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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 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, 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.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.