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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.