in every speed and agility drill, Sam was made the starting quarterback of her team.
Even more impressive is the fact that this was Sam's first year playing football. She was motivated to switch from soccer after watching BYU games with her dad, according to a post she wrote on the Cougars' message board. In fact, she chose her jersey number, 6, in honor of former BYU All-American running back Luke Staley, who now coaches an opposing team in her league.
Given her young age and limited experience, Sam shows much promise and could stand to benefit from a recent trend of female football players breaking down barriers - and I'm not referring to the Lingerie Football League.
While there have been other instances of girls playing football, most of those young women have been kickers, which is traditionally a position light on contact. Such was the case with Brianna Amat of Michigan, who served as her high school’s kicker as well as homecoming queen.
This year, eighth-grade student Amina Barrett suited up as both a linebacker and running back for her middle-school squad in Houston and Monique Howard played right tackle for her high school. There is some precedent for Sam however. Back in September, Erin DiMeglio made history when she became the first woman to play quarterback for a high school football team.
Watch below to see some impressive talent. If Sam's highlight video was a recruiting reel, Division I coaches would already be calling.
[Update: 11/10/12] The video has been deleted from YouTube but here is an interview with Sam and her father that ran on ABC earlier this week:
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