December 18, 2007

Welcome to Gopher Nation Kid - JUCO signing day!

UPDATES: Greer is not expected to sign.

New signing is listed below...

Today we get to finalize some non-high school seniors. They'll get to ink their name to a letter of intent and many of them will then be in school by for January classes. This day is usually a blip on the radar as Minnesota rarely signs any significant JUCO players. In fact JUCO players in D1 football rarely have a massive impact. But Tim Brewster and staff are hoping that they have landed a couple that can help improve this defense right away.

JUCO Kids - with 6 incoming JUCO transfers there is hope that a couple will contribute immediately to bolster what was the worst defense in D1 football last year. My vote is for Simmons to start from day 1. Pittman will likely contribute in some way or another. And Lawrence will have a chance to start but Safety is getting a little crowded with incoming hopefuls.

David Pittman - Ath - Rivals ranks as a 4-star kid and is the #26 overall JUCO prospect (#19 by Pittman racked up great numbers this last season as a QB, but it is unclear where he will play for the gophers in 2008. The recruitment of Pittman may have been aided by the fact that Coach Brewster also attended Pasadena City College before he moved on to Illinois. Let's hope that before he is done he gets a trip back to sunny Pasadena!

Traye Simmons - CB - another 4-star recruit and #29 in the JUCO rankings. Simmons (aka Big Play Traye) is expected to come in with a great shot at starting CB for the 2008 gophers. 5'11" and more importantly 4.4 speed, I really hope Simmons can come in and make a big impact on this defense.

Simoni Lawrence - S/LB - 3-star by Rivals measuring stick, also could see a chance at playing time next year. Lawrence could be that smaller but fast LB or a slightly slower Safety. Either way if he earns a spot then I'm assuming it is an improvement over last year.

Actual signing was not announced yesterday.

Maurice Greer - RB - former high school player of the year in Colorado, the former Buffalo commit is on his way to Minnesota. Greer is also former teammates of Clint Brewster and Kyle Theret which may have aided in his recruitment. Since many feel RB is not an area of huge need this is a no lose situation for the gophers. If he works hard and becomes a great back that is awesome. If he struggles towards mediocrity then he is used to spell Bennett and Thomas.

Tramaine Brock - S - great speed and offered by South Carolina, Miss St and Ole Miss. Looks like we are stealing some SEC Speed!

Rex Sharpe - LB - area of need, but who really knows if he'll contribute in 2008. Sharpe has good size and decent speed but wasn't offered by anybody else of significance.


Matt Carufel - OL - Cretin to Notre Dame back home to Minnesota. Caruel will have to sit out 2008 but is expected to start and dominate in 2009 and 2010. Just in time for new stadium and Rose Bowl run! Matt was the most recruited player out of Minnesota in 2006. Of course that means he doesn't come to Minnesota but fortunately the disaster in South Bend convinced him to leave. Now if he could just twist the arm of Mike Floyd before it's too late for him.

Prep School Kid - also signing of these kids was not actually announced yesterday.

Vincent Hill - WR - 4-star WR and #16 in Rivals prep school ranking who will also have a chance to start or at least heavily contribute in his first collegiate season. We have a handful of WRs coming in this year. I would guess that Decker and Spry will have a lock on the first 2 spots on the depth chart but after that Hill will likely be battling with potentially Green, Brandon, Stoudermire or even Pittman. Should be fun to watch what happens at this position.

Wayne Dorsey - DE - 2-star big kid. New to the radar and a surprise signing. Dorsey is a teammate of Hill and will likely enroll at the U in January. This will give him several months of lifting and spring practice before we get to St. Johns in August. That extra time can only help. I'd be shocked to see him play much in 2008, but I look forward to seeing him play. In six games this season at Milford Academy he accumlated 2 sacks, 8 tackles for losses and caused a fumble.

All in all this is a good start. Bringing in four, 4-star kids in December is great. The incoming freshmen class is also shaping up to be full of impact players but I like what I'm seeing at this point. It is hard to get TOO excited as JUCO's rarely have a huge impact (as I already mentioned), but there is strength in numbers and a couple of these guys have the ability to play right away and help us out.

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