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STATE CHAMPS! SCOUT TEAM: Brendan Sullivan’s commitment part of Northwestern’s Michigan pipeline to Evanston

By: , April 21, 2020, 12:50 pm

Davison junior quarterback Brendan Sullivan has decided to go big … as in the Big Ten. And he’s got a couple of big fellas up front coming with him.

The cool-as-a-breeze, three-star field general committed to Northwestern on Monday, following in the footsteps of a pair of local prospects who could double as naval aircraft carriers. Sullivan (6-foot-3, 195) announced his intention to suit up for the Wildcats via social media Monday afternoon. 

Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald’s Purple Reign hopes to be seeing this kid dropping purple rain drops of the touchdown variety all over Ryan Field in the not-so-distant future.

Fitzgerald is going bonkers in the current recruiting cycle cultivating top talent from Michigan. First, he built from the interior. 

Fenton junior offensive lineman Josh Thompson (6-4, 290) and Birmingham Detroit Country Day junior offensive lineman Caleb Tiernan (6-7, 280) committed to the Wildcats last month. 

Edwardsburg offensive guard Josh Priebe (6-5, 280) from the Class of 2020 will be on campus come fall.

But this is hardly a new thing for the Wildcats, who seem to bring home at least one Michigan player in every recruiting cycle.

Farmington Hills Harrison DB Rod Heard was in the 2019 class, while Rockford quarterback Jason Whittaker was the Michigan representative in the 2018 class. 

Detroit Country Day alone has sent the Wildcats Joe, Chris and Owen Bergin. Byron Center contributed Marcus Cisco. 

Three-star Orchard Lake St. Mary’s guard Cameron Kolwich was in the 2016 class, while former Grand Rapids Christian offensive lineman Tommy Doles — who was signed by the Chicago Bears as an undrafted free agent last spring after his time at NU was up — was in the 2014 class. 

What’s the connection for Northwestern?

It’s not necessarily Fitzgerald, who coached at Maryland, Colorado and Idaho before returning to his alma mater in 2001, and taking over as head coach in 2006. 

There are plenty of other connections, though.

Offensive line coach Kurt Anderson graduated from Michigan in 2001, and was a grad assistant  at U-M for two seasons before coaching the offensive line at Eastern Michigan for five years (2008-12).

Special teams coordinator Jeff Genyk, a native of Milan who has a master’s degree from Western Michigan, predated Anderson’s arrival in Ypsilanti, serving as EMU’s head coach from 2004-08. He started his coaching career at Grand Rapids Community College in 1990.

Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Mike Bajakian had two stints at Central Michigan (2002-03, quarterbacks; 2007-09, OC and quarterbacks) between stints in thee NFL, and was a graduate assistant at Michigan when Anderson was in his final season.

He’ll be in charge of the development of Sullivan, once he hits campus in the fall of 2021.  

Last year, Sullivan led Davison to the Division 1 state championship. He threw for 290 yards and scored three touchdowns in the Cardinals’ 35-25 victory over Brighton in the state finals under the bright lights at Ford Field. On the 2019 season, he continually torched secondaries en route to passing for a glitzy 3,044 yards and 33 touchdowns. 

“Brendan has such a smooth release and throwing style, his feel for the quarterback position sets him apart from the pack,” said QBU founder and signal-caller trainer to the stars Donovan Dooley. “He can make all the throws and he’s impossible to rattle.”

Sullivan was an All-Saginaw Valley League wide receiver as a sophomore. In the winter, he gets buckets for the Davison Cardinals hoop squad. Sullivan netted 20 points per game on the basketball floor in 2020.

— SCOTT M. BURNSTEIN