ANN ARBOR, MI - OCTOBER 01: Head coach Jerry Kill of the Minnesota Golden Gophers stands on the sidelines before the game against the Michigan Wolverines at Michigan Stadium on October 1, 2011 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)

2012 National Signing Day: Golden Gophers Look To Build For Future

For all your National Signing Day and college football recruiting news, visit SB Nation's recruiting hub.

  • Live
5 Total Updates since February 1, 2012
  • Updates 4
  • Articles 1
  • All Updates 5

Minnesota Recruiting: CSN Chicago Ranks Golden Gophers' Class No. 6 In Big Ten.

Minnesota Golden Gophers' coach Jerry Kill was busy on national signing day, gathering the paper work for 31 new players from all over the map.

But the players close to home that decided to stay in Minnesota may be the most valuable, especially Mankato quarterback Philip Nelson and Hopkins wide receiver Andre McDonald. Kill's efforts to bolster his program received pretty good reviews, as well.

CSN Chicago ranked the Big Ten recruiting classes with the help of Midwest recruiting guru Tom Lemming, and they had Minnesota ranked No. 6 in the top half of the Big Ten. Here's what they had to say about the Gophers' class.

6. MINNESOTA: The Gophers managed to keep the state's top prospect at home -- QB Philip Nelson of Mankato, who ranks as the No. 40 player in the nation. The Gophers also got LB Jack Lynn of Lake Zurich, WR Andre McDonald, WR Jamel Harbison, OL Isaac Hayes and OL Johan Pirsig.

For more on the Minnesota Golden Gophers, check out The Daily Gopher. You can also head over to SB Nation's main NCAA Football hub at SBNation.com/NCAA-Football.

Continue

Minnesota Football Recruiting: 31 Players Added To Golden Gophers Roster

National Signing Day has come and gone for the Minnesota Golden Gophers this year as 31 players were added to the football team's roster on Wednesday. There weren't a lot of huge surprises that happened on the biggest day of the recruiting year, but it seems to have been a good day regardless.

Coach Jerry Kill signed 25 high school players and six players from the juco ranks on Wednesday from a total of 13 different states. Minnesota yielded the most prospects, but four came from Texas and three came from Florida while the remaining 10 states had two players apiece.

"The most important thing for us was to make sure we got kids that fit in here at the University of Minnesota with our system and what we expect," Kill said in a press release. "I think we did that. And then of course we needed to improve the athleticism and speed in our football program and I think we did that too."

It'll be interesting to see if those skillsets show through next fall.

For more on the Minnesota Golden Gophers, check out The Daily Gopher. You can also head over to SB Nation's main NCAA Football hub at SBNation.com/NCAA-Football.

Continue

Minnesota Golden Gophers National Signing Day: Minnesota Talent Staying Close To Home

One of the things that has kept the Minnesota Golden Gophers near the bottom of the Big Ten for a significant amount of time is the fact that they have been unable to keep the best players in the state of Minnesota from leaving for greener pastures. However, second-year head coach Jerry Kill appears to be turning that around.

According to the recruiting experts from Scout.com, Kill has managed to land nine of Minnesota's twelve best high school football players from this past season, including seven that Scout has ranked as five-star recruits. Let's take a look at some of the big name high school stars from the state of Minnesota that will be featured at TCF Bank Stadium starting this fall.

Jonah Pirsig, OT, Blue Earth Area High School

If it seems a little cloudy in Minneapolis today, it probably has something to do with Jonah Pirsig being outside. Pirsig is huge, measuring in at 6'9" and weighing in at just a shade under 300 pounds. He was rated as the 35th best offensive tackle in the nation by Scout.com, and 48th best by ESPN. Pirsig helped lead his team to a 10-2 record this past season, as well as a berth in the state quarterfinals. He was also a finalist for Minnesota's Mr. Football award. Even though he also played some defensive end for Blue Earth, his future is clearly on the offensive side of the ball.

Philip Nelson, QB, Mankato West High School

That Mr. Football award that I just mentioned? Yeah, it went to this guy. The 6'2", 220-pound quarterback racked up the hardware this past season, winning not only the Mr. Football Award, but also the ESPN Gatorade Minnesota Player of the Year and AP Minnesota Player of the Year awards. Last year for Mankato West, Nelson passed for 2,784 yards and 35 scores, while rushing for 1,243 yards and 20 more touchdowns. Those 55 scores were a state record for single season touchdowns, and helped propel Nelson to the state record for career touchdowns with 135. He's also second in Minnesota state history in completions (490), passing yards (7,561) and TD passes (94).

Maxx Williams, TE, Waconia High School

Scout.com's 48th ranked tight end in the nation has also decided to stick around to play his college ball. Williams lined up at six different positions during his high school career, and was selected to the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl as a punter, but the Gophers see him as a tight end. His numbers reflect his potential versatility. . .he threw for 784 yards and eight touchdowns as a quarterback in 2011, and rushed for 902 yards on 120 carries, throwing in 13 more touchdowns. On the defensive side of the ball, he recorded 80 tackles and two interceptions. The 6'4", 235-pounder is a very interesting prospect for the Gophers going forward.

Mitch Leidner, QB, Lakeville South High School

Between Leidner and Nelson, the Gophers could have a very interesting quarterback battle in a couple of seasons. Leidner, a 6'4", 225-pounder, was an all-conference selection in basketball as well, but will play football for the Gophers. Scout.com had him rated as the 56th-best quarterback in America, and gave him a three-star rating. As a senior, he led Lakeville South to a section championship in 2010. As a senior, he threw for 1,872 yards and 20 touchdowns.

Nick Rallis, DB, Edina High School

If that last name sounds familiar, it ought to. Nick's brother, Mike, will be a senior for the Gophers this year and was one of their starters at linebacker this past season. As it stands now, Nick is a bit on the smallish side, measuring in at 5'11" and 200 pounds, but he was still Scout.com's 56th-ranked outside linebacker this past season. His size is likely going to move him to the defensive backfield rather than a linebacker position. He only played three games in his senior season because of an injury, but as a junior in 2010 he racked up 72 tackles, six pass break-ups, two forced fumbles, and three blocked kicks.

Andre McDonald, WR, Hopkins High School (Minnetonka)

This might be the most surprising get for Jerry Kill in this class. McDonald, a 6'3", 210-pound wide receiver, had originally verbally committed to Vanderbilt, but switched to the home-state Gophers. He was an All-State selection by the Associated Press in both of the last two seasons, and is thought by some to be the next in a line of Minnesota high school receivers that includes current Arizona Cardinal Larry Fitzgerald and Notre Dame's Michael Floyd. In his past two high school seasons, McDonald has caught 124 passes for 2,397 yards and 36 touchdowns.

Isaac Hayes, OG, St. Thomas Academy (Brooklyn Park)

This kid has the potential to be a bad mutha. (Shut yo mouth!) In all seriousness, the 6'2", 275-pound Hayes could join with Pirsig to be the foundation of a great offensive line in the future for the Gophers. Opinions on him vary greatly. . .Scout.com has him as the 75th best guard in the nation, while ESPN not only named him as the top high school player in Minnesota, but the 9th-best guard in the entire nation.

The Gophers' in-state recruiting class also includes a few players that were named as two-star recruits by Scout.com. Those players are Wayzata offensive tackle Ben Lauer (6'6", 270), Blaine wide receiver Duke Anyanwu (6'4", 200), and Isaac Fruechte, a wide receiver that has transferred from Rochester Community and Technical College (6'3", 215).

Later on today, we will take a look at some of the players that will be bringing their talents to Minnesota from some places that are a bit further away.

Continue

Minnesota Golden Gophers National Signing Day: Kill Brings Solid Class

Recruiting for a place like the University of Minnesota isn't exactly the easiest of jobs, but it appears that head coach Jerry Kill has taken a big step towards moving the Minnesota Golden Gophers towards respectability.

The Golden Gophers' 2012 recruiting class contains ten players that rate at least three stars from the folks at Scout.com. While that doesn't sound like a terribly impressive number for a lot of programs, for the Gophers it shows a step up in the quality of football players that are bringing their skills to Minnesota.

More importantly, however, the best players in the state of Minnesota are actually staying IN the state of Minnesota. According to Scout.com, of the top 12 high school football players in the state of Minnesota this past season, nine of them have signed on to play for the Golden Gophers. That's a huge change from the Tim Brewster era, as Brewster couldn't keep Minnesota's best players in the state.

However, Coach Kill appears to have changed that, as he's managed to keep outstanding players like Blue Earth's Jonah Persig, Mankato's Philip Nelson, and Minnetonka's Andre McDonald in the Land of 10,000 Lakes to play their college football. Hopefully those home-grown players can be a big part of the rebuilding of the Golden Gophers' football program.

We'll take a look at some of the players that the Gophers are bringing in to build their program around, starting with the kids that won't be going too far from home.

Continue

2012 National Signing Day Announcement Times Schedule

For all your National Signing Day and college football recruiting news, visit SB Nation's recruiting hub.

Continue
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join SB Nation Minnesota

You must be a member of SB Nation Minnesota to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Minnesota. You should read them.

Join SB Nation Minnesota

You must be a member of SB Nation Minnesota to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at SB Nation Minnesota. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.