Thursday, June 14, 2007

Brewster's First Test

The best public relations man in Minnesota, new Gophers coach Tim Brewster, is playing host this week to the state's top high school talent, as well as a smattering of athletes from around the country.

This is a big deal for Brewster, who has a chance to take his 2008 recruiting class up several notches. I've discussed previously that Brewster already has caught the eye of some recruiting analysts for his work in landing Sam Maresh, Kevan Walker and others. But much work is yet to be done.

With words, energy and a smile, Brewster seems to have convinced Gopher football fans that he is the man to take the team to higher levels. He's done this despite a total lack of big-time coaching experience (Denver Broncos tight ends coach, Texas/North Carolina recruiting ace). Eventually, Brewster will be judged on his performance. And the Class of 2008 will be his first test. Succeeding will depend a lot on keeping the local talent home.

Three Minnesota standouts--Cretin Deram Hall's Michael Floyd and Joe Shafer and Eden Prairie's Willie Mobley--have been or will be at Brewster's camp. Brewster needs to land two of the three to consider his 2008 class a success. And considering the Gophers are turning to a spread offense under Mike Dunbar, widely recruited wide receiver Floyd needs to anchor that class.

But others are in town too. Father and coach of Rivals 5-star wide receiver Deion Walker of Christchurch, Va. is in town helping out at Brewster's camp. According to Rivals (subscription), the elder Walker is impressed with the facilities and coaching staff. He told Rivals he and his son would be back soon for an unofficial visit. Walker (pictured) is 6-4 and runs a 4.43 40-yard-dash. But while his father says he likes the U, in this Rivals article, the younger Walker doesn't mention Minnesota. Other than Florida schools, the wide receiver says he plans to visit LSU, Texas, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, OSU, Colorado, Nebraska, USC, Cal, Oregon, BC, UConn, Michigan, MSU, and Notre Dame.

While the 5-star Walker would be a coup, another high-level wideout plans to be in town as well. Again according to Rivals, which is bar none the best source for Gophers recruiting information, 4-star Robeson, Ill wide receiver Brandon Green is supposed to be in town for this weekend's camp. He's being recruited by every Big Ten school other than Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State and is ranked by Rivals as the 36th best receiver in the class.

There will be others around. Some will be high school kids trying to earn an offer from Brewster. Others will be watching Brewster and his coaching staff to determine if there is substance behind Minnesota's best PR man.

More on the three Minnesota boys:

Joe Shafer:Here is the type of player, while not flashy, that Brewster needs to keep home. At this point, it's pretty much between Minnesota and those pesky Badgers to the east. He's 6-5, 265 and would make a nice pacakage along with classmate Michael Floyd.

Michael Floyd:He's the young man that will immediately be able to make skeptical Gopher fans believe the "Tim Brewster is a recruiting genius rhetoric." Floyd is ranked by Rivals as the 8th best wideout in the coutnry, and he's being treated as such by recruiters. You name a big-time program and they are after Floyd. Florida? Check. Notre Dame? Check. Michigan, Ohio State and Miami? Check. He's more than tall enough, at 6'3, to exploit smaller corners. Make no mistake, Signing Floyd will cement the Gophers in the Top 20 recruiting classes nationwide.

Willie Mobley:This Eden Prairie defensive end may be less heralded than Floyd, but he's equally as important to Minnesota's future. One thing we can all agree on concerning the former regime is that Glen Mason's defense liked to bend and break. No lead was safe against any opponent. Recruits like Mobley, along with 4-star inside linebacker Sam Maresh of Champlin, Minn., who has already committed, will help Brewster turn the defense around. Mobley has some heavyweights--UCLA, Oklahoma and Ohio State--knocking on his door too. But according to Rivals, Mobley has been in constant contact with Minnesota coaches and has been around Brewster's camp this week on a daily basis. That should bode well for Brewster's chances.


Bryan Horwath said...

Floyd was the only junior to be named a Parade All-American last year, yet is only the 8th best WR according to Rivals? Something is wrong with this picture.