Two of the most explosive wide receivers to play for Brownsburg High in Indiana might be familiar to Gophers fans.
One of them P.J. Fleck's Gophers couldn't stop in Saturday's tough overtime loss at Northwestern. The other player is committed to the Gophers and off to a scorching start to his senior season in high school.
Brownsburg coach John Hart was quick to make comparisons between his current star Corey Smith and Northwestern senior Bryce Kirtz, who was the team's MVP in 2018.
"Corey's explosion and speed are extraordinary," Hart said. "But they have a lot of similarities. I'm not sure who is faster. Both had really great top-end speed. Corey's stronger and a bit taller."
Kirtz had a career-high 10 catches for 215 yards and two touchdowns Saturday vs. the Gophers.
The 6-1, 180-pound Smith has 23 catches for 484 yards and seven touchdowns for Brownsburg, which has opened the season with a 6-0 record. It's also the No. 1-ranked team in Indiana's Class 6A by the Associated Press.
In a Sept. 16 win vs. Fishers, Smith caught six passes for 163 yards and three touchdowns, including a 60-yard reception. In the second game of the season, he had four catches for 123 yards and a touchdown vs. Cathedral.
"Nobody has been able to stop him 1-on-1," Hart said. "Now he at least gets double coverage, or the whole coverage is going towards him. That makes us a lot better football team. His effect on the game is not just what he does, but what he does to the defense."
Smith had scholarship offers from Illinois and West Virginia, but he committed to the Gophers even before making an official visit this summer. The three-star recruit picked up his first Power Five offer from Fleck and committed to the U in March.
"It's not about who offers; it's about who wants you," Hart said. "That went a long way with Corey. I think if he waited, he probably gets almost an offer from everybody in the country. But it's a great fit for him. He called me and told me [on his unofficial visit], 'I love everything about this place.' "
Gophers co-offensive coordinator and receivers coach Matt Simon and Fleck also added to their receiving depth in the 2024 recruiting class with Mankato West's Jalen Smith.
Last week, Jalen Smith had five catches for 89 yards and three touchdowns in a 31-7 win vs. Chaska. He has 16 catches for 247 yards and four TDs in four games. Undefeated Mankato West's ranked No. 1 in Class 5A.