Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Your New Gophers: Brandon Green

PJS Note: In an effort to prepare you for the myriad new faces on Tim Brewster's 2008 Golden Gophers, we're going to methodically brief you on each newcomer. To Brewster's credit the Gophers compiled their best recruiting class in recent memory (17th best in the country by Rivals' rankings).

Your New Gophers: Brandon Green

Probably the most hyped wide receiver in Tim Brewster's Class of 2008, Brandon Green picked Minnesota over his home-state school Illinois, as well as Wisconsin, West Virginia and most every other Big Ten school, except the one he really wanted to attend.

Growing up, Green reportedly rooted for the Ohio State Buckeyes. And in this Rivals interview, Green openly admitted he wanted an offer from the Buckeyes. It never came, and the Chicago Robeson, 4-star wideout will now have a chance to compete against his boyhood team when he suits up for Tim Brewster and the Golden Gophers this fall.

Green's decision to come to Minnesota seemed to be swayed by two things. First was playing time. He told the Chicago Tribune that had he attended Illinois he likely would have been redshirted and would have had to battle other wide receivers for playing time. At Minnesota? Green said, "Tim Brewster said I would have a chance to start right away. That had a big impact because I didn’t want to red-shirt my freshman year. It looks like they could use a little help on offense."

Maybe most importantly, however, was Brewster's willingness (or perhaps desire) to recruit Green's teammate Johnny Johnson. The same Chicago Tribune report indicated that it wasn't a package deal, and even if Green had picked the Illini, for instance, the Gophers still wanted to sign Johnson, a two-star quarterback/defensive back. Johnson would play in the defensive backfield with the Gophers.

To be thorough, Green also indicated he liked the U's diverse campus and its computer graphics program. It is nice to see a heavily recruited college athlete consider academics.

Coming off a 1-11 season, Brewster's sales pitch was obviously important. While Green isn't considered the premiere talent that someone like Michael Floyd is, getting a relatively highly coveted wideout from your conference foes was somewhat of a coup for Brewster. He clearly sold Green on an ability to contribute now and playing time, something West Virginia, Illinois and others couldn't provide.

So, what are are Gophers fans going to see next year? Well, Green could well move into a starting role alongside senior Eric Decker and will almost assuredly battle fellow four-star wideout newcomer Vincent Hill for a chance to see vast minutes on the field. The Gophers were so thin at wideout last season that there is room for both athletes and others.

Green is described by ESPN Insider as "one of the better athletes in this class at wide receiver." He would seem to be the ideal wideout for the spread coast offense Brewster and Mike Dunbar want to install. He's described as a deep threat and an "explosive threat with the ball in his hands after the catch, which is why he is so dangerous on screens and underneath routes." Green is also described as a wideout with good leaping ability, solid hands and a toughness that doesn't preclude him from running routes over the middle.

That last trait, speculates ESPN Insider, might make Green a prototypical slot receiver. He also could see time at punt returner, given that Harold Howell has been recently dismissed from the Gophers.

Essentials: Height: 6'0
Weight: 160-185 pounds
Position: Wide Receiver
High School: Chicago Robeson
Eligibility: Freshman
Rivals Ratings: 4-stars, #6 rated player in Illinois, #39 wide receiver nationally


Anonymous said...

it always sucks to see a player aspire to be at Ohio State, only to have his dreams dashed. The Bucks had an awesome class at WR, though, and it started early too. I guess Green never had much of a chance with the Buckeyes going big (6'3 Posey and 6'6 Stoneburner).

It's unfortunate, but at least Green signed on to something good... and the Gophers even took him from Zook's backyard. I'm all for anything that can force Zook to lock down his own home state before he starts raiding the great state of Ohio for talent.

- vico

Anonymous said...

Hes [in], but for long? What about Hill??? I heard he has major academic issues?

Timmy said...

Good Job! :)

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