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HS teammates Gordon, Waynes live NFL dream

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CHICAGO — Melvin Gordon giggled through every single word.

Drafted 15th Thursday night by the San Diego Chargers, Gordon was on the same stage at Auditorium Theater less than one hour after his former Kenosha bandmate, Trae Waynes, posed with a crisp, new Minnesota Vikings jersey.

“Oh, wow, wow,” Gordon said Thursday after celebrating with his best friend and then taking a call from Chargers head coach Mike McCoy. San Diego traded with the San Francisco 49ers to move up from No. 17.

“We’re doing something special,” Gordon said of becoming the first high school teammates selected in the first round since 1990.

Waynes, who said he was a two-star recruit, was not highly recruited, and Gordon found it appropriate that the blazing shutdown cornerback from Michigan State — his 4.31 time at the Scouting Combine in February vaulted Waynes up many draft boards — was suddenly the one getting top billing.

Gordon said he idolized LaDainian Tomlinson and played video games using the Chargers to mimic Tomlinson. Then he broke his single-game rushing record with 408 yards (in three quarters against Nebraska) last season. He averaged 7.8 yards per carry in his career.

“This is a player we had targeted really all the way through,” Chargers general manager Tom Telesco said. “He’s such an electric player. He’s a threat to score every time he touches the ball. He’s had a great career at Wisconsin. We think he fits our offense perfectly. We couldn’t be happier to get him here.”

The Vikings have never drafted a cornerback this high in any draft.

“Corners take some time to develop,” general manager Rick Spielman said Thursday.

However, head coach Mike Zimmer said he was sweating that Waynes would be gone by the time the Vikings came up at 11.

Stanford coach David Shaw, working the first-round broadcast for NFL Network, knows Waynes well from the Rose Bowl in January 2014.

“He reminds me so much of Richard Sherman,” Shaw said. “Long, lean, comfortable, he’s physical. He’ll come up and hit you in the face … he loves the game of football.”


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