"Northwestern fans can be both heartened and disheartened by the loss to Minnesota just like how nineteenth-century resurrectionists were heartened when they pried a heart from a freshly-buried corpse and then disheartened it when they sold it to a disreputable anatomist."
"The experience he has from last year is starting to show," Jazz forward Gordon Hayward said. "He’s making shots, and he made some gutsy plays against Portland. He’s got a confidence about him that he can get the job done."
Conference play has come, and Big Ten teams can safely retreat to their thunderdomes to clobber each other in peace, insulated from the braying mockery of the national media. There is still upheaval. Michigan has fallen apart. Dave Brandon and Brady Hoke have been confined to the Touliers Palace.
Camp Hill (PA) Cedar Cliff tight end Adam Breneman is one of the most sought-after prospects in all of the 2013 class at a position of major need for Michigan. The junior already holds offers from Alabama, Boston College, Duke, Florida State, Maryland, Miami (YTM), Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Penn State, Pitt, Purdue, Rutgers, South Carolina, Stanford, Temple, Vanderbilt, Virginia, and Wake Forest. Breneman's early rankings reflect that impressive list of suitors, as he is on the ESPN150 Watch List and already ranked as a four-star to Scout and 24/7, with the latter listing him as the #32 overall prospect and top tight end in the class. I had the chance to chat with Adam yesterday, and here's a full transcript of the interview:
ACE: You just committed to participating in the 2013 Under Armour All-American Game. What does that mean for you to be honored as one of the top recruits in your class?
ADAM: It's really exciting, and it's a great honor to be wanted by both the elite all-star games, the Army Game and the Under Armour Game. It's a huge blessing to be asked to participate on those big stages, and it was a really tough decision for me and my family, to decide whether I was going to play in the Army Game or the Under Armour Game. At the end of the day, I thought that the UA Game was the best place for me to go to, and I wanted to commit to a game before this year's game since I got early invitations, so I decided that it would be best for me and my family to go down to Orlando to play.
ACE: In terms of your recruitment, I know you've got offers from, well, just about everywhere right now. I won't make you run through all of them, but what schools are contacting you the most right now, and who's standing out to you?
ADAM: I don't really have a top schools list yet. Some of the schools that I think pretty highly of right now would be Maryland, Virginia, Miami, Rutgers, Michigan, Michigan State, South Carolina, Notre Dame, and Alabama, just to name some of the ones that I've been in pretty constant contact with, and I've developed some pretty good relations with those coaches. It's still very early in the process for me, I'm nowhere close to narrowing anything down yet, but those are some of the schools that have gotten off to a good start. There are quite a few places, and I don't have a timetable at all, but those are some of the schools that have definitely gotten off to a great start.
ACE: With Michigan specifically, who has been in contact with you from them, and what is your general impression of the coaching staff, the school, and the program?
ADAM: Coach Montgomery is the defensive line coach—last spring, when I was a sophomore, he came to my high school to visit. He offered me then, he told me that they had seen my tape and they wanted to offer me. My recruiter is Curt Mallory, Coach Montgomery just happened to be in Pennsylvania and stopped by the school, but I've developed a good relationship with Coach Mallory. I talk to him quite a bit. Actually, I'd say probably a month ago I had, I guess you'd call it a conference call, with the coaching staff, and I talked with Coach Hoke for a while. That was the first time I got a chance to talk to him, and he seems like an awesome guy and it's just great to see what he's done at Michigan so far in a short period of time.
ACE: Just to talk about your junior year real quickly, can you recap how the year went for you, where you felt you got better on the field, just how the season went for you this year?
ADAM: We finished 9-3 on the year. We lost in the quarterfinals of the playoffs to the state champion, lost by three points. When we look back on it, we play in the biggest classification in Pennsylvania, but we're actually the smallest school in that classification, so to do what we did, there's a lot of things to be proud of that we accomplished as a team this year. Individual-wise, I made first-team all-state, I finished the year with 72 catches for 1,120 yards and 12 touchdowns, and making first-team all-state was one of my goals at the beginning of the year. Team-wise and personal-wise, it was a great year and certainly an exciting year.
ACE: If you had to do a self-scouting report, what would say are the strengths of your game right now, and what are you working on to get better for your senior year and on to the next level?
ADAM: I think in the receiving aspect I'm very good at the tight end position. I play a lot of wide receiver in high school—I think I actually have the ability of a wide receiver but I'm in a tight end's body. I pride myself in never dropping passes and beating linebackers one-on-one—it's just a lot of little things, running routes the right way, those are some of the things that I work really hard at. Moving forward, right now I'm about 6'5", 220, which is fairly thin for a tight end, so obviously moving on to the next level I'd like to put on some more weight, get stronger, and become the kind of tight end that can put his hand in the dirt and block. I do a good amount of blocking in high school, but obviously when you get to the next level the players are a lot bigger and a lot stronger, so just moving forward I'd like to just let my body develop more, put on some more weight, which I'll probably do naturally. I'm only 16 years old, so I'll probably put on a good bit of weight in the next couple of years, and I'll become a better blocker.
ACE: In terms of the offseason for you right now, do you have any idea, in terms of junior days and camps, places you'd like to visit before your senior year?
ADAM: Nothing is scheduled at all yet, nothing finalized. I know that I'll be going to Maryland for a basketball game and I'll definitely be visiting Miami—I haven't visited there yet, so I'll be going to Miami for a visit with my family. I'm about 95% sure I'll be coming up to Michigan, too. I don't know if I'll be doing a junior day or just a normal visit, but I'll be up there. Whether it's in February or in the spring I don't know yet, but we'll definitely be out there.
ACE: You said you don't have a timeline or anything right now, but in terms of just what you're looking for in a school, what are the ideal traits that you're looking for when it comes down to picking a school?
ADAM: A big thing for me is the kind of offense that I'd be playing in. Actually, it's not so much the kind of offense, but how I'll fit in to the offense. I love catching the ball, I love having the football in my hands, and I want to go to a school that's going to allow me to do that and allow me to be a playmaker from the tight end position, so I definitely want to play for a coach that has a history of tight ends and has a history of throwing the tight end the ball. Another thing is academics. Academics are a big part of my life—I carry a 3.9 GPA, so I take academics very seriously and I want to go to a place that's going to prepare me for life after football. Third of all, definitely the relationship that I have with the coaching staff—I'm going to be spending a lot of time with those guys, and if we don't get along it's going to be a long four years. That's definitely important, and just a place that fits me best athletically, spiritually, and academically, just having everything fit me in all three of those areas, that's where I'll wind up.
I usually just throw it on speaker and use my digital recorder, but I just got an iphone app (CallTrunk) that can record calls automatically and upload them as an .mp3, which is really handy. Costs a little bit of money, but well worth it just for the clarity of the recording, and it makes it so I can do an interview even when I'm not at home.
Yeah but watching him battle those DBs and doesn't he remind you of Gronk? He's stronger than his HS opponents, but he'll need to put some weight on for the college game. It looks like he has a pretty quick and long stride and he's sneaky fast compared to the LBs/DBs he's facing. You can see why he has a plethora of offers already. This kid is legit.
We need to get him on campus with Shane. They can play a little catch in the Big House (is that allowed) and Breneman will know he's gonna have a great QB throwing to him if he goes blue.
It's been a while since I've paid attention to tight ends, what with the whole Richrod thing and all, but isn't 1,000 plus a ton for a HS tight end? how fast is this guy cuz 220 seems awful light for a TE
It seems that with a lot of these 2012 and 2013 recruits that when I read their interviews I am impressed with how savvy they are for their ages. Breneman is another recruit that really seems bright and well-adjusted. (a heck of a lot more mature than I was at that age, anyway)
I don't know if that is a sign of the times, or if Hoke just really likes to focus on guys who have a good head on their shoulders and positive values, as opposed to taking talented head cases. (pretty much anyone playing for Miami, for example)
When I read the part that this kid was 16 I was blown away. He's very mature and seems like he's got his head on straight. I'm really impressed by the interview, especially the details. It sounds like he's enjoying high school while looking to his next step, which isn't always easy. To live in the now and prep for the future can be tough. But him saying "I have to put on weight because college kids are big, but I'll worry about that over the next two years since I'm 16" is a pretty heady thing for a 16 year old to say.
- Ace, good job, keep it up! You're getting this recruting ninja thing down. I think the relationships you're building with the 2013 class are going to allow this site to have even more great content on the next recruting cycle.
"Over? Did you say, over? Nothing is over until we decide it is!"
I really think this kid could be a great fit for us- Not just because he is a great talent, but he is really well spoken and seems to now what's important. Also I can only imagine that Hoke is pointing to all the good things Koger did in our offense this year. Who is Koger's potential replacement this coming year?
Great interview Ace....like everyone else, I'm impressed with his maturity for a 16 yr old. The things he says he's looking for in a school are in line with UM and I it sounds like we'll stay on his short list for a while.
What I was really impressed with on his film was his route running and then running after the catch...the kid takes really good angles running with the ball. That stop and go for a TD on the third or fourth play of the film was sick. He'll be a great asset with Gardner or Morris throwing the ball....tall QB, tall receiver....good things can happen.
As always, love how you talk to the kids about their own agenda and not overload them on Michigan. Nice to show these kids that we, as well as the program, care about them as individuals and not just prizes in the recruiting race. Well done!