Matt O'Connell GopherIllustrated.com Senior Recruiting Analyst
The Minnesota signing class of 2013 may lack a lot of local talent, but it more than makes up for it in size and speed. This class will feature at least 18 new scholarship players from 11 different states including hotbeds Florida, Georgia, California, and Texas.
University of Minnesota Signing Class of 2013
Lake Gibson High School (Florida)
Carter is not the biggest or fastest wide receiver in the world, but he is kid who plays much faster that his listed 40 time. He could line up outside or in the slot for the Gophers depending on need and that versatility could earn him some early playing time. As a senior he caught 54 passes for over 800 yards and 9 touchdowns. He committed to Minnesota over Purdue, Cincinnati, Iowa State and others.
Dixon is a versatile linebacker when it comes to playing on the defensive side of the ball. He can cover wide receivers on crossing routes across the middle or come up in the box and stuff the run. After his commitment to the Golden Gophers he told told GI.com that "I know that I have a home in Minnesota and I can't wait to get rolling in June." As a senior Dixon totaled 89 tackles, 16 sacks and six sacks. Dixon committed to Minnesota over West Virginia, Purdue, Mississippi State, Louisville, and others.
Edwards is the speed back Minnesota's been lacking these lack few years. At 5-foot-9, 185 pounds, Edwards is a short yet compact running back that runs a legit 4.3-4.4 forty and will certainly push for early playing time. He told GI.com that "Minnesota showed me who they were and stuck with me through the long decision. I'm excited to officially become a Golden Gopher." Edwards totaled 1,394 rushing yards and 21 rushing touchdowns in his senior season. Edwards committed to Minnesota over California and Iowa offers among others.
Ekpe is the younger brother of Gopher defensive tackle Scott Ekpe and like his brother he enrolled early and is on campus taking classes already. Ekpe is a high motor pass rusher who will bring speed off the edge for the Gophers. He may need some time to gain the size to play. Ekpe committed to Minnesota over offers from Iowa, Northwestern, and several other offers.
Hinojosa is a bounce back from last years class who needed a year at the community college level. He is now on campus and working towards his goals of making Minnesota a champion. He was a big time pass rusher in high school, he lead the state of Florida in sacks as a junior. He should have an opportunity early on to work his way into the rotation at tackle.
Minnesota was the first school to offer Jones and their faith and persistence paid off. Jones had committed to Mizzou in September, but the Gopher coaches kept recruiting him and that and the opportunity to play QB led him to a last minute switch. Jones is a big time athlete who could play a number of positions if quarterback does not work out. Aside from Missouri, Jones was also offered by over a dozen schools including Arkansas, NC State, Kentucky , and others.
Laster is another versatile player who converted from wide receiver to play linebacker his last two years of high school and a person who the staff sees as a possibly immediate contributor at outside linebacker. He told GI.com on the main reason he chose Minnesota was "Every person I talked to about Coach Kill told me good things about the way he runs his program and I want to play for coach like that." Laster was an All-Conference and All-State selection his senior year. Laster has offers from Illinois, Kansas, and several others. He also picked up late interest from Florida State.
Van Alstyne High School (Texas)
Mayes is an athletic tackle who is equally adept at run and pass blocking. He has the ability to pull and block in space as well as drive opposing linemen to the ground. He was one of the first players to commit to the class of 2013 and once he made that commitment he never waivered despite offers from schools such as Kansas State, Kansas, Baylor, and Houston. td>
McGhee was a late edition to the class after previously having been committed to Memphis and Louisiana Tech. He is big time hitter in the defensive backfield who could play either safety or corner back. He has a knack for forcing turnovers and making big plays. As a last minute editions go he has the look of a player that could see the field early in his career.
Savannah Christian High School (Georgia)
Myrick make his commitment to Minnesota after a summer unofficial visit and has not waivered from that decision since. He brings great speed to the field and could see time at either corner or as a slot receiver. He was a dominant force at a small school in Georgia, but could need some time to adjust to the speed of big time college football. He also had offers from Colorado State, Middle Tennessee State, and Louisiana Lafayette
Peppers is a force on the defensive line who is very stout against the run. He finds a way to get into the backfield and shut down opposing players when he gets his hand on them. At 260 pounds Peppers will likely need a year or two in the weight room before he is fully ready to contribute. He picke up a late offer from Nebraska to go along with offers from Houston, Kentucky, and many others.
Salzwedel is a product of Jerry Kill's summer camps as he earned his offer in June and committed soon after. At 6-foot-6, 235 pounds, Salzwedel has the frame to put on 30 more pounds easy to become the dominant defensive end the coaching staff envisions for him. He told GI.com that "I love the coaching staff at Minnesota. They are all great guys. I can't wait to begin working this summer." Salzwedel totaled 89 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, 11 sacks and an impressive eight passes batted at the line. Salzwedel committed to Minnesota over offers from Northern Illinois, Toledo, and Central Michigan. td>
Santoso was an Under-Armour All-American kicker in his senior season and will end up doing the kicking duties as well as possibly the punting for next season for Minnesota. After his commitment to Minnesota he told GI.com that "I just kept thinking that there really isn't another place I want to be than Minnesota. It was an easy decision." Santoso was 14 of 17 on field goals and had 36 of his 40 kickoffs go for touchbacks in his senior season. Santoso committed to Minnesota over Southern Mississippi and South Alabama.
Streveler is a true dual threat quarterback who is equally dangerous with is feet and his arm. He has already shown the ability to check down to second and third receivers. He also shows a very accurate arm. He is shifty on the run and also has great speed. Streveler earned his offer at camp over the summer and committed almost immediately. Streveler enrolled in school in January and is on campus taking classes.
Jones County Junior College (Mississippi)
Wilson is a hard hitting linebacker who will likely be the leading contender to take over at middle linebacker. He brings great size and speed to a linebacking corps that has lacked both last season. He was a second team All-American after making 122 tackles last season. He committed to Minnesota over offers from Kansas, Louisiana Tech, Troy and others.
Wipson is a speedy play making linebacker who makes plays sideline to sideline. He earned is offer after a strong showing at camp over the summer. He injured his knee at the end of his season and might not be ready to go next season. Wipson also had offers from Air Force and several FCS programs.
Wolitarsky is the all-time leading receiver in the state of California who has great size and good speed. He can play out of the slot or split out wide. He shows the abilty to use his body in to shield defenders from the ball while making plays. Wolitarsky has the size and skill to make an immediate impact at Minnesota. He chose the Gophers over San Jose State, Army, Arizona, Hawaii and many others.
Wozniak is a specimen at 6-foot-9, 255 pounds, Wozniak has the frame to put on much more weight to become a dominant run blocking tight end or potentially shift to offensive tackle as well. On the main reason he chose Minnesota he told GI.com "I'd been on the Minnesota campus for a while, I knew it was home." Wozniak, a member of 2012 The Indianapolis Star Super Team, caught 20 passes for 331 yards and five touchdowns in his senior season. Wozniak also had Miami and Purdue in his final three schools.