Released from prison, Melvin Gordon's dad will see son play in NFL for first time

ByEric Williams ESPN logo
Saturday, August 12, 2017

COSTA MESA, Calif. -- He's free.

The man responsible for helping Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon III reach the NFL -- his father Melvin Gordon Jr. -- will watch the talented running back in person as a pro for the first time when the Chargers host the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday at the StubHub Center.

Known as Bo, Melvin Jr. was found guilty of trafficking cocaine and sentenced in District Court to 10 years in prison. Melvin Jr. served his time at a federal correctional institution in Elkton, Ohio. His sentence was later reduced and he was released last December.

Bo couldn't watch Chargers' games in the Midwest, so he had to settle on watching highlights of his son after the game was over. Gordon said his father has been in attendance at most of the Chargers' practices with wife Carmen at the Jack Hammett Sports Complex, and is looking forward to watching him play this weekend. Gordon kept in regular contact with his father while in prison through texts and daily emails.

"It means a lot to have my dad out here," Gordon said. "I'm definitely excited to have him out here and see me go. I think it will be a good one.

"I know that he's happy that he can be a part of it now and don't get left out of the loop."

Gordon said he bought his father two jerseys, a navy blue and white one.

Gordon credits his father for giving him the motivation and drive to pursue his dream of making the NFL, running him through drills and lifting weights as a grade-schooler. Gordon's father also introduced him to video of Walter Payton, Barry Sanders and other great NFL running backs for his son to emulate.

"I embedded it in his head that he was going to the NFL," Melvin Jr. told ESPN The Magazine. "Almost like Floyd Mayweather's dad. He trained his son from the time he was a baby, and look at him now. It's the same thing with Melvin."

Selected No. 14 overall by the Chargers in the 2015 draft, Gordon struggled his rookie season, failing to get into the end zone and fumbling six times.

However, Gordon turned things around last year. He finished with 12 total touchdowns and came just three yards short of 1,000 yards rushing in 2016, earning his first Pro Bowl invitation.