Q&A: Two-Sport Standout Eli King Talks Gophers, Recruiting, Football, Basketball and More

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Eli King, a 6-foot-3 rising junior guard/wide receiver from Caledonia (MN) High, is ranked as fifth best player in Minnesota's Class of 2022.



King is a two-sport standout who has already received offers from Minnesota for both football and basketball



King helped lead Caledonia to their fifth consecutive Class 2A state championship with a 26-0 shutout over third-ranked Minneapolis North. King had two receiving touchdowns from brother Noah and a punt return for a score.

It’s the 68th win in a row for the Warriors, which is the nation’s longest winning streak, completing five consecutive undefeated seasons.

King had 50 receptions this past season with 21 receiving touchdowns. He also returned three punts and three kickoffs for touchdowns

King averaged 16.2 points, 6.4 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game on the hardwood as the Warriors finished 28-1 and qualified for the Class AA state tournament before the season was cut short, due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Noah will play at Kirkwood Community College after having previously committed to South Dakota State to play basketball. Older brother, Owen, played at SDSU, but decided to transfer to Winona State after the 2019-20 season.

Gopher Hole caught up with King after a recent D1 Minnesota scrimmage with the Minnesota Heat to learn the latest on his recruitment and upcoming AAU season. Note: He was offered by Minnesota after this interview took place.



Gopher Hole: First of all, how are you surviving in this Covid-19 world?



Eli King: It has been nice. We have been able to get back in the gym now with everything. It has been really nice to get back with the guys and get up here and play some really good guys with the Heat team and some of the past D1 players, so it has been really nice.



Gopher Hole: Have you been doing anything new; new hobbies or any new TV shows that you have been doing while this whole thing has been going down?



Eli King: We have got some land that we farm and hay and stuff like that, so I have been doing quite a bit of that and just being outdoors quite a bit.



Gopher Hole: Obviously, it has been tough with no school and doing classes on-line. Did that work out better than you thought it would be?



Eli King: Yes. I thought it went pretty good. The teachers were pretty good with it and everything. I would say that it went better than I would have thought it would have.



Gopher Hole: Obviously, normally you would be doing a lot of football camps right now. You can’t do some of those things now. What camps had you thought about going to this summer? Had you thought that far back in March when things shut down?



Eli King: We didn’t have any plans for sure, but there was definitely some Big Ten ones and some other ones. Not just camps, but also visits to go on and stuff like that with some of the teams that had offered and some that hadn’t.



Gopher Hole: How many football offers are you up to?



Eli King: Five (Minnesota, Notre Dame Iowa, Iowa State and Missouri).



Gopher Hole: How about basketball? I know that Iowa offered you the other week.



Eli King: Iowa, Stanford and UNI.



Gopher Hole: Have you even thought about football/basketball yet or is it hard because I know that you love playing, especially football when that season is going on and then basketball when you are more focused on that?



Eli King: For sure. I have definitely thought about it, but I don’t know yet. Right now, I’m not set on one, for sure, yet.



Gopher Hole: Will it be tough to say goodbye to probably one? You could try to do both, but it is so hard with the season overlapping too much.



Eli King: Yes. No matter which one I pick, the other one will be tough to not play anymore.



Gopher Hole: Is it nice to know that you have some great options, not only schools that are recruiting you, but you are talented in both sports. You might miss the one, but you have some great options.



Eli King: Yes. It is really nice to have the options for either sport to go and play somewhere and try to find the best program for either sport and excel at that.



Gopher Hole: Have you had a chance to do much football-wise? I know that you had another great year last season. Have you gotten a chance to do much at all?



Eli King: Yes. We have gotten to do a little bit and stuff and we are getting back into it just now. That has been nice, too.



Gopher Hole: What is the latest on your position for this upcoming year? I know that there was some talk about you maybe playing quarterback. I know that you have been very successful at wide receiver. Have you heard more about that?



Eli King: Right now, I am taking reps at both. Not one for sure yet and we are still seeing.



Gopher Hole: Obviously, you lose some talented players, including your brother, but you guys have been so dominant at your level. What are the expectations for Caledonia this season?



Eli King: We have a lot of guys who are going to have to step up and I think that we have a lot of guys who will be able to and our expectations are going to be high again and hopefully, we do really well.



Gopher Hole: Do you ever hear from other kids at other schools that, to be honest, that are a little bit sick of you guys winning all the time?



Eli King: A little bit, for sure, but I think that it is nice. Everyone is coming for us in football especially and we have to come ready every week.



Gopher Hole: Is it kind of nice that you have followed in your other brother’s footsteps and have seen how they have gone through that? Does that help you in terms of recruiting and just playing at a high level?



Eli King: Yes, definitely. You have always got to be ready. Seeing all they did certain things and stuff like that. Definitely take every moment.



Gopher Hole: I know that you said that you had the three offers in basketball. What other schools are you hearing from besides Stanford, UNI and Iowa?



Eli King: Iowa State, Minnesota, Creighton, Cincinnati, California. I’m going to miss some. Marquette, a lot.



Gopher Hole: Any schools that you think might be close to offering? Any indication on that based on the conversations?



Eli King: I would say, as of late, I’ve talked to Marquette probably the most as of late of the ones who haven’t offered me.



Gopher Hole: What are you hearing from the homestate school?



Eli King: They have called me a couple of times and I have talked to one of their assistants and Coach Pitino, too.



Gopher Hole: How about football-wise for Minnesota?



Eli King: I talk to Coach Simon quite a bit. Everything has been really good that he has said. I talk to Coach Fleck at a Junior Day up there.



Gopher Hole: When did the Gophers offer you for football?



Eli King: January, I think.



Gopher Hole: Did you get a chance to go to any Junior Days? I know that they have a lot in February and March, but a lot of things got shut down.



Eli King: The only Junior Day I went to was the Gophers and that was where Coach Fleck offered me.



Gopher Hole: What was that experience like?



Eli King: It was pretty sweet. They brought me into his office and offered me. Seeing their new facility. That was pretty sweet and everything.



Gopher Hole: You are still probably aways from making a decision, but what are going to be the main factors that are going make you pick School A over School B or C?



Eli King: I would probably say the biggest things are my relationship with the coaching staff and then the academic part will be important and just the culture there, probably too.



Gopher Hole: How about your AAU team? You have a lot of talented players that are getting high looks and you have one kid who has already committed to the Gophers (Treyton Thompson). What are the expectations for you guys?



Eli King: We are starting to come together. We have only had so many practices, but I think it will get better as the season goes and we hope to be really good again. D1 has a great program and everything and we are hoping to do well.



Gopher Hole: What things in basketball are you really working on to continue to improve yourself as a player?



Eli King: I would say, definitely, my consistency shooting and stuff like that. That is the main thing, but everything still, too, but that is probably the main thing.
 

KoolAid

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Can one of you guys pay his dad a bunch of cash so we can get him here?
 

60's Guy

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Well, we learned the Gophers have not offered him a scholarship.
 

60's Guy

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Where did we learn that? It says that he was offered after the interview took place?
I learned it from the answer to the question about his offers. I missed the editors note at the top of the page. My bad. However, why wouldn't the note be with the answer to the question of offers. Sorry for the confusion.
 

builtbadgers

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I learned it from the answer to the question about his offers. I missed the editors note at the top of the page. My bad. However, why wouldn't the note be with the answer to the question of offers. Sorry for the confusion.
Same. PRETTY CONFUSING. He does not name Minnesota as a basketball offer when asked how many have offered.
 

GFBfan

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Not confusing at all as the second paragraph in the intro says:
King is a two-sport standout who has already received offers from Minnesota for both football and basketball
 

Spottedmuskie

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Kinda giving that Suggs vibe... like the recruiting from Fleck but Pitiono too relaxed
 

builtbadgers

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Not confusing at all as the second paragraph in the intro says:
King is a two-sport standout who has already received offers from Minnesota for both football and basketball
And when King is asked the question he does not list the Gophers. So the person asking the questions lists the Gophers but the player does not.
 

manderson1984

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Kinda giving that Suggs vibe... like the recruiting from Fleck but Pitiono too relaxed
Pitino has also offered and is going hard after Holloman and they also offered Limpsy from Iowa. Eli might be third on their list but is for sure second at PG
 

Chico Gopher

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I understood before I even got to the interview part of the post that the Gophers basketball offered him a scholarship after the interview took place. Unless you skipped the intro and went directly to the question/answers, it was pretty hard to miss..
 

builtbadgers

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I understood before I even got to the interview part of the post that the Gophers basketball offered him a scholarship after the interview took place. Unless you skipped the intro and went directly to the question/answers, it was pretty hard to miss..
Thank you.
 

short ornery norwegian

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from that interview, I strongly get the vibe that basketball is King's #1 sport.

Maybe the Gophers could get Fleck to recruit King for the basketball team? I would have more confidence in Fleck's ability to land him as opposed to Pitino.
 

KoolAid

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from that interview, I strongly get the vibe that basketball is King's #1 sport.
Two brothers playing college basketball. Family has a basketball barn on their ranch. Dad is the head basketball coach.

Yeah...he might be drawn to basketball a little bit more than football.
 

KoolAid

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Who was the last legit athlete to play football and basketball in college? Julius Peppers played both at the same time. Jimmy Graham picked up football after he exhausted his basketball eligibility
 

Blackhammer

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Charlie Ward, Andre Rison, Donovan Mcnabb as far as guard types come to mind. Tony Gonzalez perhaps one of the best at the football, basketball mix I’m of the opinion you pick one. If the thought of a Pro career is at the top of your list I think all of the Kings despite being great basketball players should play football in college. But understand why they choose basketball. I have no doubt Owen could play quarterback in the Big Ten.
 
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