Utah Jazz: Youth football phenom Samantha Gordon steals the spotlight

Published: Friday, Dec. 7 2012 10:17 p.m. MST

Jazz assistant coach Jeff Hornacek autographs with Herriman football star Samantha Gordon before Friday night's game.

Jody Genessy, Deseret News

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SALT LAKE CITY — Samantha Gordon's 15 minutes of fame continue to be extended.

The way she runs — and smiles — they're likely to continue, if for no other reason than nobody can catch her to slow the 9-year-old down.

The Barry Sanders of Ute Conference football visited the Utah Jazz game with her Herriman Little League teammates Friday night.

Gordon had her photo taken with Jazz assistant coach Jeff Hornacek before the game, and she created some buzz in the arena before the game and again when she was honored during a break during the third quarter.

Gordon became a YouTube star and national sensation after a video of her dazzling football moves went viral this fall. Not only was the quick 9-year-old a guest on ESPN, the NFL Network and "Good Morning America," among other shows, but she also got her own Wheaties box and attended a U.S. women's soccer practice.

All deserving for a girl who rushed for 1,911 yards, scored 35 touchdowns and made 65 tackles this past season against boys.

"She's nice! And a bit young to do that," Jazz guard Alec Burks said while chatting with Earl Watson about the speedy star. "I haven't seen most dudes do that, especially at her age."

"It's incredible," Watson added. "And she's fast, too."

They weren't the only athletes to be impressed.

"That video is impressive," tweeted Sanders, the former Detroit standout who made an NFL career out of making moves like Gordon's. "Looks like I've found a girlfriend for my nine-year-old."

Desmond Howard joined in the Twitter praise: "The Heisman race is wide open. … Sam Gordon is my front runner right now."

Jazz fans gave Gordon a partial standing ovation, and Bear gave the football phenom and her entire team a Silly String shower.

EMAIL: jody@desnews.com

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