July 23, 2007

Football Recruiting

It has been just over a month since my last recruiting update. That update was negative news concerning 2 recruits who appeared to be on their way to Gopher Nation. The 3-star OL from Cretin left us for Wisconsin and a certain California, 3-star QB picked Arizona over coach Brewster. Both were disappointing losses, but it's not as though Maturi should be calling Mason to bring him back (we all know he'll answer the phone). Since then 3 kids have said YES to Brewster and the commit list has grown to 10 guys.

New Commits...

  • K/P - Bradley Nortman - Looks like the Badgers are letting guys slip through their borders! Nortman is listed as the #13 overall kicker according to Rivals but will likely be a punter and may be the one of the top couple punters in the country. Although he is from Milwaukee he has always wanted to attend MN. In fact when called and offered a scholarship at 11:00 pm, he returned the call at 11:10 to accept. Current kickers Kucek (P) and Giannini (K) will be seniors for Nortman's freshman season and I would assume he'll then be the guy for 3 solid seasons.
  • TE - Eric Lair - This Houston TE is ranked by Rivals as the #3 TE in the state of Texas (80th overall in TX, would be #5 in MN). Lair is big (6'3", 210) fast (4.56 40) and should be a perfect fit for the spread offense. Some schools were recruiting Lair to play the big possession WR at the college level but his combo of size and speed should make for great mismatches from the TE position as a Gopher. Lair also had offers from Nebraska, OK State and other Big 12 programs.
  • DT - Padric Scott - Scott was not a highly recruited DT and chose MN over smaller D1 schools like South Florida. But I wouldn't dismiss this kid as a non-factor just yet. Scott is a very intelligent kid and has the kind of work ethic that will eventually earn him some playing time. And perhaps his biggest contribution will be his recruiting efforts on his high school teammates. Scott is trying to convince teammates TJ Bryant (5-star DB), Steven Robinson (3-star OL) and BJ Daniels (3-star QB) to join him in Minnesota. Go get 'em Padric.
Outside of those commitments the recruiting front there has seen very little happy news for Gopher Nation. There are persistent rumors that Cretin WR, Mike Floyd is leaning towards Notre Dame or Ohio State while taking a "wait and see" approach to the U. Eden Prairie LB, Will Mobley was considered more likely to attend the U than Floyd recent developments seem have him warming up to Ohio State. Both are important recruits for Brewster as stated here many times. Losing one would be bad, losing both will be worse than really bad (really, really bad maybe?).

ESPN's Recruiting Insider (which is not as accurate or comprehensive as Rivals) is updated and they have their official top 150 list published (subscription necessary). Mike Floyd is the the only MN kid on the list at #41. Here are some of the recruits interested in MN and where they stand overall...
  • #41 - WR - Mike Floyd - much as been discussed on Floyd and not much has changed recently. I get the feeling that he knows how to play the recruiting game and many of his comments being made in July are about as reliable as a GM's in the days leading up the draft. I really wouldn't blame him for attending Notre Dame or Ohio State next fall, especially if the Gophers put up a disappointing effort this fall. My gut tells me that if we have a better than expected season (4-4 in Big 10, 8-4 overall) then maybe Floyd thinks that things are looking up and he wants to be a part of the Gopher party in Pasadena. a 2-6 conference record might convince him that nothing is changing and he wants to play for a national championship elsewhere.
  • #18 - WR - Deion Walker - ESPN says that Walker "is a tall, lanky wide receiver with long arms and very smooth into and out of his cuts." And, "Overall, Walker is a playmaker, plain and simple. He has the measurables, the movement skills and a nice feel for the game. Outstanding prospect." Walker is on my top 15 list, but this guy is hot (45+ official offers) and I'd be shocked to see him in maroon and gold next season.
  • #24 - WR/RB/Ret - Joe Adams - ESPN lists MN as #3 on Adams' list while Rivals does not show MN as one of the 9 schools on his list. So that is interesting info, but I don't care who says we are in the running as long as we are truly in the running. Adams is a "a wonderful overall athlete" who "shows a little bit of a second gear when he hits daylight." In Dunbar's new offense Adams might be a perfect piece for the puzzle.
  • #28 - DT - Marcus Forston - ESPN's #2 DT who explosive and "is regularly one of the first people moving on the snap of the ball." We need to be stronger up the middle and Forston would greatly help our defense immediately. ESPN does not have MN in his top 5, but he is listed as a school he is considering. Rivals has MN as one of 10 schools who have offered. USC, ND and LSU are big name schools on the list but my guess is that this Florida kid will end up at Florida, Florida State or Miami as all have offered.
  • #64 - S -Keanon Cooper - Cooper has been on the MN radar for a while and I think this is our best shot at an ESPN top 100 kid. ESPN picks Cooper to be one of the sleepers on their top 150. In high school he has exceled at multiple positions but will likely play S or LB (provided he adds some pounds) at the college level. In a recent Rivals article when asked to name his top 5 Minnesota was the first school to come out of his mouth along with Michigan, Wisconsin, Alabama and Georgia Tech. Alabama seems to be moving up his list, but time will tell.
  • #74 RB - Jonas Gray - this Michigan back has always said MN is on his short list. But since offers have rolled in from Mich State and the Wolverines, my money is that we'll see Gray on Saturdays in East Lansing. Gray seems to really enjoy being the center of attention, I don't see him choosing to be a small fish in the Wolverine pond. He wanted badly to get an offer from them but he'll revel in "shocking the world" with his decision (which will likely result in a collective yawn from the rest of the country).
  • #109 - S/OLB - Nolan Brewster - Nolan has committed to Texas as we all know, but he hasn't signed that little piece of paper and until he does he'll remain on Gopher Nation's radar. I expect a successful season for Coach (dad) Brewster and Nolan will get caught up in the excitement. We'll see. Texas already has several recruits that will force Nolan to fight for his playing time, not nearly as likely in Minnesota.
  • #116 - QB - MarQueis Gray - 6'4" pocket passer who just happens to be very athletic and is often listed as a dual threat type of recruit. Gray would be a GREAT fit for Dunbar's spread offense. ESPN does not have MN is Gray's top 5, Rivals has MN as one of 9 schools to have offered Gray. I would be really happy to see Gray leading the offense when TCF Stadium opens up in 2009.
I don't think we'll be landing the majority of the kids listed above but if we can get 1 or 2 of the above names, then get 1 or 2 of the next tier guys (Mobley, Jewhan Edwards, Brandon Green, Harry Adams or Ryan Bass) then this moves from a good recruit class to a very good class and one to get excited about.

Official Gopher Nation Top 15 (16) wish list...
  1. Mike Floyd - WR
  2. Willie Mobley - LB
  3. Deion Walker - WR
  4. Brandon Green - WR
  5. Ryan Bass - RB
  6. Nolan Brewster - S
  7. MarQueis Gray - QB
  8. Keanon Cooper - S
  9. Spencer Reeves - LB
  10. Jonas Gray - RB
  11. Kapron Lewis-Moore - DE
  12. DJ Marshall - DT
  13. Prentiss Wagner - CB
  14. Darron Thomas - QB
  15. Harry Adams - WR
  16. Cordale Scott - WR
And that's all I've got to say about that.


PJS said...

Nice work on this update. I was planning something similar, but might just link to you and save myself the work!!!

I agree, btw, that losing both Mobley and Floyd would not be good news at all for our lads.

Anonymous said...

More recent news has Padric Scott as making All-State in Forida, although I think as an offensive lineman. But he is obviously an athlete, and should have a strong impact at Minnesota during his career. The Florida Football magazine (not sure of actual name) only had one negative on Padric, and that was that he was a bit short (6' 0" I think) for the positions he played. I think the kid's going to be terrific.