Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Recruits at Spring Game

My guess is that most of the people who read this blog are avid enough Gopher Football fans that you also check Gopher Hole on a regular basis.

If you don't... shame on you!

Nadine Babu talked to several Gopher recruits (two articles, part one here and part two here)who are committed for the upcoming season, and some that the program will be trying to lure in the future. The list includes Moses Alipate's younger brother Mikias who is only a 7th grader... the first 2014 verbal commitment? (Note: I sweat that when I read the articles yesterday over my lunch break that there was a quick interview with Mikias, but now it's not included. Maybe GH was asked to remove it because he is so young?)

The articles have snippets from interviews with the recruits. There were two things that stuck out for me. First, Moses Alipate might be one of Coach Brewster's biggest tools in recruiting for 2009. It sounds like he's talking to several friends and classmates who are also top recruits and trying to convince them of the benefits of coming to Minnesota to rebuild Golden Gopher Football.

Second, I knew that MarQuies Gray was a great recruit, and was physically absolutely ready to play at the Big10 level. But am I the only one that didn't quite realize how big he actually is? 6'5" 220 lbs... and this kid is just a senior in high school! I'm not saying that his size is going to make him a sure thing, but as a matter of comparison, the top two quarterbacks in the NFL are close in size. Payton Manning is 6'5", 230 lbs; Tom Brady is 6'4", 225 lbs. Also, Gray runs a 4.7 40-yard dash... I'm guessing Manning and Brady have never moved that fast.

I'm just sayin'.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Spring Game Thoughts

It felt good to be watching football last night, didn't it? It felt good to stand out in the cold rainy evening and drink beer and eat bratwurst. It felt good to sing the rouser and see a mall sea of maroon and gold.

And Steve, if you're reading this, that cookie, with just a slight hint of pocket lint, was delicious.

For me, on the field, the highlight of the night came at toward the end of the second quarter. Clint Brewster was under center, took the snap, dropped back to pass, got flushed out of the pocket to his left. It looked like he had nothing so he began running and it looked like he was taking off down-field. Then, running full speed strait ahead, he cocked his arm and fired an absolute bullet to an open man about 10 yards dead in front of him. It was a very difficult and absolutely impressive throw and showed exactly why Clint was so highly rated coming out of high school. I don't recall ever seeing a Gopher quarterback make that type of throw.

Having said that, Clint is quite a bit smaller than I thought. He's got the body of Brian Cupito, with a little bit less height. I forgot to keep my program from last night, but I believe he was listed as 5'11", 180lbs? Whereas Weber is 6'2", 220lbs. Clint clearly has all of the talent to be able to play at the Big10 level, but you have to wonder how his body would hold up to the pounding.

Overall last night, I thought the game was fairly sloppy. It's always hard to tell in the spring game if a good play is a good play, or if it was poor defense. I thought the defense looked pretty decent, and seemed active around the ball. The offense, overall, seemed fairly sloppy and out of sync.

It was great to be watching football again. Based on the reports out of spring practices it sounds like things have gone well, but it doesn't sound like that was translated to the field last night. I'll leave you with a quote from the Star Tribune and Adam Weber who summed it up well:

"It was a sloppy way to end spring ball," said Weber, who completed 10 of 14 passes for 65 yards with one touchdown pass and a 1-yard TD run. "We had 14 good practices, and it would have been nice if we would have come out here and done a little better. We would have liked to put on a better show for our fans, but we had a good spring ball."

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

New Uniforms

The new uniform design (at the top of the blog) has been talked about for months and is finally available to view. During the tours at the Signing Day 'Sota Social, Director of Equipment Darin Kerns said that new recruits were unbelievably excited about the new uniforms, and that, quite literally, this played a part in recruiting.

I believe that it's true that jersey's play a roll in recruiting, but I just don't get it. It's a jersey, who cares. But that's just me. I digress. Now that the new design is out, opinions abound. Some people love it, some people hate it.

I didn't have a strong opinion about the old jersey's and I don't have a strong opinion about these. If they help recruiting, then I'm all for them. But what I really care about is how the young men wearing those jerseys play when they are wearing them on the field.

So what do you think? Love them, hate them? Don't care?