A decent bet: The nation's No. 1 football recruit, Cretin-Derham Hall's Seantrel Henderson, will never wear a Gophers uniform. In fact, he may show up at TCF Bank Stadium as a visitor. USC, Michigan, and Ohio State -- all schools Henderson is reportedly heavily considering -- make visits to Minneapolis over the next few years.
Henderson -- an offensive tackle -- last week to gatorcountry.com, an ESPN affiliate Web site: "Florida, USC and Ohio State...it's going to be one of those three. They play for championships and they put a lot of people in the NFL."
Considering Henderson doesn't need to make his official decision for months, he could change his mind multiple times leading up to February's national signing day. In the meantime, some reaction from gopherhole.com, a prominent local site that I also help out from time-to-time.
- To me, this is inexcusable. This just shows where the Gophers football program really is. The fact that Minnesota isn't even in the top 3 is just pathetic.
- Fair or not, Brewster was hired for his recruiting ability, not for his coaching ability and not for his ability to put together a staff. If you cannot get the top player in the state for 3 consecutive years how are you going to get the top players in Florida, Texas, and California to come here consistently? He needs to find a way to get him to go here or else the leash for him is going to get really short.
- I will agree with others and say that I am alarmed that Brewster has yet to lock down a top Minnesota recruit yet!
Remember, rankings are an inexact science, but do give us a reference point off which to work. And more often than not, the best of the best in each state turn out to be serviceable players.
Brewster was hired just weeks before the 2007 national signing day, so we'll focus on his '08, '09, and '10 classes. According to the '08 rivals.com rankings, Brewster landed four of the state's top-ten players. The best: Sam Maresh. Among the losses: Michael Floyd (to Notre Dame) and Willie Mobley (to Ohio State).
'09: Landed six of the top-eight in-state players. The one key loss: Bryce McNeal to Clemson.
So far, class of '10: Oral commitments from two of the likely top-five players - Irondale's Jimmy Gjere (top 50 in country possibly) and Woodbury's Lamonte Edwards...and he's very much in on Minnetonka's Beau Allen.
In addition, he convinced Kim Royston (Wisconsin transfer) and Matt Carufel (Notre Dame transfer) to come home.
(A special thanks to frequent gopherhole.com poster GophersInIowa for most of the leg work)
Brewster is doing as fine a job getting in-state talent as just about anyone athletic director Joel Maturi could've hired after firing Glen Mason, who oh by the way landed ZERO top-four in-state players from '03-'06 (although getting Anthony Jacobs deserves mention). Whether he lands not only the top in-state player, but the nation's No. 1 recruit -- Henderson -- should have no impact on what you think of him as a recruiter. That doesn't excuse Brewster for his lack of in-game adjustments and his team's propensity to commit way too many penalties. Those are completely separate issues and Brewster is far from a finished product as a head coach.
Unfortunately for Brewster, he is trying to repair years of mistakes, going back to John Gutekunst and continuing through the eras of the late Jim Wacker and Mason. Perception is reality in many ways. Brewster has great relationships with many of the state's high school coaches, but overcoming years of ineptitude takes time. I know Brewster has said that his goal is to land ALL the top in-state talent, but expecting him to land the No. 1 recruit in the land is a lot to ask.