The state of Minnesota just can't be ignored any longer. Minnesota is becoming a hotbed for prep football talent.
College recruiters from all over the country have been making the trip to the North Star State to look for talent and they haven't been disappointed.
Miami (Fla.), USC, Tennessee, UCLA, Washington, Oregon, Texas and Oklahoma are just some of the perennial powers who make their way to the great white north for the May Evaluation period.
Marcus Freeman (Notre Dame), Larry Fitzgerald (Pittsburgh), Mark Le Voir (Notre Dame), Joe Mauer (Florida State), Thomas Tapeh (Minnesota) and Dominique Byrd (Southern Cal) are just a few prospects from Minnesota that were highly sought after the past couple of years.
In 2002, Ryan Harris (Cretin Derham-Hall), Trevor Laws (Apple Valley), John Carlson (Litchfield), Tom Busch (Park Senior) and Chris Moore (St. Thomas) are all highly sought after young men.
Don't look for things to slow down in 2003. Lydon Murtha, a 6-foot-8, 315-pound, offensive lineman from Hutchinson will be one of the most sought after prospects in the United States.
Murtha has been rumored to have given Glen Mason and the Minnesota Golden Gophers his verbal commitment already. Murtha's uncle played for both the Gophers and the Minnesota Vikings.
Hutchinson head coach Andy Rosberg says that Murtha will more than likely take some visits before signing on the dotted line.
"Lydon did verbally commit to Minnesota but I think he'll check out all of his options." Rosberg said.
"He's (Murtha) going to be heavily recruited and I feel its in his best interest to check out all of his opportunities.
"Lydon is a slim and trim 6-foot-8 and 315-pounds. When you look at him, its just hard to imagine that someone could be that big.
"He's extremely athletic for his size. We could use him as a tight end and not think anything about it. Lydon also has a tremendous work ethic."
We've already looked at Murtha on film and he's everything that's advertised. Big, strong, great hands, feet and he's aggressive.
Now here's the scary part. Hutcinson has a running back, athlete that could be more highly recruited than Murtha.
Nathan Swift, is a 6-foot-3, 190-pounder, with speed and power, could play several positions at the next level.
We called coach Rosberg back to ask about Swift and his statement says it all.
"Nathan Swift is the best athlete I've coached in 35 years. He's going to be a special player in college."
Hutchinson also has a very good quarterback. Look for 6-foot-5, 210-pound Tony Mortenson to receive plenty of attention next spring.
<P>Ryan Harris has taken two visits since I last spoke to him. I caught up with Ryan to get his…