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2000 Gopher Football Recruiting Class

2000 Gopher Football Signees

Player Pos Ht Wt Hometown
Burns, Antoine WR 6'1" 195 Milwaukee, Wis. / Rochester, Minn. CC
Cole, Travis QB 6'3" 210 Lake Oswego, Ore. / Foothill, Calif. JC
Dozier, Ukee DB 6'1" 170 Bradenton, Fla. / Southeast HS
Fraley, Justin DB 6'1" 200 Cleveland, Ohio / Benedictine HS
Green, Jason DL 6'4" 260 Orange, N.J. / Orange HS
Harston, Brandon DL 6'3" 290 Fort Worth, Texas / Crowley HS
Jackson, Terry RB 5'10" 195 Saginaw, Mich. / Saginaw HS
Johnson, Demetrus RB 5'10" 175 Milwaukee, Wis. / Homestead HS
Matthews, Keith WR 6'3" 190 Akron, Ohio / Archbishop Hoban HS
McElroy, Mark OL 6'4" 300 Roseville, Minn. / Cretin-Derham Hall HS
Melander, Rian OL 6'6" 240 Shoreview, Minn. / Cretin-Derham Hall HS
Pinson, Larry RB 6'2" 225 Eagan, Minn. / Eagan HS
Plisch, Josh OL 6'3" 290 Rothschild, Wis. / D.C. Everest HS
Prudden, Peter DL 6'5" 270 Wayzata, Minn. / Breck HS
Redmann, Chad TE 6'3" 230 Burnsville, Minn. / Apple Valley HS
Reid, Darrell LB 6'3" 245 Farmingdale, N.J. / Freehold Boro HS
Sanders, Marcus RB 6'0" 185 Ravenna, Ohio / Ravenna HS
Sims, Dominique DB 6'2" 195 Minneapolis, Minn. / De La Salle HS
Smith, Arthur OL 6'9" 323 Columbus, Ohio / Brookhaven HS
Stenzel, Eric LB 6'3" 230 Mankato, Minn. / West HS
Toussaint, Mackenzy DB 6'0" 177 Miami, Fla. / North Miami HS
Ward, Timothy DL 6'3" 255 Milwaukee, Wis. / Bay View HS
Watson, Steve LB 6'3" 215 Defiance, Mo. / Francis Howell HS
Wymer, Ricky OL 6'9" 325 Westerville, Ohio / North HS

February 2, 2000

Head Football Coach Glen Mason announced today that 24 student-athletes have signed national letters of intent to attend the University of Minnesota and play football for the Golden Gophers.

"We signed 14 on offense and 10 players on defense, so we are very pleased that we were able to fill some needs on both sides of the ball, particularly along the offensive and defensive lines," Mason said. "Our main priority is always to close the borders on the state of Minnesota and keep our in-state talent at home. We are very excited about the players who have decided to stay at home and play for the Golden Gophers. Our success last season enabled us to recruit some outstanding student-athletes to the University of Minnesota. I'm very happy with this recruiting class."

 Antoine Burns, 6-1, 195, WR, Milwaukee, Wis. (Rochester CC) Named a junior college Gridwire All-American...listed in PrepStar's Super Juco 75 list...rated 17th in SuperPrep's Juco 100...caught 58 passes for 1,100 yards last season at Rochester...scored 23 touchdowns (17 receiving, three on punt returns, and three on kickoff returns)...his Rochester teams were a combined 22-2 with two bowl berths in his two seasons there... has three years remaining to complete his two years of eligibility...lists reading as one of his hobbies...plans to major in kinesiology at the U of M...high school coach was Adam Walker...junior college coach was Joel Swisher...son of Leon and Bernice Williams.

Travis Cole, 6-3, 210, QB, Lake Oswego, Ore. (Foothill JC) In his two years as the starting quarterback at Foothill JC, he threw for 5,286 yards and 58 touchdowns...passed for 25 touchdowns this past season...should compete for the starting job at the U of M next season...arrived on campus in time for second semester and is currently in classes...played both quarterback and receiver at Lakeridge High School, many times switching from one position to another with each play...runs the 40 in 4.65 seconds...has three years remaining to complete his two years of eligibility...also an outstanding baseball player, he was a draft pick of the Toronto Blue Jays...junior college coach was Marshall Sperbeck...son of Steve and Lisa Cole and Debra Cole.

Ukee Dozier, 6-1, 170, DB, Bradenton, Fla. (Southeast HS) Registered 38 solo tackles, 12 assists, four pass- breakups, and three tackles for loss in his senior season...played in nine games as a senior, missing the final four with a shoulder injury...the injury has since been repaired...runs the 40 in 4.5 seconds...basketball and track and field letterwinner...named most valuable performer on the track squad...one of the top long and triple jumpers in the state of Florida...high school coach was Paul Maechtle...son of Shirley Shird.

Justin Fraley, 6-1, 198, DB, Cleveland, Ohio (Benedictine HS) Two-time all-state selection...gained 922 yards in just 150 attempts as a senior (6.1 per carry)...amassed 2,450 yards during prep career and 41 touchdowns...racked up 210 tackles on the defensive side of the ball...intercepted 34 passes and forced 28 fumbles during his high school career...accumulated impressive stats while playing on a team that was 1-8 last season...played some quarterback in his freshman and junior seasons...runs the 40 in 4.45 seconds...president of his senior class and vice president of the student council...honor student with a 3.0 GPA...lists interception to seal the state championship win as a freshman as his most memorable sports thrill...also lettered in track and field...won the 100-meter state track championship as a junior with a time of 10.6...high school coach was Derek Slesh...son of Greg Fraley and Henry and Toni Curtis.

Jason Green, 6-4, 260, DE, Orange, N.J. (Orange HS) SuperPrep all-Northeast team selection...ranked 22nd- best player in the state...named to the all-state team after a senior season where he collected 85 solo tackles, 20 assists, 18 tackles for loss and 12 sacks...named to all-county and all-city teams as well during final prep campaign...also letters in basketball, where he plays forward, and track and field...has an interest in studying criminal justice...high school coach was Randy Daniels...son of Janice Green.

Brandon Harston, 6-3, 290, DL, Fort Worth, Texas (Crowley HS) Named to the SuperPrep all-Southwest team...one of the better defensive linemen recruits in the country according to Tom Lemming's Prep Football Report...amassed 120 career tackles, including 98 solos, despite playing just four games in his senior campaign due to a high ankle sprain...defensive career stats also include 15 sacks, 10 pass breakups, 15 forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, and three interceptions...caught 50 career passes for 10 touchdowns from his tight end position on the offensive side of the ball...also lettered in basketball...member of the honor roll with a 3.00 GPA...calls his most memorable sports thrill winning the state championship in basketball...high school coach was Brad McCone...son of Mike and Georgia Harston.

Terry Jackson III, 5-10, 193, RB, Saginaw, Mich. (Saginaw HS) Rushed for 1,774 yards and 21 touchdowns as a senior when he helped lead his high school to its first-ever state championship...also pitched in with 18 solo tackles on defense...played defensive back as a junior...three-year letterwinner...named to the all- conference and all-state teams following his senior season...basketball (point guard) and track and field letterwinner...lists hobbies as drawing and writing poetry...high school coach was Donald Durrett...son of Terry and Linda Jackson.

Demetrus Johnson, 5-10, 173, RB, Milwaukee, Wis. (Homestead HS) Named Wisconsin State Player of the Year by the Wisconsin State Coaches Association and the Wisconsin Journal Sentinal...Named a two-time all-state selection after amassing 2,229 yards, 32 touchdowns, and an average of 7.0 yards per carry in his senior season...the yardage and touchdown totals set single- season school records...rushed for school-record 315 yards and five touchdowns in a single game...also returned nine punts for an average of 24 yards per tote and two touchdowns along with 14 kickoff returns for an average of 30 yards per runback...caught 11 passes out of the backfield for 148 yards and a touchdown...has also accumulated three letters in basketball and one in track and field...named to the all-conference team in basketball and all-state squad in track and field...is an honor roll student who plans to major in business at the U of M...calls most memorable sports thrill rushing for 198 yards and two touchdowns in the state championship game...high school coach was Dave Keel...son of Nathaniel and Zara Johnson.

Keith Matthews, 6-3, 188, WR, Akron, Ohio (Archbishop HS) Two-time all-state selection...outstanding player on both sides of the ball in high school...played wide receiver and safety...caught 92 career passes for a total of 1,605 yards and 19 touchdowns...averaged 17.4 yards per reception in his prep career...also rushed for 574 career yards and six touchdowns...logged 205 career tackles on defense...credited with 11 career sacks, seven fumble recoveries, and eight interceptions...returned two of the interceptions for touchdowns...prep teams were 10-2 and 9-3 in his final two seasons...also a three-year letterwinner in track and field and basketball...lists most memorable sports thrill when he scored four touchdowns in a game...plans on majoring in business at the U of M...high school coach was Ralph Orsini...son of Diane and Willie Matthews.

Mark McElroy, 6-4, 300, OL, Roseville, Minn. (Cretin- Derham Hall HS) Named one of the top 10 offensive lineman prospects in the Midwest according to PrepStar...listed on the SuperPrep all-Midwest team...named to the all-state squad after helping lead Cretin-Derham Hall to the Class AAAAA State Championship as a senior...three-year starter at offensive tackle...played strong-side tackle...known for his exceptional run-blocking ability...was a big reason behind Cretin-Derham Hall's combined record of 34-2 over the last three seasons while earning three varsity letters...also letters in track, throwing the shot put and discus...recipient of the Outstanding Academic Achievement Award...honor roll student who carries a 3.2 GPA...lists winning the state football title as his most memorable sports thrill...high school coach was Rick Kallok...son of Robert and Carol McElroy.

Rian Melander, 6-6, 238, OL, Shoreview, Minn. (Cretin-Derham Hall HS) Named to the all-state squad after helping lead Cretin- Derham Hall to the Class AAAAA State Championship as a senior...allowed only two sacks on his quarterback all season from his weak-side tackle position...was one of the fastest rising prospects in the entire Midwest during his senior season, climbing from a preseason rating of No. 101 to a final ranking of No. 40 on the SuperPrep list of top players in the Midwest...named honorable mention All-America by USA Today...three-year letterwinner who was a big reason for Cretin-Derham Hall's combined record of 34-2 over the last three seasons...also played basketball...honor student with a 3.0 GPA...high school coach was Rich Kallok...uncle Jon Melander was a letterwinner along the offensive line for the Golden Gophers from 1986-89 who went on to play in the NFL...lists winning the state title as his most memorable sports thrill...son of Peter and Judy Melander.

Larry Pinson, Jr., 6-2, 225, FB, Eagan, Minn. (Eagan HS) All-state selection who rushed for 1,327 yards and 17 touchdowns as a senior...averaged 120 yards per game and seven yards per carry as a senior...runs the 40 in 4.6 seconds and can bench press 330 pounds...honored on the All-Lake Conference team as a senior...lived in Georgia as a prep junior and did not play football...named to the SuperPrep all-Midwest team...track and field letterwinner...honored as an all-conference selection in track...lists most memorable sports thrill as beating Apple Valley in the state section semifinals...named to the academic All-State team...holds a 3.99 GPA...interested in studying communications or pre-med at the U of M...high school coach was Dave Fritze...son of Larry and Lennelle Pinson.

Josh Plisch, 6-3, 290, OL, Rothschild, Wis. (D.C. Everest HS) Named the seventh-best offensive line recruit in the Midwest by PrepStar...listed as the eighth overall best line prospect (offense or defense) in the Midwest by SuperPrep...One of the most sought-after lineman in the Midwest, he led his prep team to a three-year varsity record of 30-5...high school All-America performer and two-time all-state selection...high school team was a perfect 14-0 as a junior...letterwinner in hockey (defenseman) and track and field (shotput and discus)...plans to major in elementary education at the U of M...lists his hobbies as skiing and spending time with family...high school coach was Wayne Steffenhagen...son of Sherri Plisch.

Peter Prudden, 6-5, 270, OL, Wayzata, Minn. (Breck HS) Named to the SuperPrep all-Midwest team...Named to the all-state team after leading Breck to a 9-2 record as a senior...prep teams combined for a 38-9 record in his four years as a letterwinner...a two-way player, he registered 195 career tackles, 20 sacks, 10 pass breakups, 11 forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries as a defensive end...allowed no sacks by the players he blocked as a senior on the offensive line...also handled long snapping duties and kickoffs...lettered in basketball as a power forward, averaging 11.4 points and 10.2 rebounds per game as a junior...member of school's student government...interested in studying business at the U of M...lists reading as one of his hobbies...high school coach was John Theil...son of John and Stephanie Prudden.

Chad Redmann, 6-3, 230, TE, Burnsville, Minn. (Apple Valley HS) Played a number of positions (running back, fullback, safety, defensive end, punter) during his prep career...rushed for career totals of 1,445 and 31 touchdowns on the ground...caught 18 passes for 230 yards...ran the ball 111 times for 541 yards and 11 touchdowns as a senior...had a career average of 39.0 yards per kick as a punter with a long boot of 65 yards...also returned four kicks for 120 yards...earned four wrestling and two track letters in addition to his three letters on the gridiron...has a career record of 73-14 with 42 falls on the mat...finished second in the state individually at heavyweight as a junior while helping his squad to the team championship as a junior grappler...he is 27-0 with 20 pins thus far this season on the mat...holds team weightlifting record...Academic All-State selection...high school coach was Mike Fritze...son of John and Cheryl Redmann.

Darrell Reid, 6-3, 245, LB, Farmingdale, N.J. (Freehold Boro HS) Ranked as the second-best linebacker prospect in the Northeast by SuperPrep...named one of the top linebacker prospects in the East according to PrepStar...rated the ninth-best player overall in the state...player of the year as a senior in Monmouth County...registered 99 tackles, including 36 solos, as a senior...also blocked five kicks, five pass breakups, and three forced fumbles in his final prep campaign...named to the New Jersey all-state team as well as being a three-time all- conference and all-area pick...played six games as a senior with a cast on a broken hand...rated one of the top players in the state despite his team's 0-10 mark during final prep campaign...also a four-time letterwinner in basketball as a forward...high school coach was Larry Boice...son of Jeanette Williams.

Marcus Sanders, 6-0, 186, RB, Ravenna, Ohio (Ravenna HS) Rushed for 2,374 yards (11.5 per carry) and scored 34 touchdowns as a senior...rushed for 6,688 career yards and scored 81 touchdowns...only fifth back in Ohio prep history to rush for more than 6,000 yards in his career...also caught six passes out of the backfield as a senior for 154 yards and a pair of touchdowns...rated the 10th-best running back in the Midwest according to PrepStar...set 14 school records including most yards rushing (career and season), most net yards (career and season), and most touchdowns scored (career and season)...a four-year all-conference selection...named honorable mention All-America...four-year starter...on defense, he was in on 108 stops and had eight sacks and four interceptions as a senior...honor student with a 3.0 GPA...basketball letterwinner as a point guard who averaged 13 points and 4.5 rebounds a game as a junior...high school coach was Cyle Feldman...son of Michael and Sharon Sanders.

Dominique Sims, 6-2, 195, DB, Minneapolis, Minn. (De La Salle HS) USA Today first-team All-America...named Minnesota State Player of the Year by the Associated Press after leading the Islanders to the state championship...rated one of the top 20 recruits in the Midwest according to SuperPrep...PrepStar calls him the top player in Minnesota this season...Parade Magazine All-America selection...one of four finalists for the Franklin Watkins Award, given annually to the top African- American student-athlete in the country...as a safety, he recorded 130 tackles, 23 pass breakups, three sacks, two fumble recoveries and two interceptions as a senior...rushed for 1,409 yards and 17 touchdowns during final prep campaign...passed for 756 yards and 12 touchdowns...also caught three passes for 112 yards and a touchdown and returned three kicks for touchdowns...runs the 40 in 4.5...an outstanding student, he carries a 4.16 GPA and ranks third in his high school class of 103...father Charles played basketball for the Golden Gophers from 1971-75...older brother Jason played basketball at Northern Iowa...older brother Ty played collegiate basketball at Kansas State after two years of junior college...high school coach was Tony Johnson...son of Charles and Kim Sims.

Arthur Smith, 6-9, 323, OL, Columbus, Ohio (Brookhaven HS) Helped lead his team to the state playoffs as a senior after winning the league championship his junior season...played on both sides of the ball, starting at both offensive and defensive tackle...teams combined for a record of 25-8 in his three seasons...logged 60 tackles as a senior, including three sacks, 10 tackles for loss, three pass breakups, nine forced fumbles, and four fumble recoveries...honored on the all-state, all- city, and all-conference squads...also lettered in basketball, wrestling, and track and field during his prep career...has shown an interest in majoring in pre- dentistry at the U of M...member of the high school honor roll...high school coach was Gregg Miller...son of Martie Johnston.

Eric Stenzel, 6-3, 230, LB, Mankato, Minn. (West HS) An all-state selection who led the Scarlets (Mankato West) to a 10-4 record and the Class AAAA state crown...also garnered all-state honors as a junior...set state records for assisted tackles (246) and total tackles (587) during his three-year varsity career despite playing half his senior season with a cast on a broken thumb...logged 163 tackles, including 96 solos, had five fumble recoveries and an interception in his senior campaign...featured in Sports Illustrated's Faces In The Crowd...named to the SuperPrep all-Midwest team...listed on the PrepStar all-Midwest team...three- year All-Big Nine selection...behind his leadership, team improved gradually from a 0-8 record his freshman season to the state title as a senior...runs the 40 in 4.7 seconds and bench presses 305 pounds...an honor roll student with a GPA of 3.00...basketball and track and field letterwinner...high school coach was Rick Sutton...son of Linnie and Brenda Stenzel.

Mackenzy Toussaint, 6-0, 177, DB, Miami, Fla. (North Miami HS) Third-team All-Dade County selection...had 11 pass breakups, five fumble recoveries, two interceptions, and three tackles for loss as a senior...led his high school to its first playoff berth in many years with an 8-3 mark...also letters in track and field, where he is a hurdler along with specializing in the long and triple jump...regional finalist in the 110 hurdles...plans to major in business at the U of M...lists pool and basketball as his hobbies...high school coach was Gil Lora...son of Manilia Bellot.

Timothy Ward, 6-3, 255, DL, Milwaukee, Wis. (Bay View HS) Athletic two-way prep player who played middle linebacker and tight end in high school...collected 85 tackles, 45 of which were solos, as a senior...also logged three sacks and forced three fumbles...caught 11 passes, three of which were for touchdowns on the offensive side of the ball...also lettered in basketball and track and field...was an all-conference performer (shot put and discus champ) as a prep junior...plans to major in business at the U of M...high school coach was Craig Klumb...son of Lillie Ward.

Steven Watson, 6-3, 215, LB, Defiance, Mo. (Francis Howell HS) Rated one of the top defensive end prospects in the Midlands according to SuperPrep...All-state selection who led his prep team to a combined record of 29-6 over the past three seasons...logged 115 tackles as a senior to accompany 12 sacks, six forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries...63 of his tackles were solos...played fullback on the offensive side of the ball, gathering 712 yards and eight touchdowns...registered six sacks as a junior...a four- sport athlete who also lettered in track and field, basketball, and wrestling...won the conference championship in the high jump...calls defeating the top- ranked team in the state in double overtime in his senior season Homecoming game as his most memorable sports thrill...high school coach was Larry Branson...son of Robert and Judith Watson.

Ricky Wymer, 6-9, 325, OL, Westerville, Ohio (Westerville North HS) Three-time all-conference and two-time all-area selection...rated 14th-best offensive lineman in the Midwest according to PrepStar...had surgery the day before Thanksgiving to repair torn knee ligaments, but still managed to play in every game his senior season while injured...also played basketball his freshman and sophomore years in high school...considers working on computers as one of his hobbies...high school coach was Bob Cavin...son of Rick and Char Wymer. 

Player bios courtesy of University of Minnesota