Head Football Coach Glen Mason announced today that 25 student-athletes have signed national letters of intent to attend the University of Minnesota and play football for the Golden Gophers.
The list, which includes players from 10 different states from around the country, is highlighted by seven signees from Minnesota. It includes 20 high school seniors, three junior college transfers and two Division I-A transfers.
"I couldn’t be more excited with this group," Mason said. "We had some specific needs that we wanted to fill and I think we were successful in accomplishing that goal on both sides of the ball. Keeping Minnesota’s best high school players at home is a top priority, so it is especially gratifying that seven of the state’s very best have decided to stay right here and play for the Golden Gophers."
6-2, 190, QB
Elizabeth, N.J. (Elizabeth HS)
PrepStar All-America choice as a senior in ’97 when he completed 116 of 173 passing attempts (67 percent) for 1,679 yards and 20 touchdowns, with just two interceptions third-team all-state choice and a first- team all-county selection in both ’96 and ’97 named the Watchung Conference Player of the Year as a senior averaged 42.3 yards as the team’s punter calls winning the state championship his most memorable sports thrill also a two-year letterwinner in basketball cousin of Syracuse star receiver Quinton Spotwood high school coach was Jerry Moore son of Qasim Abdul-Khaliq.
6-3, 235, FB
Menomonie, Wis. (Menomonie HS)
Collected USA Today All-America honors as a senior in ’97 when he registered 14 sacks to help lead the school to the state title with a perfect 14-0 record two-way player who was named to the all-state team at both defensive tackle and tight end as a senior honored as the all-Northwest Wisconsin Player of the Year named to the all-Midwest team by both SuperPrep and PrepStar had 26 receptions for 452 yards and nine touchdowns during final prep campaign played fullback in short yardage situations and scored five touchdowns on the ground all-state choice at defensive tackle as a junior three-time all-conference selection helped lead the school to the ’95 state crown as a sophomore Menomonie racked up an impressive 38-2 record during his three-year career finished with 43 career sacks three-year letterwinner in wrestling honor roll student high school coach was Joe LaBuda son of Matt and Teresa Andraschko.
Marvin "Scooter" Baugus
6-7, 240, TE
Fort Worth, Texas (Eastern Hills HS)
Had 31 receptions for 432 yards and six touchdowns in ’97 en route to being named to the PrepStar All-America team also named all-state and to the SuperPrep all- Southwest team during final prep campaign four-time all-conference choice fine all-around athlete who registered seven career sacks at defensive end, averaged 41.8 yards per punt and served as the team’s placekicker also lettered on the school’s soccer, basketball and baseball squads high school coach was Don Morland son of Marvin C. Baugus.
6-1, 181, WR
Grapevine, Texas (SMU)
Transferred to the U of M after one season at Southern Methodist University will have to sit out the ’98 season and then have three years of eligibility remaining candidate for freshman All-America honors in ’97 when he had 19 receptions for 352 yards and four touchdowns for the Mustangs had five receptions for 112 yards, including a 77-yarder, in SMU’s 31-9 win over Arkansas all-state selection as a senior in ’96 when he helped lead Grapevine High School to a perfect 15-0 record and the Texas 4A state title had 48 receptions for 776 yards and nine touchdowns during final prep campaign two-way player who recorded 180 career tackles as a strong safety speedster who also returned punts and kicks in high school four-year letterwinner in track Texas Relays prep triple jump champion who has a leap of 51-4 to go along with a 400 meter time of 47.9 to his credit cousin of fellow Golden Gopher signee Tellis Redmon high school coach was Mike Sneed son of Eddie and Rosa Brewer.
5-10, 190, RB
Olathe, Kan. (Hutchinson CC)
Named one of PrepStar’s Top 100 junior college transfers for the ’97 season has two seasons of eligibility remaining junior college teammate of fellow Golden Gopher signees Terrence Floyd and Clorenzo Griffin rushed for 997 yards on 240 carries and scored 10 touchdowns last fall and gaining 1,200 yards as a freshman in ’96 Blue Chip Top 100 choice and the Gatorade player of the year in the state as a senior at Olathe North High School in ’95 when he rushed for 1,696 yards and scored 29 touchdowns ran for over 3,000 yards and scored 50 touchdowns during prep career two- time all-conference selection had four career interceptions playing in the defensive backfield also returned kickoffs and punts basketball and track letterwinner during prep career honor roll student junior college coach was Martin Harrell high school coach was Gene Wier.
6-3, 220, LB
Detroit, Mich. (Pershing HS)
Registered 104 tackles, had 22 tackles for loss, recovered four fumbles and intercepted four passes at outside linebacker as a senior in ’97 named Top 50 in the Midwest by the Detroit News all-state and all- conference selection had four sacks in one game as a senior also handled the team’s punting chores versatile athlete who was an all-city selection in volleyball also competed on the school’s basketball, baseball and track & field teams high school teammate of Golden Gopher freshman defensive back Jimmy Henry National Honor Society member high school coach was Stephon Thompson son of George and Joann Colbert.
6-5, 315, OL
Akron, Ohio (Hutchinson CC)
Had 44 pancake blocks from his offensive guard position in ’97 two-way player who also played defensive end runs a sub 5.0 second 40 which is outstanding for a player of his size has three seasons of eligibility remaining junior college teammate of fellow Golden Gopher signees Arland Bruce and Clorenzo Griffin started his collegiate career by redshirting under Coach Mason at Kansas in ’96 two-time all-state selection during his prep career at Firestone High School Blue Chip magazine prep All-America choice as a senior in ’95 when he helped lead the school to the Akron public school city crown and a 9-2 overall record three-time all-conference selection named the defensive player of the year in the conference during final prep campaign all-city and third-team all-state choice as a senior in basketball when he averaged 20 points and 11 rebounds per game also collected three letters in track & field honor roll student who received the prestigious Harold K. Stubbs memorial scholarship for academic excellence as a senior junior college coach was Martin Harrell high school coach was Robert Black son of Yvette and Reggie Floyd, who was his high school basketball coach and a former football/ basketball standout at the University of Akron.
6-2, 215, QB
Centreville, Ill. (Cahokia HS)
Two-time all-state selection who completed 66 of 115 passing attempts for 1,371 yards and 16 touchdowns as a senior in ’97 fine runner who also gained 535 yards on 48 rushing attempts (11.1 yard average) and scored seven touchdowns on the ground threw for nearly 3,000 yards and 30 touchdowns his last two seasons two-way player who also collected 49 tackles, 11 pass breakups and three interceptions at strong safety during final prep campaign four-year letterwinner on the gridiron all-state performer in baseball as well multi- talented athlete who is also a three-year letterwinner in basketball high school coach was Rob Elen son of Earlie and Letha Gettis.
5-10, 183, CB
Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (Hutchinson CC)
Collected 47 tackles, eight pass breakups, recovered two fumbles, blocked two field goals and had one interception in ’97 redshirted the ’96 season has three seasons of eligibility remaining junior college teammate of fellow Golden Gopher signees Arland Bruce and Terrence Floyd earned all-state honors in ’95 as a senior at Boyd Anderson High School registered 97 tackles, 10 pass breakups, three fumble recoveries and three interceptions during final prep campaign lightning-quick performer who also averaged 17.7 yards and scored four touchdowns on kickoff returns and 9.7 yards and scored one touchdown on punt returns helped lead the school to the state track & field team title in ’94 and ’96 member of the 4 x 100 meter relay which captured the state title in ’96 with a fine clocking of 41.4 junior college coach was Martin Harrell high school coach was Selwyn Brown son of Tony Tennyson and Loretta Gore.
5-10, 170, PK/P
Schofield, Wis.(D.C. Everest HS)
Parade magazine and PrepStar All-America choice as a senior in ’97 also named to SuperPrep’s all-Midwest region team collected first-team all-state honors as a punter and second-team laurels as a placekicker during final prep campaign averaged 45.2 yards per punt, which includes an outstanding 41.5 yard net punting average, as a senior very good "pooch" punter had nine punts land inside the 10-yard line in ’97 also has a strong leg with 11 boots over 50 yards and two over 60 yards 21 of his 32 punts as a senior were not returned 28 of his kickoffs were touchbacks as a senior and 63 over his career struggled with snapper and holder problems as a senior, and as a result, made just one of five field goal attempts and 39 of 41 PATs connected on 9 of 14 field goal attempts and a perfect 58 of 58 PATs as a junior in ’96 made 142 of 149 career PATs and 16 of 26 career field goal attempts has a 46-yard field goal to his credit three- year letterwinner who helped lead the school to three straight conference titles and to the Division I state title game as a junior in ’96 set all-time WIAA playoff records with a 70-yard punt and a 45.2 yard average in the state championship game school charted an impressive 42-4 overall record during his career standout baseball player who will serve as team captain in ’98 ranked number one academically in a senior class of 410 students with a perfect 4.0 GPA already accepted in the University of Minnesota’s prestigious Carlson School of Management high school coach was Wayne Steffenhagen son of Faye and Scott Gruening, a former punter at the University of Dayton.
6-3, 210, LB
Eden Prairie, Minn. (Eden Prairie HS)
Honored as the Associated Press Minnesota Player of the Year as a senior in ’97 SuperPrep and PrepStar All- America choice two-time all-state selection who helped lead the Eagles to back-to-back state titles in ’96 and ’97 calls that his most memorable sports thrill caught the winning TD pass in both state title games led the Class 5A champions to a perfect 13-0 record as a senior with 142 tackles while playing the first half of the season at strong safety and the last half at linebacker picked off nine passes on the season when the Eagles finished 14-0 overall and captured the state Class AA title as a junior finished with 17 career receptions and seven touchdowns through the air registered 270 tackles and 13 interceptions during his career one of the state’s finest basketball players as well and a candidate for the state’s coveted "Mr. Basketball" award in ’98 averaging 28 points, 13 rebounds, 7 assists and 7 steals per game on the hardwood four-time Lake Conference all-academic team selection high school teammate of Golden Gopher lineman Derek Burns high school coach was Mike Grant son of Judy and Jeff Busch.
6-3, 200, WR
Detroit, Mich. (Martin Luther King HS)
USA Today and PrepStar All-America selection as a senior in ’97 after finishing with 49 receptions for 1,006 yards and eight touchdowns all-Midwest SuperPrep choice named to the Detroit Free Press all-state team after averaging a whopping 20.5 yards per catch during final prep campaign also registered 62 tackles, broke up 14 passes and had three interceptions as a defensive back standout sprinter and hurdler on the school’s track & field team plays second base and catcher on the baseball team in the spring honor roll student high school teammate of fellow Golden Gopher signee Germaine Landrum high school coach was James Reynolds son of Donna and Ron Johnson, who played professionally for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
6-7, 305, OL
Minnetonka, Minn. (Minnetonka HS)
PrepStar All-America choice as a senior in ’97 named to SuperPrep’s all-Midwest region team as well honorable mention all-state selection and a first-team all- conference and all-metro choice during final prep campaign played both ways for the Skippers collected 40 tackles along the defensive line as a senior three-year letterwinner who helped lead the school to an impressive 18-4 mark his final two seasons standout performer on the school’s basketball and track & field teams and a candidate for postseason honors this year in both sports recently surpassed 1,000 points in his career on the hardwood calls that his most memorable sports thrill has a best of 54 feet in the shot put to his credit honor roll student National Honor Society member high school teammate of Golden Gopher tight end Rob LaRue high school coach was Myles Ginther son of Rachel and Kris Kuppe.
6-3, 230, DE
Detroit, Mich. (Martin Luther King HS)
Dominant player for Martin Luther King High School as a senior in ’97 when he racked up 142 tackles, 22 tackles for loss, eight sacks, three fumble recoveries and four interceptions collected honorable mention all-city honors two-way player who also scored 12 touchdowns rushing as a senior fine all-around athlete who was named team MVP as a forward on the school’s basketball team earned all-state honors in track & field high school teammate of fellow Golden Gopher signee Ron Johnson high school coach was James Reynolds son of George and Mary Landrum.
6-1, 185, RB
Hopkins, Minn. (Hopkins HS)
All-state selection as a senior in ’97 after he rushed for 1,490 yards on 213 carries (7.0 yard average) and scored 25 touchdowns SuperPrep and PrepStar all-Midwest region choice two-time all-conference selection who gained 1,100 yards and scored 10 touchdowns as a junior in ’96 also dangerous as a punt/kick return man averaged 20.5 yards and scored two touchdowns returning punts averaged 25.0 yards per kick return has earned all-conference honors twice as a sprinter/ horizontal jumper on the school’s track & field team high school coach was Ken MacDonald guardians are Jim and Judy Nordstrom.
6-0, 171, WR
Miami, Fla. (Jackson HS)
All-state selection as a senior in ’97 when he had 53 receptions for 941 yards and scored four touchdowns in just seven games before suffering a broken collarbone SuperPrep all-Dixie team selection also collected all-county and all-city honors selected to play in the prestigious Florida vs. Georgia all-star game speed merchant who has the ability to make the big play anytime he gets his hands on the ball standout sprinter on the school’s track & field team high school coach was Joe Redmond son of Dennis and Franch Mays.
6-2, 215, LB
Bolingbrook, Ill. (Romeoville HS)
Two-way starter at both linebacker and tight end who was named to the all-Midwest lists by both SuperPrep and PrepStar honorable mention all-state selection as a senior two-time all-conference and all-area choice three-year letterwinner who racked up 100-plus tackles in each of his three varsity seasons had 21 receptions and scored five touchdowns during final prep campaign two-year captain and team MVP in ’97 has also lettered on the school’s wrestling and track & field teams honor student high school coach was Jim Boudouris grandson of Carol and Roland Wesley.
6-5, 270, OL
Roseville, Minn. (Mounds View HS)
Three-year starter at offensive tackle who collected all-state honors as a senior in ’97 PrepStar all- Midwest region selection paved the way for a pair of 1,000-yard rushers during final prep campaign two-way player who was named the Twin Cities Suburban Conference’s American Division Defensive Player of the year in ’97 when he registered 49 tackles, including 39 solos, had nine pass breakups, six tackles for loss, forced three fumbles and recovered five fumbles two- time all-conference choice two-year letterwinner as a forward on the school’s basketball team all-state performer in the shot put after finishing seventh at the state meet as a sophomore in ’96 and then third in the event in ’97 school record holder with an impressive heave of 59-5 to his credit team captain in all three sports honor roll student ’97 homecoming king high school teammate of Golden Gopher defensive lineman Matt Anderle high school coach was Gary Engen son of George and Judy Palke.
6-0, 185, RB
Grapevine, Texas (Colleyville Heritage HS)
First-team Class 4A all-state selection as a senior in ’97 when he rushed for 1,560 yards on 259 carries and scored 18 touchdowns ranked No. 21 on the the prestigous Texas 100 list of the state’s best players caught 18 passes out of the backfield for 261 yards had 25 tackles on the defensive side of the ball honorable mention all-state choice as a junior in ’96 when he helped lead the school to the state title also dangerous as a kick returner during his career member of the school’s basketball and track & field teams as well high school coach was Chris Cunningham son of Henry Redmon.
6-4, 250, DE
Detroit, Mich. (SMU)
Transferred to the U of M after two seasons at Southern Methodist University will have to sit out the ’98 season and then will have two seasons of eligibility remaining registered 20 tackles, including three sacks, in nine games for SMU last fall tallied 30 tackles, including 20 solos, as a true freshman in ’96 for the Mustangs had nine tackles vs. New Mexico in ’96 collected all-state, all-metro and all-city honors as a senior in ’95 at Martin Luther King High School when he recorded 12 quarterback sacks and six fumble recoveries caught 12 passes as a tight end in ’95 helped lead the team to a 9-2 overall record and a berth in the city championship game as a senior three- year letterwinner in football, basketball and track led the school to the city basketball playoffs for the first time in 15 years in ’95 when he averaged 17 points and nine rebounds per game placed eighth in the city high jump championships despite a hamstring injury named to the Detroit athletic all-academic team joins former SMU teammate Jack Brewer, and former Martin Luther King High School teammates Ron Johnson and Germaine Landrum at Minnesota high school coach was James Reynolds.
5-10, 170, CB
Denton, Texas (Denton HS)
All-area selection and city MVP as a senior in ’97 two- way player who had 30 tackles, eight pass breakups and four interceptions as a cornerback on defense and 923 yards rushing and 16 touchdowns as a running back on offense also played wide receiver where he had 11 receptions for a whopping 495 yards (45-yard average) possesses great speed four-year letterwinner in track & field state 200 meter champion on the track high school coach was Gary Fisher son of Linda Scott.
6-4, 290, DT
Bronx, N.Y. (Lehman HS)
PrepStar All-America choice as a senior in ’97 after recording 89 tackles, including 62 solos, eight sacks, 22 tackles for loss, eight pass breakups and four forced fumbles rated the No. 2 defensive lineman in the East also collected all-state honors two-time all-city selection has great speed for a player his size three- year letterwinner who played on both the offensive and defensive lines during his prep career helped the school rack up a combined record of 27-8 over three seasons plays center on the school’s basketball team also throws the shot put in track & field high school coach was Carmine Colosanto son of Alle and Betty Smith.
6-1, 215, RB
Coon Rapids, Minn. (Blaine HS)
SuperPrep and PrepStar All-America choice after he rushed for 1,579 yards on 292 carries (6.7-yard average) and scored 25 touchdowns as a senior in ’97 SuperPrep ranks him the fourth best fullback in the nation two-time all-state selection named the Metro Player of the Year following final prep campaign registered 3,094 yards on 559 carries (5.5- yard average) and scored 52 touchdowns during his career helped lead the Bengals to back-to-back state large school championship games team went 22-5 during over his final two seasons has only played the game for two years standout guard/forward on the basketball team where he averages 14.3 points. 5.4 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game high school coach was Dave Nelson guardians are Nancy and David Tremewan.
6-6, 270, DE
Bloomington, Minn. (Jefferson HS)
PrepStar All-America choice as a senior in ’97 after he registered 81 tackles, which included 15 tackles for loss and six sacks all-Midwest region selection by SuperPrep two-time all-state and all-Metro selection for the Jaguars two-way player who had 12 receptions as a tight end on the offensive side of the ball three- year starter during prep career high school coach was Stan Skjei son of Martha Sykora.
6-3, 235, RB
Brooklyn Park, Minn. (Cooper HS)
Rushed for 1,527 yards on 199 carries (7.7-yard average) and scored 14 touchdowns as a senior in ’97 en route to being named a PrepStar All-America choice and to the all-state team fine receiver who had 10 receptions out of the backfield during final prep campaign three-year letterwinner who rushed for 2,818 yards on 313 carrries (9.0-yard average) and scored 25 touchdowns during his career also had59 career tackles and seven sacks on the defensive side of the ball dangerous as a punt/kick returner returned a kickoff 84 yards for a score in one game two-year letterwinner as a center/forward on the school’s basketball team all-state performer as a sprinter/long jumper in track & field honor roll student high school coach was John Oelfke his grandfather, Robert L. Williams, played basketball for the NBA’s Minneapolis Lakers and the Harlem Globetrotters son of Don and Barbara Williams.
Player bios courtesy of University of Minnesota