Wednesday marks the true test for Minnesota head football coach Tim Brewster.
Answers to the questions of his recruiting ability have begun to show up over the past few months as numerous high-profile high school football recruits have given their verbal commitments to Brewster for the class of 2008.
But today is national signing day, the official opportunity for Brewster to prove his critics wrong after a 1-11 record to start his head-coaching career. He now has the chance to unveil one of the top recruiting classes in the nation, one he has promised since his arrival at Minnesota.
As of Tuesday, all signs have pointed to a top 25 2008 recruiting class for the Gophers. The latest ranking on recruiting Web site Rivals.com placed Minnesota at No. 16, with a chance of moving a few spots higher after the surprise commitment Tuesday afternoon of four-star safety Keanon Cooper.
In total, the Gophers are expected to release the names of 31 new recruits at a 3 p.m. press conference today, and Brewster will get his opportunity to get back into the spotlight and on the microphone after months of work on the recruiting trail.
The second-year coach should have no problem selling the promise and talent of his first official recruiting class, especially compared to the debacle that was Minnesota football recruiting in prior years.
According to Rivals.com, the Gophers have averaged a ranking of 54 in national recruiting since 2002. Their highest ranking during that time was 37th, the class of 2003 that included former four-star running back and current NFL star Lawrence Maroney.
The other impressive statistics that separate Brewster’s 2008 class are the number of highly ranked players expected to sign today. From 2002-2007, according to Rivals.com, only four four-star recruits and 45 three-star recruits signed with Minnesota.
The Gophers class of 2008 looks to hold seven four-star and 19 three-star recruits alone.
If Minnesota’s verbal commitments all choose to stay true to their word and sign on the dotted line today, critics will find it a bit more difficult to question’s Brewster’s recruiting savvy.