Tuesday, February 19, 2008

D-Coordinator options...

Check out this article on Gopher Illustrated today about possible candidates to replace Everett Withers as Defensive Coordinator.

This article makes it seem that Cosgrove is really the only possibility at this point. Not sure we want the guy who lead the 112th ranked defense at a place like Nebraska leading our defense. Plus, doesn't seem like Cosgrove is a fan of the kind of fast, flying around defense that Coach Brewster is.

Withers leaving the Gophers

My blackberry first starting buzzing early Monday morning with articles saying that Everett Withers was leaving the Gophers to become the Defensive Coordinator at the University of North Carolina. Part of me was hoping that these reports were wrong.

But apparently they were not, and it's true, Withers is on his way to UNC.

I have mixed feelings about this. First of all, it disappoints me that we are, yet again, losing a defensive coach. As the Start Tribune article mentions, the new defensive coordinator will be the sixth new defensive coordinator since 2000. In addition, Brewster absolutely sang the praises of Withers and his ability in the recruiting game at the Signing Day 'Sota Social just a few weeks ago. If recruiting is what builds a winner in college football, if solid defense is what is needed to win in the Big10, and if Withers was a defensive recruiting genius... then this is a tough loss.

On the other side of the coin, also in this Star Tribune article Withers admits that he felt defeated before his defense even took the field, and that he didn't have the players he needed to run his scheme. He's right, he didn't have the right players to run his scheme... so should he have been more flexible in his scheme in the first couple of years? And as a competitive individual, wouldn't you want the chance to fix what was clearly a complete disaster in 2007?

Having said that, I do understand the quality of life issue, and that Withers grew up in North Carolina and that he'd like to raise his family there. I understand that people grow up with dreams to play or coach for a certain team. And I understand that this is Withers' chance to reconcile all of that with one lateral move to UNC.

So good luck to Everett Withers. I guess someone else will have their name next to the phrase "turned the Gopher defense around" next to their name.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

He wasn't kiddin'

When Coach Brewster said last week during National Signing Day that they were already focused on 2009, 2010, and beyond, I guess he wasn't kidding.

The ink was barely dry on the Letter's of Intent signed by the 2008 class, and today Coach Brewster landed a verbal commitment from a 2009 Rivals Top 100 Recruit...

#57 Moses Alipate

Alipate is a 4-Star, pro-style, 6'5", 234lb QB from Bloomington Jefferson High School. He might even end up playing some basketball for Tubby Smith besides playing football for Coach Brewster.

Alipate joins 6'5", 265lb Offensive Lineman Josh Campion from Fergus Falls as the second verbal commitment for the class of 2009, and further communicates Brewster's commitment to keeping the best in-state prospects home.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Quite a night...

If you've been reading this blog at all, you know that I've found plenty of reasons to be excited about Gopher football over the last several months. Clearly recruiting has been a hot topic.

Last night I attended the Signing Day 'Sota Social at the Gibson/Nagurski Football Complex and if I wasn't excited before (which I was) there was plenty more last night to get excited about.

It's difficult for me to explain how exciting last night was, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. I haven't been a hard-core Gopher Football fan half as long as a lot of the people that were at the 'Sota Social last night.

As I've mentioned here before my aunt and uncle and their crew have had season tickets for the Gophers since the Metrodome opened, and I can't even imagine how exciting it feels for them right now. To finally have a coach who actually believes that you can win at Minnesota, that you can recruit at Minnesota, that you can have an outstanding college game-day experience at Minnesota after all of this time must be really exciting. To have the kind of recruiting class that people are talking about locally is a huge accomplishment, but to have a class that is being talked about nationally is unbelievable.

It was a great night last night. To see highlights of each of the new recruits, to see the virtual tour of TCF Bank Stadium, to be able to tour the facilities and talk to the players, it was all a lot of fun. Hopefully it's a great sign of what's to come in the future.

A quote...

...from Chip Scoggins' article today in the Strib talking about the Gophers incoming recruiting class...

"In all, Brewster's 2008 class includes seven four-star prospects (on a scale of five), according to Rivals.com rankings, and will finish in the Top 25 nationally. By comparison, from 2002-2007, the Gophers signed only four four-star recruits total and had an average national ranking of 54."

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Keanon Cooper

I had heard the rumor that Keanon Cooper had de-commited form Texas Tech and was going to become a Gopher, but I have still been unable to find an article or anything to confirm this (as I am not a member of Rivals).

However, Cooper IS listed as a solid verbal commitment for the Gophers on Gopher Illustrated. This is a big defensive commitment, and gives Coach Brewster a total of 7 4-star recruits!!!!


National Signing Day is nearly upon us...

Tomorrow is a big day for the Gopher Football program, as Tim Brewster will be showing off the fruits of his staff's first full year of recruiting labor. At this point a lot has already been made of Brewster's recruiting efforts, and rightfully so. As I've mentioned before, the fact that so many people are paying attention to recruiting at all is a win for Brewster. The fact that this recruiting class will likely end up in the Top 25 in the nation... well that's just huge.

Like many of you I will be at the National Signing Day 'Sota Social tomorrow evening, and I will be anxious to hear what Coach Brewster has to say about some of these recruits. It's also still possible that there will be some surprises.

Today there is an article in the Star Tribune talking about how the University has increased the recruiting budgets for both football and basketball. This is another huge sign that things are moving in a positive direction for the athletic programs at the U.

I've been more than upbeat about the Gopher Football program, despite the difficult season, but I know that there are several people out there who just don't think that the Gophers can make any bigger of an impact in college football than they did with Glen Mason. Have have flat out disagreed with that opinion since well before Glen Mason was even fired.

While recruiting success will ultimately be judged on the field, hopefully the results that we'll see come to fruition tomorrow, will quiet down some of the critics, at least for a couple of months.