Connor Wilkie, a 6-foot-5, 200-pound junior quarterback from Andover (MN) High, is one of the state’s most talented signal callers.
Connor Wilkie, a 6-foot-5, 200-pound junior quarterback from Andover (MN) High, is one of the state’s most talented signal callers. He was a second team Star Tribune All-Metro selection and was regular attendee at Minnesota Golden Gopher home football games this year. Wilkie recently talked to GopherHole.com about his junior season and early recruitment.
Wilkie completed 136 of 241 passes (56.4%) for 2090 (8.7 yards per competition) with 24 touchdowns and just 10 interceptions. He threw for three touchdowns five times and two scores four times.
Wilkie started as a sophomore, completing 78 of 146 passes for 628 yards with six touchdowns and five interceptions.
Gopher Hole: Obviously, you had a good year individually and team-wise. How pleased were you with how well things went football-wise this year?
Connor Wilkie: I was pretty pleased. We played well as a team. We lost a lot of close one to Osseo and Edina, who was ranked number one in the state and we lost to them by one and Totino-Grace by two, who won the state championship (in Class 5A). We played them the toughest out of any team this year, so I was pretty pleased with my performance as well. I have a lot to improve on. I need to get better and make my teammates around me better, but I was really pleased. Going .500, we played a lot of juniors, so we are coming back with a chip on our shoulders and obviously want to get to the state tournament.
Gopher Hole: That is what I was going to ask you next. You lost some key players, but you have a decent number of players coming back. What are the expectations and hopes for next season?
Connor Wilkie: Like I said, we played a lot of juniors, so our expectations are really high. We have a lot of guys with experience, We have guys who are coming up that look pretty talented. Our expectations are obviously to get to the tournament as they were last year, but this year, we are putting in a lot more work to get to the Dome.
Gopher Hole: What things are you going to be working on individually to continue to improve yourself as a quarterback?
Connor Wilkie: Individually, obviously, speed and strength. Just overall athleticism. Footwork for in the pocket and making moves in the open field. Just everything. Going to more camps. The Quarterback Academy really helped with the passing yard. Just overall play more sports and work on athleticism and footwork.
Gopher Hole: Have you heard about going to any Junior Days?
Connor Wilkie: I just a letter from the University of Minnesota to go to their Junior Day and I just got e-mailed by the recruiting coordinator at the University of North Dakota to go to their Junior Day in February.
Gopher Hole: I know that it is still early being only a junior, but what schools are you hearing from right now?
Connor Wilkie: University of Minnesota and University of North Dakota. That’s it so far.
Gopher Hole: I know that you were at quite a few Gopher games? How many did you end up making?
Connor Wilkie: I went to every home game. I didn’t go to any road games. My parents were talking about going to the Bowl game, but we played basketball, so I was unable to. I went to every home game. It was a good time. The facilities are amazing there. Their stadium is top-notch
Gopher Hole: Did you get a chance to go to any other college games besides Minnesota?
Connor Wilkie: I went to a University of North Dakota game. My dad is an alum there, so he knows the coaches. I went to one of the games there. I didn’t do an unofficial like I did at the “U.” They wanted to, but my dad wanted it to be set up and what not.
Gopher Hole: Have you thought much about camps this summer?
Connor Wilkie: I am going to go to the University of Minnesota and the North Dakota one and South Dakota one and most likely the South Dakota State camp.
Gopher Hole: What are you hearing from Minnesota? What are they saying to you?
Connor Wilkie: They haven’t said much lately. It is still early. I think that April 15th is the contact date, so that is when I am expecting to most of that.
Gopher Hole: Are you doing anything in the spring?
Connor Wilkie: I do not play baseball. Our track coach has been hounding me to go out, but it is just football and basketball.
Gopher Hole: You were sidelined with a concussion. How did that happen?
Connor Wilkie: It was in the first half of our third game. I got elbowed right in the nose.
Gopher Hole: Do you remember much?
Connor Wilkie: I remember getting hit in the face obviously and sitting down on the bench. I almost passed out leaving the bench and they sat me down there and went to the training room
Gopher Hole: Have you had concussions before?
Connor Wilkie: Yes. I had one when I was four and 12 and I had one this year.
Gopher Hole: That has to be a little scary?
Connor Wilkie: Yes. Any injury to the brain is scary. I am recovering nicely.
Gopher Hole: You are having a good year basketball-wise and you are the team’s leading scorer. Was it tough to be on the sideline and not able to help your team?
Connor Wilkie: It hurts a lot to watch us lose a couple of close games. You can’t rush a brain injury. You only get one.