Hello: Brendan Gaughan

Much like Brady Hoke’s football team, it seems John Paul’s 2012 lacrosse commitments are going public in pairs as well. Inside Lacrosse reported another duo earlier this week, so let’s start the breakdowns with CA A Brendan Gaughan.

Michigan Lacrosse Brendan Gaughan La Costa Canyon

Brendan Gaughan

Relevant Articles

In their commitment article, ESPN Rise lists him at 6-4, 195 – great size for an attacker, as he can add muscle mass in the nearly 2 years before he’ll see the field for Michigan. (His coach called him 6-3, 200 as a sophomore) As you’ll see in the videos later in this post, he does indeed tower over most of his teammates and opponents. They also mention that he’s been a Jake Reed Blue Chip invitee in each of the past three years.

Inside Lacrosse liked him at this winter’s Adrenaline Challenge:

Attackman Brendan Gaughan was the offensive star for the Shredderz, scoring three goals. Gaughan has nice size and a strong overhand shot.

Gaughan was named a US Lacrosse Regional All-American following his exceptional junior season, and an honorable mention All-American by ESPN Rise.

Michigan lacrosse Brendan Gaughan La Costa Canyon

Brendan Gaughan (photo by Kevin Mummau via smugmug)

At the Under Armour Underclassmen games earlier this month, he “stood out in victory,” and was part of “a tremendous group of attackmen” tallying several goals and an assist. His profile from that event includes a rundown of his accomplishments:

Played for Jesse Foss….All American (US Lacrosse), All CIF, All Conference, Jake Reed Nike Blue Chip ’09, ’10, ’11. California Gold All Star ’10. 2011 Season Statistics: 79 Points, 48 Goals, 31 Assists. Career Statistics: 160 Points, 100 Goals, 60 Assists.….….Other interests include Football Varsity Letter ’09, ’10 – WR. Plays number of musical instruments.

His offensive output this season was enough to land him on the first-team All-CIF squad. Inside Lacrosse talked just a bit about his game in the commitment post:

Gaughan is a big-time athlete that excelled at Under Armour with the West squad and is an excellent football for the Mavericks, who send an O-lineman to UM in his class as well. At 6-4, 195 pounds, he should be a huge contributor for the Wolverines.

Playing football at a high level on varsity as a sophomore and junior is no joke at a talented football school like La Costa Canyon (which is sending Erik Magnuson to Ann Arbor, a near-5-star prospect himself) when football isn’t even his first sport.

West Side Lax called him the #25 Junior in the West last fall, though that list includes players from Texas and Colorado as well, so it’s a wide geographic range. WSL has a number of articles mentioning Brendan, including this quote after a six-goal performance:

“This week’s mentality has been four quarters of full lacrosse,” Gaughan said. “I thought today wasn’t perfect, but it was a better show of that.”

That’s certainly a good attitude for a guy coming into a young program that’s bound to have its share of struggles.

Other Interest

The original Inside Lacrosse report indicated that Navy, Penn State, and Drexel were Gaughan’s other finalists. While the first pair may have more name recognition than the likes of UMBC or Colgate (over whom Graham Conlan selected the Wolverines) to the non-lacrosse fan, Drexel is actually the only one of the three that finished in LaxPower’s top 20.

Brendan Gaughan Michigan Lacrosse La Costa Canyon

Michigan Lacrosse Shirt

If the shirt he wore to the Nike Blue Chip camp in Baltimore as a rising sophomore a couple years back is any indication, though, he was Michigan-bound all along (assuming a D-1 program in Ann Arbor).

Teammates of Note

La Costa Canyon has sent a few players to the big boys over the years, but they’ve been much more productive as an MCLA feeder school, sending players to the likes of Sonoma State, Florida State, Oregon, BYU, and even, yes, Michigan (midfielder Andrew Hayden is a rising sophomore for the Wolverines).

Following Gaughan’s freshman year – during which he was a varsity player (and possibly even a starter, if I’m interpreting this correctly) – defenseman Spencer Peterson shipped off to Duke, and La Costa Canyon also sent a couple players to D-3 schools and one to D-2. The following season, LCC sent two players (both defensive again) to Division-1, with Steven Bogart heading to Penn State and Reid Tudor to the Ivy League at Penn. Seven players listed in LaxPower’s database headed to MCLA teams.

This year’s graduating class is sending goalie Eric Sanschagrin to Princeton and LSM Mike Riis to Denver. A pair of midfielders are also playing in college, with Blaine Wetherald headed to D-2 Mesa State and Andrew Bertha playing for reigning MCLA Champions BYU.

Gaughan is the first member of his graduating class to be listed as a commit on LaxPower. Of note, he’s also the first offensive-minded La Costa Canyon player headed to the D-1 ranks. Though a few attackmen and midfielders have headed to MCLA and D-2/3 schools, all D-1 players have been defensive to date.

La Costa Canyon finished 2011 at #4 in California per ESPN Rise’s rankings, but per LaxPower they were tops in the state, and #41 nationally.


There are tons of videos on Gaughan, but the most complete junior highlight is this one, uploaded to his family’s youtube page:

Sportsforce (which appears to be a recruiting service) also has sophomore and freshman(!) highlights. There are a number of individual game highlights as well. There is video galore on this kid, so just check it all out.

The Upshot

Gaughan certainly has the measurables to be a big-time player. At 6-4, 195ish (and possibly still growing), he should be a physical presence, and as the videos above show, he’s not afraid to use that size either to score through contact, or as an aggressive riding attackman. He seems like more of a dodger/shooter/finisher than Michigan’s previous attack commits profiled recently, who seem more like good-handling quarterback types.

Despite not having the QB label, Brendan seems to have very good vision, and his stick skills don’t look like a liability at any point, even if the video doesn’t show off a variety of dangles. Combine that skillset, and you have a well-rounded attackman, and likely early contributor. As a 3/4-year starter at one of the top programs on the West Coast, he’s also accumulated plenty of game experience.

Big lefties are always at a premium, and Brendan seems to be the real deal. Maybe he didn’t have much attention from the Syracuse/Hopkins/Virginia-type schools, but he wouldn’t be out of place on any of their rosters. He should be a big contributor over the course of his career in Ann Arbor.

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6 Responses to Hello: Brendan Gaughan

  1. AndyD says:

    Great write up Tim!

    This is a good example of the time it’s going to take to build the program up. These kinds of more elite players aren’t entering the program until year two of D1 and they’ll need to develop. It will be year three before they have freshmen who are choosing between Michigan and the big boys.

  2. Josh says:

    After talking to Brendan quite a bit, the videos don’t show many of his skills because of the system. Moreover, a the name of his other coach, who has since moved on to a school you and I both know very well has helped him quite a bit, was the one who setup the relations between JP and the Michigan connection, Dallas Hartley. He is the coach at Chapman. Just thought I would share.

  3. Alex says:

    This guy looks pretty legit. Hopefully we can get more like him.

  4. It appears that recruiting is going exactly as I’d expected: U-M is starting off by competing with second-level teams for certain players (Colgate, Nova, UMBC, etc.) and beating them left and right. These are all decent schools and teams but the Michigan name and the chance to get in on the ground floor of something big are major, major draws. I think this is great, great news. This is how U-M will get up to speed and competitive quickly. Give it a few years of recruiting like this and you will start to see some of the really big names on the “chose Michigan over” lists.

  5. AndyD says:

    Wahoo: Your point that it is going to take a few years is important. There seem to be a lot of people who think this is going to happen overnight. It isn’t. However I agree that early signs are good. They seem to be on the right track, but the race is just getting started. And it’s a marathon.

  6. susiemcdonaldkoester says:

    your very proud grandmother sent me this site to look up; congrats! I grew up in MI, Battle creek; just visited there last May. You look so much like your mother, saw you in 2002 in Minn at Happys, Lakewood, and you were there at my fathers; mothers
    funeral at ftsnelling, StPaul, 10 yrs ago; almost, your Moms cousin ..and her German husband, Susie

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