2011 National Signing Day: Who Has Signed To Play College Football For The Golden Gophers?

2011 National Signing Day is very nearly upon us, and with it brings commitments from the majority of players in this recruiting class. So where does Minnesota football recruiting stand as the big day approaches?

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21 Total Updates since February 2, 2011
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LB Peter Westerhaus Signs With Minnesota Golden Gophers

The Minnesota Golden Gophers have kept another of Minnesota's top high school players close to home, as linebacker Peter Westerhaus has signed a letter of intent to play his college football for the Coach Jerry Kill and the Gophers.

Westerhaus, a 6'3", 205-pound linebacker, played his high school football at Holy Family High School in Chanhassen, Minnesota. Rivals.com has Westerhaus ranked as the 3rd-best high school player in the state of Minnesota, and the 68th-best outside linebacker prospect in the nation. ESPN/Scouts, Inc. has Westerhaus as the 100th-best outside linebacker in the nation, while Scout.com has him listed as a tight end, ranking him at 70th in the nation at that position. All three of those scouting services have given him a three-star rating.

Westerhaus was named Minnesota's Mr. Football for 2010, as well as a second-team All-American at the tight end position by Rivals.com. He played both ways in high school in 2010, recording 139 tackles and finding the end zone for 11 touchdowns.

For more information about Peter Westerhaus, be sure to check out his official bio at Gopher Sports. You can also take a look at these highlights of him.

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DB Derrick Wells Signs With Minnesota Golden Gophers

The Minnesota Golden Gophers have announced that Florida defensive back Derrick Wells will trade the Sunshine State for the great white north, as he has signed a letter of intent to play his college football for Coach Jerry Kill and the Gophers.

Wells, a 6', 180-pound defensive back, played his high school ball at Lehigh High School in Lehigh Acres, Florida. There are no scouting rankings readily available on him.

Wells had 80 tackles as a senior, following up a junior season where he had 75 tackles.

For more on Derrick Wells, be sure to check out his bio at Gopher Sports. Here is his highlight package.

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QB Max Shortell Signs With Minnesota Golden Gophers

The Minnesota Golden Gophers 2011 recruiting class does, indeed, include a quarterback, as Kansas native Max Shortell has signed a letter of intent to head to Minneapolis to play his college ball for Minnesota.

Shortell, a 6'6", 215-pound signal caller, has played his high school ball at Bishop Miege High School in Shawnee Mission, Kansas. He is rated as the 21st-best quarterback prospect in the nation and the 5th-best prospect in the state of Kansas by Rivals.com. Scout.com has him ranked as the 57th-best quarterback prospect in America, while ESPN/Scouts, Inc. have him slotted in as the 73rd-best quarterback prospect in the country. Rivals.com and Scout.com have given him a three-star ranking, while his ranking from ESPN/Scouts, Inc. in only two stars.

In 2010, Shortell completed 53.1% of his passes for 2,643 yards, 21 touchdowns, and seven interceptions.  The previous year, as a junior, he completed 57.6% of his throws for 2,524 yards, 29 touchdowns, and 11 interceptions.

For a more complete look at Max Shortell, be sure to check out his full bio at Gopher Sports. Here is a Max Shortell highlight video for your viewing pleasure.

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JuCo TE John Rabe Signs With Minnesota Golden Gophers

The other junior college transfer from Minnesota's 2011 recruiting class is tight end John Rabe, who will come to the Gophers from Ellsworth Community College. Rabe enrolled at the University of Minnesota in January and will be ready for spring football.

Rabe is rated as a two-star prospect by all three major scouting services (Rivals.com, Scout.com, and ESPN/Scouts, Inc.) Scout lists him as the 8th-best tight end in the junior college ranks.

Rabe played his high school ball at Iowa Falls-Alden High School in Iowa Falls, Iowa. (I believe that's somewhere in Iowa, anyway. . .can't be entirely sure.) He caught 43 passes for 406 yards and two touchdowns in 2010.

For a more complete bio on John Rabe, be sure to check out Gopher Sports. Here, now, is a highlight package of Rabe in action.

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OL Tommy Olson Signs With Minnesota Golden Gophers

The Minnesota Golden Gophers have announced that offensive lineman Tommy Olson has signed a letter of intent to play his college ball for the Golden Gophers and Coach Jerry Kill, starting this fall.

Olson is rated as the number one prospect in the entire state of Minnesota by Rivals.com, which makes this a HUGE get for the Gophers, who have had a reputation for letting Minnesota's best players go elsewhere. The 6'4", 275-pound lineman is rated as the 14th-best guard prospect in the nation by ESPN/Scouts, Inc., and the 85th-best prospect in the entire nation by Scout.com. Both Rivals.com and Scout.com have Olson listed as a three-star prospect, but ESPN/Scouts, Inc. have Olson down as a four-star prospect, the only such prospect with that rating in the Gophers' recruiting class this year.

Olson played his high school ball at Mahtomedi High School, and was showered with honors, the highest of which was being named as a second-team All-American by Rivals.com. He is the son of Ed Olson, who was a three-time letter winner for the Gophers from 1980-1982. His brother. . .also named Ed. . .started eight games for the Gophers at left tackle as a redshirt freshman in 2010.

For more on the player that is, in all likelihood, the Gophers' top recruit this year, be sure to check out his bio at Gopher Sports. You can also check out his highlight video.

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Twin OL Kyle And Luke McAvoy Sign With Minnesota Golden Gophers

The Minnesota Golden Gophers have signed twin brothers from the state of Illinois to come and play on the offensive line, as the program announced both of their signings this morning.

Kyle McAvoy and Luke McAvoy will be coming to Minnesota from their home town of Bloomington, Illinois, to play for the maroon and gold starting this fall.

Kyle McAvoy is a 6'5", 293-pound offensive lineman, is ranked as the 29th-best prospect in the state of Illinois. ESPN/Scouts, Inc. ranks him as the 27th-best offensive tackle in the nation, while Scout.com ranks him at number 50 among offensive guards. He earned a three-star rating from both of those scouting services, as well as from Rivals.com.

Luke McAvoy is a 6'5", 278-pounder that also plays on the offensive line. He is ranked as the 27th-best prospect in Illinois. Scout.com has him rated as the 114th-best offensive tackle prospect, and ESPN/Scouts, Inc. have him ranked 123rd in the country in that category. Both of those scouting services, as well as Rivals.com, gave him a three-star ranking.

If you want to learn more about the brothers McAvoy, you can check out both of their bios. . .Kyle here and Luke here. . .at Gopher Sports. Meanwhile, check out their highlight videos right here.

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LB Jephete Matilus Signs With Minnesota Golden Gophers

The Minnesota Golden Gophers have announced that linebacker Jephete Matilus has signed a letter of intent to make the trek north to Minneapolis to play football for the Gophers.

Matilus, a 6'1", 218-pound linebacker, has played his high school football at Atlantic High School in Delray Beach, Florida. He is listed as the 73rd-best outside linebacker prospect by ESPN/Scouts, Inc. and the 174th-best by Scout.com. The folks from Scout.com gave him a two-star evaluation, while the people at both ESPN/Scouts, Inc. and Rivals.com gave him a three-star grade.

As a senior at Atlantic High School, he racked up 90 tackles, including 10 tackles for loss. He also intercepted four passes and forced two fumbles this past season.

To learn more about Jephete Matilus, check out his bio at Gopher Sports. You can also check out this highlight video.

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DB Marcus Jones Signs With Minnesota Golden Gophers

The Minnesota Golden Gophers have announced that North Carolina defensive back Marcus Jones has signed a letter of intent to come to Minnesota to play football for the maroon and gold.

Jones, a 5'8", 170-pound athlete, played his high school ball at Roleson High School in Wake Forest, North Carolina. He enrolled at the University of Minnesota in January, and will be ready for spring football. He is rated as the 73rd-best cornerback in the nation by ESPN/Scouts, Inc., and the 169th-best cornerback prospect in the nation by Scout.com. (Slight difference of opinion there, huh?) He also garnered two-star ratings from both of those services, as well as from Rivals.com.

Jones played on both sides of the ball in high school, but projects as a defensive back with the Gophers. On offense, he rushed for 797 yards on only 98 carries.

For a more complete bio on Marcus Jones, be sure to check out Gopher Sports. Here's a video of Jones in action for your viewing pleasure.

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Kicker Chris Hawthorne Transfers To Minnesota Golden Gophers

The Minnesota Golden Gophers' recruiting class of 2011 will include a transfer student, as kicker Chris Hawthorne will bring himself from North Carolina State to Minnesota to play for Coach Kill and the Gophers.

Hawthorne walked on as a freshman for the Wolfpack, and saw action in three games in 2010. He was only the primary kicker for one game, but he went 5-for-5 on extra points and drilled a 25-yard field goal as North Carolina State defeated Wake Forest. He also kicked off 17 times with one touchback.

The 6'4", 180-pound kicker. . .who also has the ability to punt. . .played his high school football at Leesville Road High School in Raleigh, North Carolina. He only played one year of high school football, but was 8-for-8 on field goals and 44-for-46 on extra points that season.

For a more complete biography of Chris Hawthorne, be sure to hit up the folks at Gopher Sports. Check out this video of Hawthorne as well.

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JuCo WR Ge'Shun Harris Signs With Minnesota Golden Gophers

The Minnesota Golden Gophers will be welcoming some junior college transfers to Minneapolis as part of their 2011 recruiting class, and one such player is wide receiver Ge'Shun Harris. Harris enrolled at the University of Minnesota at the beginning of January and will take part in spring practice.

Harris has spent his last two years playing at Arizona Western College, where he was a two-time All-Western States Football League selection. He led the team in receiving both years that he was a member of the team. Scout.com has him rated as the 15th-best junior college receiver prospect in the nation, and Rivals.com grades him as a three-star prospect.

The 6'3", 210-pound Harris played his high school ball at Centennial High School in Corona, California, where he helped lead Centennial to the state championship in 2008.

For a full bio on Ge'Shun Harris, you definitely need to check out Gopher Sports. Here's a video of Harris for your viewing pleasure.

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DE Drew Goodger Signs With Minnesota Golden Gophers

The Minnesota Golden Gophers have announced that Kansas defensive end Drew Goodger has signed a letter of intent to come to Minneapolis and play football for the Gophers.

Goodger was ranked as the 11th-best prospect in the state of Kansas by Rivals.com. He saw significant time on both sides of the ball in high school, playing as both a tight end and a defensive end, but he projects as a defensive end for the Gophers. The 6'5", 234-pound Goodger is ranked as a three-star prospect by Rivals.com, while garnering two-star ratings from both Scout.com and ESPN/Scouts, Inc.

Among his various awards and honors from this past season, Goodger earned first-team Large School All-State honors as a defensive end this past season. He was also named to various all-star teams for his play on both sides of the football.

For a full bio on Goodger, be sure to check out the official internet home for Gopher athletics, Gopher Sports. Here's a video of Goodger in action.

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WR Quentin Gardener Signs With Minnesota Golden Gophers

The Minnesota Golden Gophers have announced that wide receiver Quentin Gardener will be making the pilgrimage north from his home state of Texas to come play football for the maroon and gold, starting this fall.

Gardener, a 6', 190-pound receiver, currently attends Guyer High School in Denton, Texas. ESPN/Scouts, Inc. ranks Gardener as the 103rd-best wide receiver in America, while Scout.com ranks him at number 111. He earned a three-star ranking from both of those services, as well as from Rivals.com.

Despite missing five games with an injury in 2010, he managed to catch 34 passes for 535 yards and six touchdowns. He also saw some time on the defensive side of the ball, racking up 29 tackles, five pass break-ups, and four interceptions.

For a full bio on Quentin Gardener, be sure to check out Gopher Sports. In the meantime, check out this video of Quentin Gardener in action.

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WR Devin Crawford-Tufts Signs With Minnesota Golden Gophers

The Minnesota Golden Gophers have announced that wide receiver Devin Crawford-Tufts will be staying close to home to play football for Coach Jerry Kill and the Gophers.

Crawford-Tufts currently attends Edina High School, and is rated as the 5th-best prospect in the state of Minnesota by Rivals.com. Rivals grades him as a three-star prospect, while Scout.com and ESPN/Scouts, Inc. show him as a two-star prospect. Rivals also rates him as the 165th-best wide receiver prospect in the nation.

Not only is Crawford-Tufts an outstanding receiver, he's also a fantastic overall athlete, having won the most recent Minnesota State AA championships in the 100 and 200-meter dash, as well as finishing in second place in the long jump.

For a full bio on Devin Crawford-Tufts, Gopher Sports is your place to go. Here's a video of Crawford-Tufts for your viewing pleasure.

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OL Josh Campion Signs With Minnesota Golden Gophers

Some of the members of Minnesota's 2011 recruiting class are already enrolled at the University of Minnesota, and will be taking part in spring ball. One such player is massive offensive lineman Josh Campion, who originally signed with the Gophers back in February of 2009.

Campion, a 6'5", 320-pound offensive lineman, was rated as the 4th-best prospect in the state of Minnesota coming out of Fergus Falls High School. He was rated as the 41st-best offensive tackle prospect by Rivals.com, and the 47th-best by Scout.com. After his high school career, both of those services listed him as a three-star prospect, and Rivals continues to do so after he spent this past year at the Fork Union (Virginia) Military Academy.

Campion earned all-state recognition in 2009 from the Associated Press, the Minnesota Football Coaches Association, and the Minnesota Vikings, among other such kudos. If you want to see a full bio on Campion, Gopher Sports is the place to go. Here's a video of Campion for your viewing pleasure.

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OL Foster Bush Signs With Minnesota Golden Gophers

The Minnesota Golden Gophers have announced that Wisconsin offensive lineman Foster Bush has signed a letter of intent to come across the border to Minnesota to play for the maroon and gold.

Bush, a 6'5", 270-pound offensive lineman from Menasha, Wisconsin, is currently attending Menasha High School. He is rated as the 9th-best prospect in the state of Wisconsin by Rivals.com. Scout.com ranks Bush as the 124th-best offensive tackle prospect, while ESPN/Scouts, Inc. has him ranked as the 174th-best offensive tackle prospect. He garnered a three-star rating from Rivals, while Scout and ESPN both gave him a two-star rating.

Bush also helped to lead his team to a Fox Valley co-championship in 2010 on the strength of a 9-2 record.

For a full bio on Foster Bush, be sure to check out the official home of Golden Gopher athletics, Gopher Sports. Here's a video of Foster Bush for your viewing pleasure.

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Minnesota Golden Gophers National Signing Day: OL Joe Bjorklund Signs

The Minnesota Golden Gophers have announced that Minnesota offensive lineman Joe Bjorklund is going to stay close to home, having signed a letter of intent to play for Coach Jerry Kill and the Minnesota Golden Gophers.

Bjorklund was rated by Rivals.com as the 9th-best prospect in the state of Minnesota by Rivals.com. He was ranked as the 60th-best offensive guard prospect in the nation by ESPN/Scouts, Inc. He was given a three-star ranking by both Rivals.com and ESPN/Scouts, Inc., while garnering a two-star rating from Scout.com.

Bjorklund is a 6'5", 285-pound offensive lineman that currently attends Rosemount High School in Rosemount, Minnesota. He earned Associated Press All-State honors this season, as well as getting that recognition from the St. Paul Pioneer Press and the Minnesota Vikings. He was also named to the All-Metro team by the Minneapolis Star-Tribune and by KARE-11.

For a full bio of Joe Bjorklund, be sure to check out Gopher Sports, the official home of Minnesota Golden Gopher athletics.

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Minnesota Golden Gophers National Signing Day: DE Michael Amaefula Signs

The Minnesota Golden Gophers have announced that Texas defensive end Michael Amaefula has signed a letter of intent to come to Minneapolis to play for the Gophers.

Amaefula currently attends Bowie High School in Arlington, Texas. He is a 6'2", 218-pound defensive end, and was given a three-star rating by both Rivals.com and Scout.com. He was ranked as the 107th-best defensive end in America by Rivals. He was also named to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's All-Metroplex team as a first-team defensive end this season.

For a full bio on Michael Amaefula, be sure to check out the good folks at Gopher Sports. Meanwhile, check out the video on young Amaefula below.

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Minnesota Golden Gophers National Signing Day: DB Steven Montgomery Signs

The Minnesota Golden Gophers have announced that Florida defensive back Steven Montgomery has signed a letter of intent to come to Minneapolis to play for Coach Kill and the Gophers.

Montgomery currently attends Miramar High School in Miramar, Florida, and is rated as the 44th-best safety prospect in the nation by the folks at Rivals.com. He is ranked as the 76th-best safety, and ESPN/Scouts, Inc. has him as the 100th-best cornerback in the nation, so there's some debate as to what position he fits in best at at the college level.

For a full bio of Steven Montgomery, be sure to check out Gopher Sports. Also, check out the video of Montgomery below.

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Minnesota Golden Gophers National Signing Day: DE Thieren Cockran Signs

The Minnesota Golden Gophers have announced that Florida defensive end Thieren Cockran has signed a letter of intent to play for the team.

Cockran is rated as a two-star prospect by Rivals.com, and currently attends Homestead High School near Miami, Florida. He stands 6'5" and weighs 210 pounds, but some time in the Gophers' strength and conditioning program should allow him to bulk up to where he needs to be to stand up as a defensive end in the Big Ten.

For a full bio on Thieren Cockran, be sure to check out the good folks at Gopher Sports. Below is a video of Cockran in action.

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Minnesota Golden Gophers National Signing Day: LB Quinn Bauducco Signs

California linebacker Quinn Bauducco has signed a letter of intent to come to Minneapolis and play football for the Minnesota Golden Gophers, according to numerous sources.

The 6'3", 225-pound product of Moorpark High School is considered the 37th-best inside linebacker in the nation by Rivals.com, the 41st-best by Scout.com, and the 51st-best by ESPN and Scouts, Inc. Rivals and Scout both label him as a three-star player, while ESPN and Scouts, Inc. rated him as a two-star.

Among the many honors that Bauducco received this past year was being voted Moorpark Iron Man as the best two-way player by his teammates, and being named all first-team Los Angeles by the Los Angeles Times.

For a full bio of Quinn Bauducco, you can check out our friends at Gopher Sports. Here is a video of Bauducco's exploits.

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