When Georgia Tech wide receivers coach Buzz Preston visited Saint Louis School in Honolulu, it was a return to familiar grounds. Preston recruited the school when he was a defensive backs coach there in the late 80's and early 90's. Even better, he still knew the coaches.
The Hawaii staff that Preston was on also included Tech coach Paul Johnson and offensive line coach Mike Sewak. For that reason and others, the Hawaii powerhouse will entrust another player to their care, offensive tackle Michael Minihan.
Minihan said that Preston "goes way back" with two St. Louis coaches.
“Coach Preston, he’s a great guy,” Minihan said. “He’s very friendly, just a great guy.”
St. Louis is coached by Cal Lee, a legend in Hawaii football circles. He won 14 consecutive state championships during his tenure (1982 -2001), during the time when Johnson was offensive coordinator at Hawaii, Sewak the offensive line coach and Preston the defensive backs coach. After leaving the job, including his own tenure as a Hawaii assistant, Lee returned to St. Louis in 2014.
Minihan said that Lee and his brother Ron, an assistant, vouched for the Tech coaches.
"Definitely a little bit of an advantage," Minihan said.
Minihan is a three-star prospect who is 6-foot-2 and 280 pounds. He said he weighed around 240 pounds last season.
“It was a lot of lifting, a lot of eating,” he said.
Minihan did not need as much convincing to attend a school 4,500 miles from home as might be expected. A close family friend lives in Carrollton and his grandparents live in Florida and Maryland.
“I moved all over the place,” said Minihan, whose father is a brigadier general in the Air Force and an Auburn graduate. “We just came to Hawaii the summer before my freshman year.”
The lure of Tech for Minihan was similar to other committed players – connection with coaches, an appreciation for the campus and Tech’s academic strength.
“Just academically, it’s an amazing school,” said Minihan, who was offered by Hawaii, San Jose State, UNLV and service academies. “I couldn’t pass that up.”
Minihan particularly relished time spent with offensive line coach Ron West.
“Coach West sat me down and we went through the depth chart and everything and went through all the tackles, the guards and the centers and he said he thinks I could play anything,” Minihan said. “So that’s a huge plus.”
Minihan is the third offensive-line prospect to commit to the class, following Connor Hansen (two-way lineman), Zach Quinney and Demetris Harris.
Georgia Tech commitments