At the height of his recruitment, Eden Prairie senior Willie Mobley received 80 text messages a day from college coaches, media members and recruiting analysts.

"Every day I had to delete my inbox because it got so full," he said.

Cretin-Derham Hall's Michael Floyd went a step further, changing his cell phone number twice to avoid the deluge of texts and calls.

"People were always calling," he said.

Champlin Park's Sam Maresh probably would have faced the same recruiting blitzkrieg had he not given a verbal commitment to the Gophers back in April. He's even more thankful now.

"It took a lot of pressure off me," he said.

It's understandable why so much attention was heaped on Minnesota's top three football prospects, who headline the Star Tribune's 10th annual Super Preps team.

All three players are ranked among's top 250 recruits nationally -- Floyd is 27th, Mobley 174th and Maresh 244th.

Rivals elevated Floyd to its highest ranking -- five star -- after he proved to be one of the top performers at the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. Mobley and Maresh both are four-star recruits.

College recruiters took notice of all three. Floyd, one of the nation's top wide receivers, had his pick of schools before selecting Notre Dame. Mobley, a defensive lineman, committed to Ohio State after receiving 29 scholarship offers. Maresh, a middle linebacker, also had a number of offers, including Michigan, and likely would have attracted more, but he opted to commit early in the recruiting process.

Those three brought star power to a state not known nationally for its football prowess.

"It's big to us," Mobley said. "I think Minnesota football is very underrated. We have a lot of good players and teams here."

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One longtime high school coach said Floyd is the best wide receiver he's ever seen in Minnesota. Even former Holy Angels star Larry Fitzgerald Jr., who was practically unstoppable in high school and has become a two-time NFL Pro Bowl wide receiver, sounded intrigued by reports on Floyd.

"I hear a lot of good things about him," Fitzgerald said.

Like Fitzgerald, Floyd (6-3, 210 pounds) possesses an ideal blend of size, strength, speed, body control and ball skills. If there was any doubt about how he stacked up against the nation's best, he answered those questions in the All-American Bowl in San Antonio earlier this month.

Floyd was arguably the best receiver throughout the week of practices, according to reports, and he caught four passes for 118 yards and two long touchdowns in the game.

"It just kind of put Minnesota on a map so to speak," he said. "A lot of people don't see Minnesota as a football place. Just going down there and being able to turn it up a level and be competitive really showed everybody."

National recruiting analyst Tom Lemming said Floyd might have had the second-best showing at the event behind quarterback Terrelle Pryor, the game MVP and nation's unanimous No. 1 recruit.

"He's better than I thought he was," Lemming said of Floyd.

Floyd has long been in the crosshairs of recruiters, which, he admits, became a tiresome fact of life.

"It was OK at first," he said. "The interest was cool because I was young. But later on, it got kind of boring."

Not for Mobley, who admits he enjoys the recruiting meat grinder. While many recruits eventually tire of the time demands, Mobley embraces it. He is friendly almost to a fault, the kind of guy who meets a stranger and finds a friend. He is the recruiting version of Minnesota Nice.

"I never think I'm better than anyone else or anything like that," he said. "I just like the fact that you get to know different people across the country and get to learn about different schools. I got a lot of new friends out of this situation."

At 6-3 and 265 pounds, Mobley is a talented big man with a soft side, a self-described "mama's boy with crazy hair." He will likely play rush end in college initially but could bulk up to become a defensive tackle. He said Ohio State coaches have even mentioned using him at fullback in situations.

"I don't know if they were just kidding me," he said, laughing. "But I'm a defensive guy."

Maresh, who collected 99 tackles and three interceptions this past season, won't ever be confused as anything but a defensive guy. He has the size (6-2, 245 pounds) and hit-first mentality of a prototypical middle linebacker, and he hopes to start from Day One in that spot for the Gophers.

"Coach [Tim] Brewster always calls me his [Brian] Urlacher," Maresh said. "Being able to play right away definitely played a role in my decision."

The Gophers need immediate help at linebacker, and it looks as if Maresh will have a chance to start in the middle as a true freshman.

"I'm sure it will be a little nerveracking," he said. "But I'm willing to listen to my coaches and the older guys. I think I'll be fine."