As I write this we are halfway into Week 2 of the MN High School football season, and it’s been easy to see from the film and stats of Week 1 and Thursday’s games that our Minnesota boys took this offseason personally and worked their butts off to look great through their first 1-2 contests. This hard work has also been noticed by coaches of all levels too, but some particular standouts have impressed enough to be garnering interest from the hometown Minnesota Golden Gophers. This is no easy task, and growing up in the Land of 10,000 Lakes it’s really hard to not imagine yourself playing for the Golden Gophers and donning that Maroon and Gold. Few earn the right to play at TCF Stadium - as I’m sure you all know - so it’s always fun to follow and track which of the MN boys are getting looked at and recruited by the U of M. For that reason PrepRedzoneMN wanted to update our readers on who has been offered and/or recruited by from the home state. We’ll check out 2021s, 2022s, and even some 2023s and 2024s (!), look at their status with the Gophs, and peek into how their 2020 is going. Thanks for reading and #RowtheBoat
Deven EasternDevenEastern6'5" | DLShakopee | 2021StateMN
(Shakopee) DL. 6’8, 280 lbs. @EasternDeven Status: Committed. Shakopee is currently 0-2, but Eastern has been one of - if not the most - impressive recruit in the state thus far. He’s been having to face double and triple teams to contain him in the first two contests against STMA and EP. He’s been named a Player of the Game by Brian Jerzak of PrepRedzoneMN, and also impressed the StarTribune staff. He’s going to be a great Golden Gopher. vs. Eden Prairie vs. STMA
Logan PurcellLoganPurcell6'7" | OLAnnandale | 2021StateMN
(Annandale) OT. 6’7, 240 lbs. @LoganPurcell5 Status: Committed . Has helped the Annandale Cardinals to a 2-0 start and they have a loaded squad that would have competed deep into State if not for COVID. He’s a superb athlete for his size who plays on the OL and DL of the Cardinals and excels with his length and explosiveness.
Davon TownleyDavonTownley6'6" | DEMinneapolis North | 2021StateMN
(MPLS North) DE. 6’6, 220 lbs. @D1Davon Status: Offered Also holds offers from Tennessee, Ole Miss, Oregon, Kentucky, Michigan State, Arizona, Arizona State, Penn State, Nebraska, Boston College, Indiana, Mizzou, Iowa State, Central Michigan. I saw on Twitter last night that Townley caught a TD pass from Zach YeagerZachYeager6'2" | QBMinneapolis North | 2021StateMN
during North’s victory over Providence Academy, and that’s a dangerous sight to see for the rest of the state. Townley is the most talented player on arguably the most talented team in the entire state, and coaches have not been shy in offering his impressive skillset. He’s explosive off the LOS, uses his size and length effectively in pass-rush situations, can jump out of the bleachers, and is a rare and phenomenal athlete. The latest I’ve heard is that Townley is going to visit Arizona State, Michigan State, and Penn State with our Golden Gophers scheduled as his final in-person visit, which bodes well for the U. It also sounds like our biggest competition is with Penn State. Going to be keeping my eyes on this one!
Jake RatzlaffJakeRatzlaff6'2" | LBRosemount | 2021StateMN
(Rosemount) LB. 6’2, 220 lbs. @ratzlaff_21 Status: Offered for football. Still committed to Minnesota to play hockey. Also holds offers from Wisconsin, Iowa, Iowa State. From what I saw (I may be wrong here) Ratzlaff was either not selected in the NHL Draft or was drafted lower than expected, and with how big of a determining factor that was I am anticipating that Ratzlaff is going to decide to play football in college after this season ends. The Irish have had some issues with COVID so far this season so there isn’t much film available, but I’m sure he’s going to be a force defensively. What I’ve heard lately is that Ratzlaff is deciding between Minnesota and Wisconsin, and I’m going to assume he signs with Wisconsin until I hear something differently.
Deylin HasertDeylinHasert6'6" | OLMarshall | 2022StateMN
(Marshall) OL. 6’5, 285 lbs. @DeylinHasert Status: Offered . Also holds offers from Kansas State, Iowa, Iowa State. The next successor of Marshall’s D1 worthy football talent, Hasert earned his Gopher offer on August 25th and it came second behind Iowa State. In his 2020 film he showed he hit the weight room this offseason and has laid some serious blocks on opposing DL. His hand strength is overwhelming for DL, and his hand-placement and use of leverage makes for a really tough blocker to disengage from. He’s a very powerful OL who can get out and move on pulls as well, and it’s obvious watching his tape that he’s a high-priority 2022 target. vs. St. Peter vs. New Ulm
Trejuan HollomanTrejuanHolloman6'2" | DBCretin Derham Hall | 2022StateMN
(Cretin Derham Hall) DB. 6’2, 180 lbs. Status: Offered Also holds football offers from Michigan State, Iowa, Iowa State. Received his Gopher offer on September 2nd and it was his third following up Iowa and Iowa State. Also holds basketball offers from Michigan State, Marquette, Iowa, Wisconsin, Baylor, amongst others. Although mostly considered a basketball prospect, Holloman seems to be flirting more and more with the idea of playing football in college, and Midwest schools aren’t going to miss out on offering if he is. He plays FS for CDH and can cover so much ground in the passing game that he’s a huge asset in the defensive backfield. His ball skills and speed are tremendous, and I really appreciate that he has no problem sticking his head in the run game too. I hope he seriously considers playing football, or possibly both sports, in college. In his 2020 highlights he laid a SMACK on a block playing WR, laid some impressive cut tackles from his Safety spot, and overall was flying around and setting the tone offensively and defensively for CDH. It’s cool to see that he’s getting more involved offensively this year. vs. Lakeville North
Eli KingEliKing6'3" | WRCaledonia | 2022StateMN
(Caledonia) ATH. 6’3, 185 lbs. Status: Offered Also holds football offers from Stanford, Penn State, Notre Dame, Nebraska, Missouri, Iowa, Iowa State. Holds basketball offers from Minnesota, Iowa, Northern Iowa, Stanford, amongst others. There’s not a lot I can say about King that hasn’t been said. He’s the top recruit in the state for football and basketball, and is just a freak athlete who has legitimate shots to either get drafted into the NFL or NBA. He’s still deciding between what sport to play in college, but it sounds like things are going well with Richard Pitino and the U of M basketball team. If he could stay in-state for either sport it would be a HUGE get for the Gophers. Everyone is going to keep their eyes on this one.
Trevon Howard (SMB->IMG Academy) DB. 6’1, 195 lbs. @TrevonHoward16 Status: Offered Also holds offers from Louisville, Michigan State, Michigan, Indiana, Iowa State. Received his Gopher offer second behind Iowa State on 3/5/19 before he transferred to Florida to play at IMG Academy. It seems to be a good move as he is starting or getting significant minutes on one of the best high school teams in the nation, and he’s made some plays as a safety in big games for IMG. The home state connection should hopefully come in handy when recruiting starts to really heat up after this season. 2020 Film: vs. Venice vs. Edgewater vs. Ravenwood vs. Life Christian Acade vs. Bishop Sycamore
Lucas HeyerLucasHeyer6'5" | OLHill-Murray | 2022StateMN
(Hill-Murray) OL. 6’5, 305 lbs. @LHeyer77 Status: Offered Also holds offers from Tennessee, Buffalo, Mizzou, Northwestern, Kansas State, Nebraska, Arizona State, Iowa State. Received his Minnesota offer on 2/19/20, and it was his second behind Iowa State. Just a ferocious blocker who can get to the second level quickly, and do some damage once he gets there. Moves extremely well laterally as well as on the top end, and can play a ton of different positions on the OL. He’s insanely strong, and during Week 1 of the 2020 season against North St. Paul he was a crushing and downright mean run-blocker. I could watch him block all day. He also showed a crisp pass-set and some pop and aggression in pass-pro, and he’s unrelenting and fundamentally sound. He would be an absolute game-changer if he committed. Week 1 Highlights
Kristen HoskinsKristenHoskins5'10" | WRAlexandria | 2022StateMN
(Alexandria) WR. 5’10, 165 lbs. @kristenhoskins Status: Recruited (receiving graphics, in-contact, etc.) Holds offers from Iowa State. Also being recruited by Maryland, NDSU, South Dakota, North Dakota, Central Michigan, UNI, Eastern Michigan, Northern State. One of the most electric players in the state with the ball in his hands who is capable of hurdling, spinning, sprinting, stiff-arming, or juking his way to the endzone every time he’s in the open field. Alex is 1-1 currently, and the Moorhead Spuds put a huge emphasis on containing Hoskins in yesterday’s matchup that ended in favor of Moorhead. More offers are coming for this young man, and I hope the Gophers are included. Some 2020 film: Highlight TD Reception
Austin AltepeterAustinAltepeter6'2" | LBMoorhead | 2022StateMN
(Moorhead) LB. 6’2, 220 lbs. @AltepeterAustin Status: Prospect (receiving graphics, in-contact, etc.) A fast and hard-hitting LB who was named All-District last season as only a sophomore, Altepeter is making great strides and if keeps doing what he’s doing I think a Gopher offer may become a reality. He has great instincts and triggers on the ball well, and is a weight room junkie with a big frame a lot more room to grow.
Emmett JohnsonEmmettJohnson6'0" | RBHoly Angels | 2022StateMN
(Holy Angels) ATH. 6’, 175 lbs. @emmetthoops1 Status: Prospect (receiving graphics, in-contact, etc.) Holds offers from Central Michigan and UNI. Receiving interest from Kansas, Cal, Columbia, SDSU, Eastern Michigan, Akron, South Dakota, NDSU, NIU, Iowa State, Kansas State, Maryland, North Dakota, Nevada, Army. A dynamic athlete with great burst and who is a nightmare to bring down in the open-field, Johnson is super quick and possesses a variety of moves in his tool belt to evade would-be tacklers. He’s fun to watch with the ball in his hands and his shiftiness and explosiveness are hard to ignore. First 2 Weeks
Chase CarterChaseCarter6'6" | DLSMB | 2022StateMN
(SMB) DE. 6’6, 225 lbs. @Chaseyhoops Status: Prospect (receiving graphics, in-contact, etc.) Holds football offers from Boise State, Nebraska, Iowa State and basketball offers from Hampton, West Virginia, Florida, Minnesota, Vanderbilt. Carter caught my eye last season against Benilde in the section title game, and at that point he was already a highly-regarded basketball recruit. He started picking up steam in his gridiron recruiting thanks to his natural pass-rush skills. He’s quick off the LOS, uses his hands impressively, and has the speed or strength to get around opposing OLineman. He just met with Tom Lemming who was a big fan. The sky is the limit for Carter. vs. Mound Westonka vs. Fridley vs. Washburn
Haydn StayHaydnStay6'4" | ATHPrinceton | 2022StateMN
(Princeton) ATH. 6’4, 220 lbs. @HaydnStay Status: Prospect (receiving graphics, in-contact, etc.) Can do it all on the gridiron and excels at every position he plays. He has good hands out of the backfield and knows how to get open, so I could see him playing TE at the next level, but he’s also a great OLB prospect who hits hard and moves well in coverage. He’s a strong all-around recruit with a really high ceiling and his best football in front of him.
Bryce BuckinghamBryceBuckingham6'3" | DLHopkins | 2022StateMN
(Hopkins) DL. 6’3, 265 lbs. @BryceBuck99 Status: Prospect. Also receiving recruiting interest from South Dakota. A massive interior DLineman who comes from Hopkins, where current Gophers DE Boye Mafe graduated from. He was on varsity and got reps as a freshman, and plays with a low center of gravity and is stout and strong.
Chase AndroffChaseAndroff6'6" | TELakeville South | 2022StateMN
(Lakeville South) TE. 6’5, 225 lbs. @androff_chase Status: Prospect. Also receiving recruiting interest from Iowa State, New Mexico, NDSU, Dartmouth. A crushing run-blocker who is long and possesses a great frame, Androff has shown a strong first two weeks of the season and has hit the room this offseason. vs. Burnsville vs. Eastview
Eli GillmanEliGillman6'0" | ATHDassel-Cokato | 2022StateMN
(Dassel-Cokato) ATH. 6’, 185 lbs. @eli_gillman Status: Prospect Also receiving interest from Harvard, Eastern Michigan, South Dakota, SDSU, Northern State, North Dakota, Princeton, Columbia, Penn. Another superb athlete who can do some special things with the ball in his hands, Gillman has game-changing speed and some impressive vision that helped him make some big plays last season in DC’s deep playoff run at US Bank Stadium. vs. New London Spicer vs. Holy Family
Teigan Martin (Mayer-Lutheran) TE. 6’7, 200 lbs. @teigan_martin Status: Prospect Holds offers from Iowa State and Western Illinois. Also receiving interest from Purdue, Miami (OH), Kansas. A long and athletic hooper who is a dynamic pass-catcher at the TE position for Mayer-Lutheran, Martin needs to focus on putting on some weight if he wants to earn an offer from the U, but the athleticism is there. PrepRedzoneOH scout and former Ohio State assistant coach Bill Conley named Martin one of the best TE prospects in the Midwest for 2022. He’s got a tremendous ceiling on the gridiron. Week 1 2020
Mekhi CollinsMekhiCollins6'5" | WRMankato-West | 2022StateMN
(Mankato West) WR/DB. 6’4, 190 lbs. @MekhiCollins 2 Status: Prospect . Holds an offer from Iowa State. Also receiving interest from New Mexico, Eastern Michigan, SDSU, NIU, Columbia, Indiana, South Dakota, NDSU. Another gifted hooper who stands out on the gridiron, I got to watch Collins play last night in my coverage of West’s matchup with rival Mankato East, and he looked good. Although projected as a WR in college, I really like his game as a DB. He gets out of his breaks quick and has the speed to recover if he ever gets beat - which he rarely does. His length and physicality held him in man coverage as well, and he’s a really hard-hitter when he sticks his head in run-support. vs. East vs. New Prague
Camden RoyalCamdenRoyal5'10" | RBRobbinsdale Cooper | 2022StateMN
(Robbinsdale Cooper) RB. 5’10, 175 lbs. @CamdenRoyal_ Status: Prospect. Holds offers from South Dakota, Central Michigan, UNI, Arizona State, Illinois State, Buffalo. Receiving a lot of interest from Kansas State. Royal has spectacular vision and explosive speed that makes him one of the most dangerous backs in the state. He’s dangerous in the open field and is a strong runner for 175 lbs. When he sees daylight it’s hard to track him down. That Arizona State offer was a big one and really picked up his Power-5 interest.
Spencer AlvarezSpencerAlvarez6'7" | TEColumbia Heights | 2022StateMN
(Columbia Heights) TE. 6’7, 235 lbs. Status: Prospect Holds an offer from Minnesota State-Mankato. Came onto the recruiting scene after balling out at the Mavericks prospect camp and earning an offer. Alvarez is well-built for a junior and had a really fun tape to watch as he was a crushing blocker at the TE position but also an exciting and productive pass-catcher who is slippery and a tough runner with the ball in his hands. He also plays some DE and showed a natural pass-rush ability and has a lot of traits that make him a very intriguing football prospect. He also plays for the heralded Howard Pulley AAU team, so I have no doubt he’s a tremendous athlete.
Ethan Fischer (Maple River) OT. 6’8, 255 lbs. Status: Prospect . I heard about Fischer from former NorthstarFootballNews and now GopherIllustrated contributor Ryan Burns, and I was kicking myself for missing the mammoth 6’8, 255 lb. OL prospect from Maple River. He reminds me a lot of the aforementioned Logan PurcellLoganPurcell6'7" | OLAnnandale | 2021StateMN
, as he’s insanely tall but with a lot more room to grow on his frame, utilizes his length on the offensive and defensive lines, and moves really well for his size. He doesn’t have a Twitter so I really don’t know who is recruiting him and/or how it’s going. He’s a FBS OL prospect no doubt though. vs. Lake Crystal Welcome Memorial
Joseph RussellJosephRussell6'0" | QBRobbinsdale Cooper | 2022StateMN
(Robbinsdale Cooper) QB/ATH. 6’, 175 lbs. @joseph12russell . Holds an offer from UNI. Status: Prospect. Russell is a really intriguing offensive prospect who could play D1 ball as a QB, but also has a skillset that could help him play WR or DB at a high-level as well. He’s got lighting quickness side-to-side and a strong arm with good accuracy. His pocket-presence and elusiveness catch your eye as well, and overall he’s just a playmaker. vs. Waconia
Logan BanseLoganBanse6'3" | DLCaledonia | 2022StateMN
(Caledonia) LB. 6’4, 215 lbs. @loganbanse Status: Prospect . Holds an offer from Minnesota State-Mankato. The successor in a long line of impressive Caledonia pass-rushers and LBs, Banse covers a lot of ground and is a fast and lean LB on the edge. He’s strong with a good frame and uses his hands efficiently as well.
Thomas DiewThomasDiew6'8" | DLSt. Cloud Apollo | 2022StateMN
(St. Cloud Apollo) DE. 6’8, 225 lbs. @thomas_diew Status: Prospect (Received recruiting graphics) . Also contacted by North Dakota, NIU, Eastern Michigan, South Dakota. Has a lot of traits to like as a DE, as he’s insanely long and uses his hands and arms well to defeat the hands of blockers, or get them in a bad position to work around them. Also a good basketball player. vs. Sartell-St. Stephen
Jaxon HowardJaxonHoward6'4" | OLRobbinsdale Cooper | 2023StateMN
(Robbinsdale Cooper) TE/OLB. 6’4, 230 lbs. Status: Offered Also holds 40+ other FBS offers from the likes of Texas, LSU, Florida, USC, Penn State, Oregon, Georgia, and more. Given a 5-star rating by Tom Lemming. Dominant athlete who works his butt off, and that shows on the field. Complete athlete who is strong, fast, instinctive, physical, and technically sound. Not much more I can say besides he’s the best football prospect to come out of MN since Seantrell Henderson, and has legitimate NFL chances. 2 game highlight
Peyton LangePeytonLange6'7" | DLSMB | 2023StateMN
(SMB) OT. 6’9, 380 lbs. @peytonlange2 Status: Prospect . Scary dominant at the point of attack and an overwhelming lineman once he gets his hands on you, Lange played OT, OG, and OC so far in his career and is overwhelmingly strong. Also moves pretty well for 380 lbs. and is a great athlete for his size and age. Last spring he checked out a Gopher practice unofficially in-person, so I know the Gophs are checking him out. The offers are coming! vs. Fridley
Savion Lopez (Cretin-Derham Hall) RB. 5’9, 167 lbs.
Simon Seidl (Hill-Murray) QB. 5’11, 165 lbs,
Tanner Zolnosky (East Ridge) WR/CB. @TannerZolnosky