When you're the nation's most sought-after recruit, everyone wants to be your friend. But Minnesota prep QB Joe Mauer is enjoying a level of popularity few preps ever get to experience.
The strong-armed 6-4, 215-pounder -- also the nation's top catching prospect -- has been criss-crossing the country this month as he prepares to make the big decision. Two weeks ago, Mauer visited Arizona, where Cats baseball coach Jerry Stitt had some of Mauer's buddies from the U.S. junior national baseball team drop by for their official visits, too. Mauer liked that, and was impressed by new UA football coach John Mackovic. "It would be nice to go there because I already know so many people there," Mauer said.
Last week, Mauer flew down to Miami, where he said he was pleasantly surprised by the family atmosphere and the small classes on the UM campus. He also hit it off with his host, Ken Dorsey, who did a good job of selling the program. Incidentally, former Cane QB Steve Walsh, who also played at Cretin-Derham Hall in St. Paul, is a friend of Mauer's and has been pushing Miami too. In fact, Butch Davis' program might've gone from back in the pack to a frontrunner, but this weekend, the story may take another twist.Mauer is headed to Tallahassee. Chris Weinke, another former Cretin-Derham Hall QB, has spoken with Mauer, too. "He told me he wasn't going to try and recruit me," Mauer said Tuesday night. "But I know he's been through similar baseball/football experiences so he's good to talk to."
Mauer says he plans to make an announcement a week after returning from FSU. As of now, he's still wide open. Hometown Minnesota is a factor, especially since Glen Mason is still in charge, and the Twins own the first pick in the baseball draft -- that could make turning the baseball-football double a little easier. A guess? No matter what he decides next week, Mauer will ultimately sign a rich baseball-only deal this June, with football always a backup a la Weinke, Quincy Carter and J.R. House.
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