May 22, 2008

5 best wins of the Glen Mason Era

Say what you want about the Mason era, and I have, but Mase did move this program from a perpetual bottom 3 or 4 team to a middle of the road Big Ten team capable of occasionally knocking off the big boys. Obviously his lack of recruiting at every position outside of RB and OL, his contentness with mediocrity and his unique ability to lose games that appeared to be locks cost him his job. But over the course of his 10 years at the U he did mange a few significant wins that stand out. So in all fairness, after pointing out five of his ugliest losses, here is my list of top five Mason wins

#5 - Wisconsin (34) vs. Minnesota (37)
11 / 08 / 2003

Although this was the second win over Wisconsin in the Mason era this one stood out. Heading into the game Minnesota sat at 8-2, was ranked #20, but had lost a heart breaker to Michigan and hadn't beat anybody else of significance. Wisconsin was 6-3 at the time with wins earlier over #23 West Virginia and #6 Ohio State. This was a chance to beat a good team.

Wanting to make a statement the Gophers jumped out to a 24-6 lead after a Thomas Tapeh TD with 2:01 remaining in the half. The Badgers scored 36 seconds later but the lead still remained double digits heading into half time. In typical Mason fashion we let the Badgers back into it and the game was tied in the 4th after a Badger TD with 7:15 left in the game.

The Gophers and their dominating ground game of Barber / Maroney managed 6 plays and a punt. The amazing part of this game was what the defense did. Wisconsin started on their own 42 but went 3 and out gaining 1 yard. The Gophers got it back with 2:49, went 11 plays, 61 yards and was capped by a 35 yd game winning FG by Rhys Lloyd.

#4 - Minnesota (24) @ #2-Penn State (23)
11 / 06 / 1999
First significant Big Ten win for Mason

Since the Nittany Lions joined the Big Ten the Gophers had been unable to beat them. But this after a couple near wins was one of Masons first significant wins. Heading into the game in Happy Valley Mason's Big Ten record stood at 5-16 beating nobody of significance and only 2 road wins within the conference. What really makes this game stand out is that fact that entering the game Peterno's Lions were undefeated at 9-0 and ranked #2 in the nation.

This was a great game with both teams trading scores and the lead throughout the second half. But in the end it was a 32 yard Dan Nystrom kick as time expired that put the Gophers over the top and put Mason on the map in Gopher Nation.

#3 - Alabama (16) vs. Minnesota (20)
12 / 31 / 2004
Music City Bowl

The Penn State win above was huge but the Alabama win edges it out for #3 for two reasons. 1-the Tide had an outstanding rush defense that we shredded and 2-it was a win over an SEC team.

The Crimson tide had not allowed anybody to rush for over 100 yards all season. That included Joseph Addai (99), Ronnie Brown (55), Cadillac Williams (41) and Jerious Norwood (96). Marion Barber had more than those first three backs listed on his own with 187 yards rushing. That alone is impressive but then add that Lawrence Maroney chipped in 105. This was a game we were not supposed to win because of the fear of the Bama rush defense and if we can't run we can't win. But we ran (and ran and ran) 72 times racking up 276 yards.

In rare Mason fashion, Alabama did not score in the second half until a late safety with 3:11 to play and Minnesota secured the highly sought after Music City Bowl trophy.

#2 - Minnesota (23) @ #21-Michigan (20)
10 / 08 / 2005
First time the Little Brown Jug came home to Minnesota since 1986!

Minnesota started 4-0 including a double OT win over #11 Purdue then headed into as rough a Big Ten schedule as you will ever see @PSU, @ Mich, Wis, OSU. This was the only win in that stretch but it is likely the game that kept Mason around for the 2006 season.

After tying the game late in the third, this game was a dog fight throughout the fourth quarter. Michigan had shut down the Gopher ground game of Maroney and Gary Russell in the final quarter UNTIL Russell shook loose on a 3rd and 9 play with 1:52 remaining. Michigan appeared to have the play wrapped up at the line of scrimmage, but Russell broke to the outside got free for a 61 yard run to the Michigan 13.

At that point there was time to get centered on the field and allow Jason Giannini to knock in a 30 yard FG to win the game.

#1 - Minnesota (29) @ #6-Ohio State (17)
10 / 14 / 2000

On the road where Minnesota had not won since 1949! Yes you read that right, only two other wins in that span but both at home. I don't need to elaborate any more than that, winning in Columbus for the first time in 50 years is enough reason to be #1 on this list.

But the Gophers came ready to play jumping out to a 17-3 lead in the first quarter and knocked the Buckeyes on their heels. Minnesota never trailed, were never tied (with 0-0 being the exception) and scored a late TD to push it back up to a double digit margin.

This game was huge for Mason as he was a former Buckeye assistant and gave us a slight boost in Ohio where Mason preferred to focus his recruiting (we were finally able to beat out Mount Union for those key 3-star kids). This game was huge and gave Gopher fans hope for the next few seasons that the Gopher program had turned a corner.


May 18, 2008

Gophers lose Bryce McNeal to Michigan

Breck's Bryce McNeal has decided to play for Michigan and Rich Rodriquez's version of the Spread Offense. McNeal is clearly the #1 prospect coming out of Minnesota this year. The players who will likely occupy 3-5 have already committed to being Gophers. McNeal's very early commitment leaves me with a few thoughts.

First of all it is nice to get this out of the way in May rather than November. Last year the staff spent many hours working on Willie Mobley and Michael Floyd only to see them hold out until October or November. Time can now be spent on other WRs.

Let's also not completely give up hope, this isn't over. A verbal commitment, especially this early, isn't exactly a lock to leave us. Should Brewster turn things around this year, should we beat up on Michigan as they fall to a embarrassing season or should he realize he'll be featured more in Mike Dunbar's offense than RichRod's or should Michigan bring in several other highly rates RWs then he could always change his verbal and actually sign with Minnesota. Clearly the chances are greatly diminished but there is a lot of time between now and signing day in February.

Finally, It is hard to argue with the recruiting results of Tim Brewster in his first full year of chasing high school all over the country. This year's incoming class is the best we have seen in decades and probably ever. We have athletic and speedy kids coming from Texas, Florida, California, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Kentucky, Chicago and Detroit to name a handful of hot spots. Coach Brewster coming off a 1 win season landed a top 25 class, which is remarkable to say the least.

BUT, he has failed to live up to one of his early promises. We all know he vowed to take us to the Rose Bowl (that seems a ways off) but so far what hurts more is that he has yet to "lock down the borders." The previous staff was unable to retain the best of Minnesota's prospects, largely because of poor relationships and a lack of interest. The current staff has put in more time and effort but have equaled the formers' success rate.

The class of 2008 saw the best two in state players leave for Ohio State and Notre Dame. 2009 will have us keeping more but we still have to watch the top of the list compete against the Gophers in another Big Ten uniform.

Next on the list is TE Ra'shede Hageman from Mpls-Washburn. Hageman is getting interest and offers from Florida, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Illinois Nebraska and other Big Ten schools. Hageman is probably the #2 prospect in the state, and should be a top priority for the Gopher staff. Don't let the best two leave yet again.


MGO on the McNeal commitment
Michigan Sports Center on McNeal with more to come HERE.

Ruesse would be happy to know there is little other coverage within the blogosphere.

May 15, 2008

5 Worst losses of the Glen Mason Era

The offseason is here and there is little to keep the blogging juices flowing. So I wanted to look back and give my top 5 worst Glen Mason losses. This is not meant to pick open the Mason scab and scratch it till it bleeds again, but I thought it would be an interesting topic and give a springboard for others to give their thoughts on worst losses.

To be fair I will post my top 5 Glen Mason wins and one could easily argue that none of these losses was as bad as losing to North Dakota State at home.

#5 - Houston (45) @ Minnesota (43)
9 / 27 / 1997 - Mason's first season

In what would prove to be a Mason staple, his first season presented us with a cupcake non-conference schedule. After losing to Hawaii (not as considered a 'good loss' in 1997) and beating what would be a 1-10 Iowa State team, we got to see a couple CUSA teams to kick the Mason era into high gear. We beat 4-7 Memphis on the road then Houston came to the Metrodome to get us ready for the Big Ten.

This game makes the list because it was the first of embarrassing losses in the Mason era. This game was no nearly as close as it appeared on the final box score. A touchdown and 2-pnt conversion were scored to 0:03 left on the clock to bring this game to single digits. While technically it was a 2 point loss, this essentially was a 10 point loss to a CUSA team, AT HOME.

This game was the first in a line of games in which Mason's teams somehow snatched victory from the jaws of defeat.

  • Min outgained Hou
  • Min had six more first downs than Hou
  • Min had fewer penalties that accounted for 45 yds
  • Minnesota's starting QB was 25/35, 368 yds, 3 TDs and two rushing TDs
I realize these are not dominating statistics, but outgaining, fewer penalties, more first downs and a great game from your starting QB rarely end up in essentially double-digit losses to weak teams from weak conferences at home.

#4 - Minnesota (43) @ Indiana (51)
10 / 21 / 2000

This game makes the list because of it's impeccable timing. Coming into this game Minnesota was 3-1 in conference and had just upset Ohio State on the road. Their remaining schedule including @Indiana, Northwestern and a down Iowa team. A loss at Wisconsin was expected but this was shaping up to be the year we made a run at the Rose Bowl.

Instead of winning the games they were supposed to win, the Gophers followed up with Ohio State win by giving up 611 yards and 51 points to the Hoosiers. Despite our awful defense we were able to take the lead and hold it till the final 17:18 of the game. But then we allowed 27 points, scored a meaningless TD late to keep this from being a 16 point blowout.

MN was 3-1 in 2000 in B10 having Ind, NW and Iowa (3-9) on the schedule. This after winning @ OSU. Up with 10:13 in the 3rd only to be outscored 27-14. This started a tailspin that ended with another awful loss to NW at home during homecoming.

Ultimately this started a tailspin for the Gophers who then lost at home to Northwestern by being outscored 27-7 in the 2nd half, and then lost @ Wisconsin by giving up the final 21 points after being tied in the 4th qtr. Those games merit consideration for this list but they were fueled by the loss to Indiana.

#3 - Texas Tech (44) vs. Minnesota (41)
Insight Bowl

This was the final embarrassment for AD Joel Maturi and was Mason's final game. One could argue that this game should be #1 on the list for that very reason, but this loss doesn't hold the same embarrasment factor as the top 2 simply because it was played in a meaningless bowl game, watched by few on the NFL Network and most Gopher fans will admit they weren't all that surprised.

Up 35-7 at halftime and actually was up 38-7 (that is 31 points) with under 5:00 in the 3rd qtr. Besides giving up 31 consecutive points in the last 20 minues, the vaunted Gopher defense racked up some rather impressive stats...
  • a grand total of 3 stops on 3rd down
  • 1 forced punt
  • 445 yds passing allowed
  • the five final scoring drives for TT each took less than 3:00
The offense didn't help much either. In their final five drives of the game they managed to go 4 yds, 35 yds, 6 yds and -5 yds. The final two drives of regulation began just shy of midfield after failed onside attempts by TT and resulted in back to back three and outs.

As I mentioned before I think many Gopher fans were wary of assuming a victory at any point in this game. If the Mason era had taught us anything it was that no game was over until the coaches shook hands on the field. It was the perfect game to end his tenure and an instant classic we will all never forget.

#2 - Wisconsin (38) @ Minnesota (34)

Another classic example of Mason 4th quarter game management. This game could also make an argument for #1 it was a rivalry game, at home and would have given you realistic chance at a Jan. 1 bowl game. Here is how this little gem played out...

Up 10 with under 3:00 to play.
Gave up a TD with 2:10 (up 3).
Couldn't get a first down to run out the clock.
Had to punt with under 1:00 left on the clock (still up 3).
Punt blocked after bad snap.
Badgers fall on it in endzone to take the lead with 0:30 left.

Take a knee, take a safety, anything but try to kick it on the run getting it blocked. It is hard to come down and blame this loss solely on the punter. Had your head coach said to him, if anything should go wrong take a safety, things would have likely worked out in our favor. But beyond that play when you get 258 yards rushing from Maroney and 139 from Gary Russell there is no real excuse for losing.

This day was actually the same day USC escaped with a win over Notre Dame in what was a great game to watch. I was actually at that game but that day will forever be tainted by this Gopher loss.

#1 - Michigan (38) @ Minnesota (35)
10 / 10 / 2003

This game was likely the difference between the Rose Bowl and the Sun Bowl. Entering the game the Gophers were 6-0 overall, 2-0 in Big Ten play winning two road games @ Penn State and Northwestern. That left us with 4 home games in our final 6. This was the statement game needed and with the favorable schedule a chance to be the Big Ten front-runner.

Minnesota came out and for three quarters played like they wanted it and they belonged leading 28-7 and absolutely dominating Michigan. I believe we only gave up 77 yards of offense in the first half. But this was a Glen Mason special as we gave up 31 points in the 4th quarter and managing to get just 7 to try and stop the bleeding.

When you are able to rush for 424 yards there is absolutely no reason you shouldn't be able to milk the clock and nurse a three touchdown lead for the final quarter. This one hurt and was brutal to watch.

All things being equal and turning out as they eventually did, winning this game would have put us in a tie for 1st place at the end of the season and likely a Rose Bowl berth. At the very least it would have made an incredibly strong case for something like the Capital One Bowl or another significant Jan. 1 bowl. Even with the other bad losses on his resume, getting this win would have kept Mason's job at the end of the 2006 season.


There you have it. That is my list and I'm sticking to it. There were many others under consideration and if you look closely enough you'll be able to find several games where we gave up the last 10 points in a game to lose a close one. All were considered and were top 10 worthy but not top 5. Give me your thoughts.


May 10, 2008

Welcome to Gopher Nation Kid - Kim Royston

There is a growing club of Minnesota kids who leave the great state from which they came for the lure of 1 win seasons in South Bend, corn feeds in Lincoln, large cheerleaders in Madison and various other institutions of higher learning. But this club is more exclusive than those who just leave us, you also have to come back home to finish your career here. Dan Coleman and Lawrence McKenzie are recent examples to come back to the raised floor of the Barn (makes you think twice about leaving for a national championship doesn't it Cole Aldrich). Earlier this spring Matt Carufel decided he wasn't getting a quality enough education at Notre Dame and heard from Sid he'd be set for life if he graduated from Minnesota so he came back to play football (or something like that). And we now have Mr. Kim Royston leaving the Badger program and coming home to play for the surging Gophers.

What makes Royston's transfer interesting is that he was not given a release from his Badger scholarship. This meant he was unable to have any contact with the Gopher coaching staff. And because he is transfering within the Big Ten Royston is not only forced to sit a season for transferring he is also forced to pay his own tuition to the U for his remaining three seasons (transfer year and two seasons of eligibility).

Apparently Royston felt he was not given a fair opportunity to compete for the starting FS position in spring football as he was promised. According to his father position battles at SS and QB were allowing split reps with the first team but Royston was not given one snap with the first team defense. Some excellent quotes and a good recap of the situation from The Capital Times...

Chris Royston said his son was disappointed when the coaching staff released a depth chart prior to spring practice that had Kim Royston listed behind Carter. Kim Royston was even more disappointed when, during the Badgers' first two practices of the spring, Carter got all the reps with the No. 1 defense.

In Chris and Kim Royston's minds, that was a clear sign the coaching staff already had decided Carter would remain the starter.

"He was not going to be allowed to compete for a spot at free safety," Chris Royston said of his son, who played cornerback and both safety positions during his UW career. "This year at strong safety, they're alternating, they're competing for a spot. And at the quarterback positions, they're alternating, they're competing for a spot. Coaches can say you're competing, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that isn't the case."

I agree and I'm certainly not a rocket scientist. But I have also been on the coaching side of college athletics and the way a player views things and the way a coach sees things are often very different. Let's let coach Beilema have a say here...

According to Bielema, Royston was being given an opportunity to win the starting spot.

"Everybody in our program has an equal shot," Bielema said. "Anytime you are personally involved in situation, you see things in a little bit different light. I can appreciate what he's saying, but we had lengthy discussions. He was the No. 2 free safety behind Shane Carter and I really liked the development at that position at this point.

So it is clearly a he said / she said (sorry for inferring you are a woman coach Beilema) situation. I'm going to take Royston's side here though (shocking, I know). Royston isn't claiming he was better or deserved the starting spot, his beef is that he felt he was told he'd be given the opportunity to compete and it appears that he was not actually given that opportunity.

With that behind us let us look forward to the Royston family joining Gopher Nation. Royston at a bare minimum will add depth to a thin and young defensive secondary. At best he'll take his third year at the college level to continue his growth/development and will be a starter for two season at either FS or CB. My best guess is that 2009 when he is eligible to play he will compete and be the frontrunner to start at opposite Traye Simmons at CB. But like I said, worst case scenario he is just quality depth for the entire defensive backfield.

The 2008 recruiting class was the most talented in the program's history, The 2009 class will be limited in scholarships (16 is the number I have heard) but will also get a boost in talent with Carufel and Royston joining the 2009 team. This is good news for Gopher fans and should help to further the development of the program. Welcome back Mr. Royston.

May 9, 2008

Gophers need a PG in the 2009 Class

With the recent Verdel Jones commitment to Indiana, PG has to take on a renewed sense of urgency for the 2009 class. There is likely 2 scholarships available for 2009 which will be held for local SG/SF Rodney Williams and then the final scholarship will be given to the best available PG or possibly C. Getting some interior help is also a significant need but there is youthful talent coming into the program, depth is a concern but with Sampson, Iverson and Carter being around for at least the next three seasons I view PG as a more pressing need.

There are three 4-star prospects who have at one point or another been tied to Tubby and staff's recruiting efforts.

1. Johnnie Lacy - the lowest rated of the 4-star PGs I'm talking about today but might be a more significant 'get' as he is a Wisconsin product. After years and years of the Badgers taking our best players wouldn't it be nice to win down in Madison with one of their own being a playing a significant role in the W.

The smaller of the three on my list, Lacy is known for his speed and quickness. With our lack of athletes and speed in recent years it would be a welcome change to see Lacy running the floor for the Gophs in 2009.

“Johnnie is a special individual,” said Lou Chapman, a former player and then assistant coach at UW-Whitewater and now the head coach at Bay View. “He’s a very dynamic person in other areas of his life other than basketball. He’s a leader, and it’s my job to get Johnnie to know he’s a leader. He has a positive effect on all of his teammates. They look up to Johnnie.”
This from a article last July.

Lacy has always been favored to pick Marquette but with the recent change in coaching staffs the assumption is that Lacy's recruitment is more open than it was just a couple months ago.

2. Mfon Udofia - hails from Stone Mountain, GA and is the highest rated PG we have been recruiting. Udofia is the #5 overall PG, according to Rivals, and has been playing very well in recent AAU tournaments. He has offers from all over the country; USC, Georgia Tech, Florida, Kentucky and Tennessee are just a few of the major names after him. Currently Udofia does not list Minnesota as a school offering him, but there is still a LOT of time between now and the early signing period in November.

What most intrigues me about Udofia is he appears to be as valuable on the defensive end as on the offensive. He is quoted in a recent Rivals article after a string of highly successful tournaments in recent weeks.
"I wanted to show the college coaches that I could do it on both ends of the floor. I think there is an extra sense of pride when you play well on the defensive end. Everyone can score at this level. I want to shut everyone down when I step out there. I feel like I can lock you down and then you can't stop me on the offensive end."
With all of the major schools pursuing him, this would be a major coup to convince him to follow Sampson from the Peach State to the state of freezing lakes and many mosquitos. But until he says no, he is on my list.

3. Chris Colvin - ranked #7 amongst PGs according to Rivals but is another PG who does not specifically state Minnesota is hot after him. Colvin's father had this to say about the efforts by the Minnesota staff to secure a Colvin commitment.
"They did have interest at one point, they were sending a lot of letters," said Chris's father Ike Colvin. "They made contact before the target period was over. Minnesota did show interest some time back but they have not shown lately and I haven't talked to coach Tubby Smith."
Chris is a player with excellent handles and can run the offense (this based on a typically excellent article by Gopher Illustrated basketball guru Ryan James). His jumpshot needs improvement but he'll have his senior season to perfect that and then he'll be a distributor at the Barn. All he'll need to do in his first season or two is get the ball to the Hoff behind the arc, RSIII in the post and don't get in the way of Bostik or Joseph as they break down defenses.

Colvin is arguably the best junior PG in the state of Illinois and so far has offers from the likes of Iowa, Oklahoma, Florida State and Miami.

A common theme with all of these PG is a cooled approach from the Gopher staff over the last few months. I would have to guess they were pretty confident that Verdel Jones was going to commit to the Gophers so they cooled on their 2009 recruits. With Jones picking Indiana, I would assume their interest level in Lacy, Colvin and Udofia will pick up significantly and hopefully by November one will want nothing more than to play for Tubby in the Maroon and Gold.

May 5, 2008

Verdel Jones snubs Tubby for Crean

Crean - 1
Tubby - 0

I'm not too concerned about losing Jones. There has been something fishy about this entire recruiting process with Jones. If you have paid attention to this blog at all you'll know I've been hesitant about getting excited about him. Minnesota has always been his fall back school, but I don't want us to be anybody's fall back anymore.

Initially Tennessee was the school he wanted to attend but there was never an actual offer, then Kentucky was his hot school but again they never stuck with an offer for him, recently Arizona was a late school to offer but PT wasn't going to be there for him. Finally Indiana lost their entire team, hired Tom Crean and was the perfect scenario for Jones. It was a big time program offering immediate playing time.

All indications (from message boards/recruiting sights) was that Jones was all but a sure thing to sign with Minnesota. His family was contacting local media outlets to make a trip to Champaign and cover his "highly anticipated" press conference. Then Jones announced he was attending Indiana. I'm not offended and don't care that much but all along his recruitment reeked of thinking more highly of himself than anybody else did. Tubby was in his corner all along but that wasn't enough.

I wish him the best at Indiana and am relieved he won't be eating up a scholarship that we can better utilize next season. Were our recruiting class not already five deep I may have felt differently about this process but at this point we don't necessarily need him. He is not exactly a 5-star stud, he is a 3-star PG who is one of the best remaining. It is my belief that we can land someone at least of his caliber in the class of 2009.

Indiana top notch blog - Inside the Hall has a brief recap of Jones
Paging Jim Shikenjanski gives his thoughts
Down With Goldy wanted Verdell but I don't think he is standing on a ledge anywhere

With that said lets take a look at some 2009 PGs on the radar for Minnesota...

  1. Johnnie Lacy - Milwaukee - 4-star
  2. Mfon Udofia - Stone Mountain, GA - 4-star
  3. Chris Colvin - Chicago - 4-star
  4. Nick Russell - Arlington, TX - 3-star
These are all players with varying degrees of interest on the part of both parties, but they are names that have popped up. Now that Jones is clearly out of the picture I would think that a 2009 PG would be more open to checking us out.


May 4, 2008

Welcome to Gopher Nation Kid - Hasan Lipscomb

One prominent recruiting sight ( is reporting that coach Brewster and staff have landed a 4-star running back from Houston, Texas. Lipscomb's journey continues. The athlete began in New Orleans, transplanted to Houston because of Hurricane Katrina and now makes the move north to Minnesota.

RB is a major need for the Gophers who missed out on a couple 4-star guys last year and Lipscomb looks to be the guy to fill that need in the fall of 2009.

Lipscomb rushed for 1,625 yards as a junior, scored 26 rushing TDs and 2 kick off return TDs.

ESPN Insider has this to say about Lipscomb...

"Lipscomb is a productive runner with good perimeter speed and quickness for his size. He possesses a good frame with his compact, thickly-built body but prefers to bounce it outside than hitting it hard between the tackles. Follows his blocks well and runs with good vision. Shows good lateral quickness and outside speed stretching the zone run and turning the corner. Can be shifty through the initial traffic flashing good stop-start skill and body control making defenders miss. Shows a burst and sneaky extra gear when he finds an open seam. Not a burner, but displays good speed in the second level to separate."
I don't know exactly how the numbers work out but after bringing in a massive class for 2008, it appears our scholarships available for this year's recruiting class will be limited to right around 10 available (give or take a few). With that in mind I think we have two primary concerns for the 2009 class.

1. Quality over Quantity. The class of 2008 is full of talent upgrading players. We brought in 30 players (JUCO and true freshmen) last year who will be called upon to upgrade the overall talent, especially on defense. The 2009 class will be a smaller class and we need to get a few studs who can help contribute quickly.

2. Keep Minnnesota kids. Currently we have five players signed, three of them are local. This is important, not to keep everybody but to get the ones we want. Signing 4-star QB Moses Alipate and two OL recruit in Josh Campion and Ed Olson are solid commitments. On the flip side we have pulled our offer from ATH-Fritz Rock out of Waconia. This is a controversial move but with limited scholarships there is no call for signing a player who is arguably a Big Ten player, regardless of where he is from. The one player left who should be our number one target is WR-Bryce McNeal who is currently hot on Michigan.

Outside of Minnesota kids, Lipscomb is a major get (currently #212 in Rivals top 250). RB is a big need and getting a kid who runs a sub 4.4, had major offers (LSU, Nebraska, Tex A&M) and has been very productive in the talent rich Houston area.

We have a few areas of need and getting quality players to fill those needs is exciting. Commitment #5 is an exciting player.

If I were a football betting man, I'd give even odds that there's more out of state blue-chippers on the way.

Current Commitments - interesting to note that not one defensive recruit yet this year.

QB - Moses Alipate (Bloomington, MN)
OL - Josh Campion (Fergus Falls, MN)
OL - Ed Olson (Mahtomedi, MN)
WR - Victor Kreise (Coral Springs, FL)
RB - Hasan Lipscomb (Houston, TX)

Rivals has now confirmed the commitment!

** ED NOTE - I should point out that my primary source for recruiting information is ( They are always accurate and great with their information. While they have speculated for a while that Lipscomb will commit to the Gophers, they have not yet announced anything official. So this post is based on what I generally use as secondary information. Scout is a fine site, I am just not as familiar with them. This commitment has been rumored so I feel confident running with this post.