2021 Minnesota High School Football Signees

tjgopher

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Look at Anasax, he had to transfer from Mankato to IMG and probably pay 30,000 per year to get noticed. He only got a walk on with the Gophers.
Annexstad had multiple D-I scholarship offers, but chose to be a Gopher and walked on with the understanding he would be put on scholarship eventually.
 

MplsGopher

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I think that's a really good point that gets overlooked. I would guess that there a number of highly-recruited kids in the Minnesota suburbs whose parents are from somewhere else and don't have a deep loyalty to the U, which likely trickles down to the kids.

It's going to take a few years for Fleck to break through that.
Just sayin. TC is home to how many Fortune 500 companies? As well as major offices of companies that have acquired other former major companies that used to be based here (Honeywell (they kept that name), Norwest (Wells Fargo), St Jude (Abbot Labs), etc. probably other good examples).

These big orgs bring in lots of talented folks from around the country and world to live and be based in the TC, all the time.
 

MplsGopher

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Annexstad had multiple D-I scholarship offers, but chose to be a Gopher and walked on with the understanding he would be put on scholarship eventually.
He was the first "Maroon Shirt". They didn't even have that name for it, yet. In other words, he was the first to take advantage of the newly updated rule saying that if you walk on, then you only have to wait one year from when you enroll before you can be awarded a scholarship. That's what the "Maroon Shirt" is, a gentleman's agreement to give you your scholarship on a one year delay, if you agree to be a PWO the first year.

Rule used to be two years, I believe.
 

Hates Monikers

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I think that's a really good point that gets overlooked. I would guess that there a number of highly-recruited kids in the Minnesota suburbs whose parents are from somewhere else and don't have a deep loyalty to the U, which likely trickles down to the kids.

It's going to take a few years for Fleck to break through that.
I've always heard this is not true about Minnesota. Here's what I found: About 68 percent of people currently living in Minnesota were born here, marking the 12th highest of any state. That doesn't mean there's a loyalty to the U, but it's not like we have a ton of people moving in and out.

 

50PoundHead

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I've always heard this is not true about Minnesota. Here's what I found: About 68 percent of people currently living in Minnesota were born here, marking the 12th highest of any state. That doesn't mean there's a loyalty to the U, but it's not like we have a ton of people moving in and out.

I think that's true in the state as a whole (particularly outstate), but there are a lot of "Relovilles" in the suburbs to which outsiders have migrated because the Twin Cities are a regional center. I think of some of the high-profile kids from the suburbs that we've lost--and yes, it's anecdotal--and we find out their parents have roots with schools in other states.
 

MplsGopher

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I've always heard this is not true about Minnesota. Here's what I found: About 68 percent of people currently living in Minnesota were born here, marking the 12th highest of any state. That doesn't mean there's a loyalty to the U, but it's not like we have a ton of people moving in and out.

32% of 5.64M people is 1.8M people, who weren't born here and thus moved here at some point in their lives, meaning they grew up outside the state altogether, or at least they grew up in households where the parents/guardians were probably not from here. (yes, there will be cases where the parents/guardians are from here, left the state, had the baby out of state, then moved back)

That's potentially a decent chunk of kids in a given class.
 

MNVCGUY

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I think that's true in the state as a whole (particularly outstate), but there are a lot of "Relovilles" in the suburbs to which outsiders have migrated because the Twin Cities are a regional center. I think of some of the high-profile kids from the suburbs that we've lost--and yes, it's anecdotal--and we find out their parents have roots with schools in other states.
I really feel like people are overthinking why we lose top in-state kids. As I see it there are two major factors.

1. Years of being irrelevant in football
2. Top players get recruited by other high level programs and might see one as more appealing.

When I went to the U in the late 90's they couldn't give tickets away to students. The program had been a joke for years so kids didn't grow up caring about the U of M as the program was completely irrelevant in football.

It is starting to get better but our biggest issue has been that the middle portion of our fanbase is missing. We have a lot of older fans who remember when the program was once great. And we have newer fans who have come on board in recent years as the program has improved and become more competitive. But there is a huge gap in the people that grew up in the 70s, 80s, and most of the 90s where the program was a bottom feeder. There was a small blip of excitement when Holtz came in but we all know how that one played out and the additional scars left behind with his departure.

We are still playing catchup. Wisconsin was in a similar place before Barry arrived in 1989. Iowa was a mess before Hayden Fry arrived on the scene in the late 70's. It takes time. Mason started us moving in the right direction, Brewster was a mistake, Kill put us back to Mason levels and now hopefully Fleck will be here for a long time to provide the kind of stability and success the program needs to get fully on the same level of the Wisconsin and Iowa's of the world. We are definitely getting closer but there is still work to be done.
 

MplsGopher

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^^ love this post.

Only one possible small kink is like this: it's a zero-sum game and there are already several programs "ahead of us". We can't just "join the club". We have to displace someone else.

I have no problem with that, of course. But it makes it that much harder, as they're going to fight back just as hard to "keep us out".
 

MaxyJR1

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Student tickets were $3 a game in 1996. Mason got people to like going to games again. Does anyone have the numbers of student tickets since the mid-90's It grew into the upper deck leading up to the new stadium. It's gone backwards again.
 

Tommyboy

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Do you think they would get more students if they kept it in the Dome?
 

50PoundHead

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I really feel like people are overthinking why we lose top in-state kids. As I see it there are two major factors.

1. Years of being irrelevant in football
2. Top players get recruited by other high level programs and might see one as more appealing.

When I went to the U in the late 90's they couldn't give tickets away to students. The program had been a joke for years so kids didn't grow up caring about the U of M as the program was completely irrelevant in football.

It is starting to get better but our biggest issue has been that the middle portion of our fanbase is missing. We have a lot of older fans who remember when the program was once great. And we have newer fans who have come on board in recent years as the program has improved and become more competitive. But there is a huge gap in the people that grew up in the 70s, 80s, and most of the 90s where the program was a bottom feeder. There was a small blip of excitement when Holtz came in but we all know how that one played out and the additional scars left behind with his departure.

We are still playing catchup. Wisconsin was in a similar place before Barry arrived in 1989. Iowa was a mess before Hayden Fry arrived on the scene in the late 70's. It takes time. Mason started us moving in the right direction, Brewster was a mistake, Kill put us back to Mason levels and now hopefully Fleck will be here for a long time to provide the kind of stability and success the program needs to get fully on the same level of the Wisconsin and Iowa's of the world. We are definitely getting closer but there is still work to be done.
Good points. It will take a top-to-bottom effort to rebuild the status of Gopher football in the state and if Fleck sticks around he can probably do that. But it will take time.

I liked Mason as a coach, but he didn't do that good a job currying favor with the high school coaching fraternity. Brewster tried to reverse that and we saw a lot of energy (and some results), but he wasn't really respected as a coach. Kill made it a mission to rebuild the relationship with the high school coaches and was doing fairly well until the health issues became overwhelming. The thing with Kill is that he was viewed as a down-home "football guy" and while I think a lot of that was pure schtick, it did resonate with a lot of coaches. Fleck is certainly a different flavor.

To my other point, the Twin Cities suburbs have drawn a lot of families of professionals in from other parts of the country and their kids are often playing at high-profile programs. There's no multi-generational loyalty to the University of Minnesota that serves as an advantage for us in recruiting. I'm old and I can attest that wasn't the case 50 to 60 years ago when the U was really the only game in town for high-profile high school players from Minnesota and U got almost all of them. I can remember when it was viewed as an absolute tragedy that Rochester star QB Maury Daigneau chose Northwestern over the U back in the late-1960s. It was so rare.

I don't get too bent out of shape about Minnesota kids going elsewhere. Society has become much more mobile (and probably will get even more mobile) and with the plentitude of college football exposure on television and the increase in the college recruiting complex with camps and star-rankings, kids are just going to have more options.
 

Hates Monikers

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I think that's true in the state as a whole (particularly outstate), but there are a lot of "Relovilles" in the suburbs to which outsiders have migrated because the Twin Cities are a regional center. I think of some of the high-profile kids from the suburbs that we've lost--and yes, it's anecdotal--and we find out their parents have roots with schools in other states.
I don't disagree, but it certainly isn't any more of a problem for the U of M than it is anywhere else.

I have no evidence to back this up, but it has always seemed to me that we do a better job of keeping outstate kids than metro kids. I don't think it's because the metro parents came from somewhere else. I've always guessed -- yes, only guessed -- that for kids in the metro, the U is only a few miles away. They don't feel like there getting away or going anywhere if they go to the U; they can go to Wisconsin or Nebraska and get away without feeling like they're going too far. Outstate kids can come to Minneapolis and feel like it's different from home. Just a hunch -- every recruiting story is different.

Oh, and we need to have sustained success.
 

MaxyJR1

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I don't disagree, but it certainly isn't any more of a problem for the U of M than it is anywhere else.

I have no evidence to back this up, but it has always seemed to me that we do a better job of keeping outstate kids than metro kids. I don't think it's because the metro parents came from somewhere else. I've always guessed -- yes, only guessed -- that for kids in the metro, the U is only a few miles away. They don't feel like there getting away or going anywhere if they go to the U; they can go to Wisconsin or Nebraska and get away without feeling like they're going too far. Outstate kids can come to Minneapolis and feel like it's different from home. Just a hunch -- every recruiting story is different.

Oh, and we need to have sustained success.
Probably a better chance of getting metro kids if U was in Duluth or Rochester. I agree that kids want to get away.
 

A_Slab_of_Bacon

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Student tickets were $3 a game in 1996. Mason got people to like going to games again. Does anyone have the numbers of student tickets since the mid-90's It grew into the upper deck leading up to the new stadium. It's gone backwards again.
Man I don't remember THAT big of student crowds generally in the Mason era ...
 

MNVCGUY

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Man I don't remember THAT big of student crowds generally in the Mason era ...
It took a while but that 1999 team got people excited about the program again, especially after the win against Penn State. Don't know that the student crowds were huge at that time but it was an improvement from where they were prior to Mason arriving on campus.
 

Taji34

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Student tickets were $3 a game in 1996. Mason got people to like going to games again. Does anyone have the numbers of student tickets since the mid-90's It grew into the upper deck leading up to the new stadium. It's gone backwards again.
Has it gone backwards though? I don't think so. The problem is 2 fold in my eyes. Being on campus now makes it WAY easier to arrive late and leave early since most students now only have to walk to get to the stadium. Add onto that the trainwreck that is the # of entrances and the security procedures and you have the game starting with a quarter to half full student section. Then, if the game is going poorly or isn't an exciting matchup students decide to leave early.

Pretty much every game I've been to the student section looks full mid 2nd and mid 3rd quarter.
 

dlw4gophers

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Has it gone backwards though? I don't think so. The problem is 2 fold in my eyes. Being on campus now makes it WAY easier to arrive late and leave early since most students now only have to walk to get to the stadium. Add onto that the trainwreck that is the # of entrances and the security procedures and you have the game starting with a quarter to half full student section. Then, if the game is going poorly or isn't an exciting matchup students decide to leave early.

Pretty much every game I've been to the student section looks full mid 2nd and mid 3rd quarter.
Student section also includes 2nd deck. I don’t see that close to full often. There are 10,000 seats set aside for students. Sections 121-129 and 220-230
 

Tommyboy

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Has it gone backwards though? I don't think so. The problem is 2 fold in my eyes. Being on campus now makes it WAY easier to arrive late and leave early since most students now only have to walk to get to the stadium. Add onto that the trainwreck that is the # of entrances and the security procedures and you have the game starting with a quarter to half full student section. Then, if the game is going poorly or isn't an exciting matchup students decide to leave early.

Pretty much every game I've been to the student section looks full mid 2nd and mid 3rd quarter.
You are making it way to complicated, simply students do not go to the games.
 

Taji34

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Student section also includes 2nd deck. I don’t see that close to full often. There are 10,000 seats set aside for students. Sections 121-129 and 220-230
One thing to remember is unlike the dome, the student section is bench seating in TCF. Students cram the lower deck to the brim, way over the official number of seats in the lower deck.
 

tjgopher

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Man I don't remember THAT big of student crowds generally in the Mason era ...
The student sections from about 2002-2008 were pretty big at the Dome. Part of that was because they could buy beer at the games and they did that. Lots of that.
 

MplsGopher

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Student section also includes 2nd deck. I don’t see that close to full often. There are 10,000 seats set aside for students. Sections 121-129 and 220-230
They pay for the stadium. Every student has a stadium fee, I believe.
 

denguegopher

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Good points. It will take a top-to-bottom effort to rebuild the status of Gopher football in the state and if Fleck sticks around he can probably do that. But it will take time.

I liked Mason as a coach, but he didn't do that good a job currying favor with the high school coaching fraternity. Brewster tried to reverse that and we saw a lot of energy (and some results), but he wasn't really respected as a coach. Kill made it a mission to rebuild the relationship with the high school coaches and was doing fairly well until the health issues became overwhelming. The thing with Kill is that he was viewed as a down-home "football guy" and while I think a lot of that was pure schtick, it did resonate with a lot of coaches. Fleck is certainly a different flavor.

To my other point, the Twin Cities suburbs have drawn a lot of families of professionals in from other parts of the country and their kids are often playing at high-profile programs. There's no multi-generational loyalty to the University of Minnesota that serves as an advantage for us in recruiting. I'm old and I can attest that wasn't the case 50 to 60 years ago when the U was really the only game in town for high-profile high school players from Minnesota and U got almost all of them. I can remember when it was viewed as an absolute tragedy that Rochester star QB Maury Daigneau chose Northwestern over the U back in the late-1960s. It was so rare.

I don't get too bent out of shape about Minnesota kids going elsewhere. Society has become much more mobile (and probably will get even more mobile) and with the plentitude of college football exposure on television and the increase in the college recruiting complex with camps and star-rankings, kids are just going to have more options.
50lb: I'm sure that you are correct about Daigneau, but he more than did not choose the Gophers, he did not like them at all. In the summer of '72, I think, one of my buddies was Maury's mom's paperboy in Rochester. She told him that her son would soon be coming home for a short stay and he was looking for someone to toss the football with. Maury was weeks away from heading for the Dallas Cowboys fall camp (as a free agent, I think). Of course he agreed, recruited me and a couple of others to meet at Kellogg Jr High. We all met and tossed the ball around, played a little game and then he took the time to tutor me on passing. He taught me how to position my feet and how to follow through, "not throwing across my body." That was all very nice of him and I really appreciated it. At some point I mentioned that I was a Gopher fan, he made it VERY clear that he was NOT. Looking back it makes me guess that he was not recruited by the Gophers, but that is just an impression.
 

Boomtime

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I really feel like people are overthinking why we lose top in-state kids. As I see it there are two major factors.

1. Years of being irrelevant in football
2. Top players get recruited by other high level programs and might see one as more appealing.

When I went to the U in the late 90's they couldn't give tickets away to students. The program had been a joke for years so kids didn't grow up caring about the U of M as the program was completely irrelevant in football.

It is starting to get better but our biggest issue has been that the middle portion of our fanbase is missing. We have a lot of older fans who remember when the program was once great. And we have newer fans who have come on board in recent years as the program has improved and become more competitive. But there is a huge gap in the people that grew up in the 70s, 80s, and most of the 90s where the program was a bottom feeder. There was a small blip of excitement when Holtz came in but we all know how that one played out and the additional scars left behind with his departure.

We are still playing catchup. Wisconsin was in a similar place before Barry arrived in 1989. Iowa was a mess before Hayden Fry arrived on the scene in the late 70's. It takes time. Mason started us moving in the right direction, Brewster was a mistake, Kill put us back to Mason levels and now hopefully Fleck will be here for a long time to provide the kind of stability and success the program needs to get fully on the same level of the Wisconsin and Iowa's of the world. We are definitely getting closer but there is still work to be done.
I think the upcoming season will clear up one thing. Was the 2019 season a tremendously lucky season and was the 2020 season closer to the norm, in terms of results?
 

50PoundHead

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50lb: I'm sure that you are correct about Daigneau, but he more than did not choose the Gophers, he did not like them at all. In the summer of '72, I think, one of my buddies was Maury's mom's paperboy in Rochester. She told him that her son would soon be coming home for a short stay and he was looking for someone to toss the football with. Maury was weeks away from heading for the Dallas Cowboys fall camp (as a free agent, I think). Of course he agreed, recruited me and a couple of others to meet at Kellogg Jr High. We all met and tossed the ball around, played a little game and then he took the time to tutor me on passing. He taught me how to position my feet and how to follow through, "not throwing across my body." That was all very nice of him and I really appreciated it. At some point I mentioned that I was a Gopher fan, he vmade it VERY clear that he was NOT. Looking back it makes me guess that he was not recruited by the Gophers, but that is just an impression.
Thanks for that insight. I have no inside information at all. I grew up in a small town about an hour away from Rochester and Daigneau was a legend. I just recall everyone was really disappointed he didn't go to the U. He graduated from high school near the end of the Warmath era and I have no idea whether the Gophers recruited him or not. I seem to recall Sid blew multiple gaskets.
 
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