National Signing Day, The 2013 Golden Gopher Football Recruiting Class - Offense

Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE

We knew this was going to be a small recruiting class and was the offensive side of the ball that received the fewest additions. This seems to make some sense right? in 2013 our starting lineup should look something like this...

  • QB - sophomore
  • RB - sophomore and junior
  • WR - freshman (med RS), sophomore, junior
  • TE - junior, sophomore, RS-freshman
  • OT - senior, sophomore
  • OG - junior, sophomore, junior
  • OC - junior

Notice very few seniors who will potentially be starting next year. The offense you saw in 2012 is the one you will mostly see in 2013 which is also the one you will mostly see in 2014. So offense wasn't a huge priority, at least in quantity. Let's take a look at your 2013 Gopher recruiting class on the offensive side of the ball.

Eric Carter


Position: WR

Measurables: 5-10 / 175 / 40-time 4.57

Videos: [2011 Highlights] [2012 Highlights]

Scroll of the Sworn: back in October at FBT

BCS Offers: Cincinnati, Iowa St, Missouri, Purdue

Rankings:
- Rivals: (5.7) - #76 WR
- ESPN: (75) - #142 WR

Notes:

Lakeland, Florida native who caught 15 touchdowns and amassed over 1,600 yards in his final two seasons of high school ball.

Part of FBT's SotS evaluation (you'll have to forgive the AJ Barker reference).

passes available for very smart route runners who excel at setting up defenders with double moves and other subtle maneuvers to create separation. Carter is more of the latter; as A.J. Barker has shown, crafty route runners with good hands can do very well in this offense -- especially when you have a quarterback like Nelson who delivers strikes downfield.

And ESPN's eval has this to say.

This is not a player that will create big, homerun plays, but he gets open, has consistent hands and is a sharp route runner in the short and intermediate passing game. Surges off the ball and gets to top speed quickly. On the outside he does a nice job setting defenders up with double moves and stutters to create separation and give the impression he is going to break the route off.

Carter is a nice receiver pickup. Not the biggest target on the field an apparently does not have speed that will pull away from defensive backs. But we need guys who can create separation, get open and catch balls. Welcome to Gopher Nation Mr. Carter.

Chris Streveler


Position: QB

Measurables: 6-3 / 190 /

Videos: [2011 Highlights] [2012 touchdown pass] [2012 touchdown run]

Scroll of the Sworn: LINK

BCS Offers: none

Rankings:
- Rivals: (5.5) - #NR QB
- ESPN: (72) - #36 QB

Notes:

The yearly QB commit and I'm looking forward to Streveler getting the opportunity to lead the Gophers. Sometimes it is just about the tools and sometimes it is about the intangibles as well. According to Marian Central Catholic head football coach Ed Brucker, Streveler has all the tools needed to be a quality Big Ten quarterback including his leadership abilities. "I have been coaching for around 40 years and in all of those years Chris is the best leader I have ever had the chance to work with," Brucker said. "He does it the right way and is a great kid to be around. On top of that he is just an outstanding person and is always positive." Brucker also had this to say in the Chicago Tribune, "The team just believes in him," Brucker said. "His leadership ability, he has the charisma, the 'it factor,' and everybody just follows him."

More local coverage of Streveler reveals how he overhauled his mechanics and attitude between his junior and senior season. (GOOD ARTICLE HERE)

Streveler spent countless hours on his throwing motion with offensive coordinator Dirk Stanger, studied defenses, took up yoga and changed his game-day personality.

...

Though he broke through as a junior, he was behind in the recruiting game.

By the time Minnesota quarterbacks coach Jim Zebrowski had a look at Streveler, his throwing mechanics had been altered.

Zebrowski's only concern was Streveler was too good to be true.

"He said, 'You've got to be kidding me,'" Stanger recalled. "How has nobody offered this kid?"

....

The Gophers' coaching staff mentioned that he could benefit from greater flexibility, so Streveler began going to a yoga class at Your World Fitness in Spring Grove.

"It was me and five or six moms," Streveler said. "It was pretty funny. I'm supposed to be the athlete in the room, and they're looking at me like, 'You can't touch your toes?' It was humbling."

Streveler was 1st team all-state in class 5A and lead his team to an 11-1 record and a 2-seed in the Illinois state playoffs.

I am really looking forward to Streveler in a Gopher uniform. I would assume with Nelson and Leidner on the depth chart already, he will redshirt. But considering we have used a true freshman in two straight seasons, I'm not willing to state with any confidence that his redshirt is a lock.
Alex Mayes


Position: OT

Measurables: 6-5 - 6-6 / 275-285

Videos: [2011 Highlights] [2012 Highlights]

Scroll of the Sworn: LINK

BCS Offers: Colorado, Kansas, Kansas St

Rankings:
- Rivals: (5.6) - #NR OT
- ESPN: (72) - #72 OT

Notes:

The only offensive lineman in this recruiting class, largely because we didn't lose any linemen to graduation/defection so there is little need for linemen in this class. But Mayes is a very nice pick-up that may payoff two-fold if his brother Conner picks the Gophers next year.

Mayes earned HM 2A all-state honors.

FBT Analysis...

Mayes as an individual prospect is exactly the type of tackle the staff is looking for: tough, physical and a technician. Flexibility and lower body athleticism need development, though I'm certain the coaching staff feels several years of strength and conditioning with Klein will get Alex to where he needs to be physically. He has a huge frame to potentially grow into a 305-315 lbs. monster of a left/right tackle. The Mayes bros reportedly dominated everyone they went up against at one of Kill's summer camp sessions and considering how long and aggressively the staff pursued Alex, he was no doubt among their top targets at the position.

ESPN Eval...

Once Mayes clamps down on a defender he can control and sustain as a run blocker. Has the size with enough athleticism for the offensive tackle position at the major level of competition. His frame appears capable of handling additional body mass over time however improved athleticism will need to be addressed. Playing out of both a two and three point stance we some lower body stiffness which hinders his ability to deal with quick change of direction moves. This prospect flashes good first step quickness along with the blocking base and persistent leg drive which enables him to sustain drive blocks.

Another very nice pick-up for Kill and staff. Mayes is almost a certainty to redshirt, I'd bet anything on it. But he should be maturing at precisely the time there are openings along the offensive line for a technically sound tackle.

Berkley Edwards


Position: RB

Measurables: 5-9 / 185 / 40-time 4.39

Videos: [Junior Highlights] [2012 mid-season highlights]

Scroll of the Sworn: none, but GoAUpher posted something

BCS Offers: Cal, Iowa (later pulled)

Rankings:
- Rivals: (5.7) - #9 RB
- ESPN: (77) - #63 RB

Notes: This is the highest profile recruit of the 2013 class, partly because he is the brother of Braylon Edwards and partly because it was a relatively fierce battle with Iowa and Cal to obtain his verbal commitment (now signed letter of intent).

ESPN eval...

Edwards is a prospect who may be slipping through the BCS cracks at this time. Comes across as a multi-purpose back with his size, speed and receiving skills but the more you watch this young man the more you see every-down qualities, particularly if he can continue to physically develop and add more size. Quick to attack the hole and dart through the smaller creases. Follows his linemen but may benefit from using a bit more patience to exploit cutback creases;

As a senior Edwards rushed for 1,329 yards and 21 touchdowns. He was also named to the AP Div 3-4 All-State team in 2012 and earned Ann Arbor.com's 2011 Dream Team honors (for whatever that is worth). We are happy to have the younger Edwards, even if Michigan didn't want him.

Drew Wolitarsky


Position: WR

Measurables: 6-3 / 215 / 40-time 4.67

Videos: [2011 Highlights] [The catch to break California state record for Rec Yards] [commitment video and interview]

Scroll of the Sworn: LINK

BCS Offers: none

Rankings:
- Rivals: (5.6) - #NR WR
- ESPN: (70) - #207 WR

Notes:

California's prep record holder for receptions and receiving yards. The big, possession receiver is going to be a very nice fit in the Gopher offense.

Matt's eval in SotS...

In Wolitarsky, the Gophers are getting a tall, physical receiver who simply knows how to get open with a variety of crafty route running and double moves. He was remarkably productive in high school, holding both the career receptions and receiving yards records in the state of California. Neither the most athletic nor fastest receiver, his large frame should prove an assest in outside run blocking and winning battles in traffic.

Some from his ESPN eval...

Works mostly from the slot. Knows when to hit top speed and when to tempo routes to get open. Has a great understanding of where he is at on the field relative to the sidelines, uses his body well to shield defenders. Sustains big hits and maintains the catch, tough in traffic and does not shy away from contact. Adjusts well to poorly thrown passes, good body control to make tough catches. Catches the ball away from his body. Makes tough catches in traffic, does not need any separation to make the catch. Does a nice job of coming flat to downhill after the ball on in/out-cuts.

Another receiver known more for the ability to get open than his ability to break free from the secondary. I am excited about this commitment and I think Wolitarsky will be a big target who gets open and more importantly will be a reliable receiver for Nelson.

Ryan Santoso
Ryan_santoso_medium (credit: SB Nation Recruiting)


Position: K

Measurables: 6-5 / 270

Videos: he's a kicker, he kicks

Scroll of the Sworn: LINK

BCS Offers:

Rankings:
- Rivals: (5.4) - #15 K
- ESPN: (77) - #7 K
- Kohls: - #7 K

Notes: We have a kicker on scholarship! Santoso was able to earn himself a trip to the Under Armour All-American game where he nailed a 44-yard FG but missed two others. Made FG is below.

Kickzilla_medium

via assets.sbnation.com


A big kid for the position but if he can make FGs then his size is really irrelevant. He earned a 5-star rating in kicking and punting from the Kohl's Kicking camp.

Nate Wozniak


Position: TE

Measurables: 6-10 / 255 / 40-time N/A

Videos: [2011 Highlights]

Scroll of the Sworn: LINK

BCS Offers: Miami, Purdue, Indiana, Cincinnati, Maryland, Iowa State

Rankings:
- Rivals: (5.6) - #39 TE
- ESPN: (73) - #116 OT

Notes:

Virtually everyone who looked at Wozniak viewed him as a future offensive tackle. As such, his ESPN eval reflects his potential at that position.

Wozniak is a towering tight end who could transition to the next level as an in-line blocking tight end, but may not offer enough as a receiving target to warrant staying there and with his size he may have greater upside if developed as an O-Tackle. He is an extremely tall kid in that 6-foot-9 range and when that tall the concern is whether he can play low and with leverage, but he displays good flexibility and can keep his pads down for a taller kid. He has solid bulk, but will need to add more mass to that long frame especially if he moves to O-Line.

Nate, however, wanted to play tight end in college and would only consider offers from schools pursuing him at that spot, ultimately picking the Gophers over the Canes and Boilers. Credit goes to Coach Phelps for stealing Wozniak out from underneath Miami and Purdue.

Not a very big group of offensive players but hopefully there are some impactful names above. Berkely Edwards could be a guy who plays right away. Kill has shown the willingness to play true freshman at all skill positions so I wouldn't count out Wolitarsky or Carter from playing either. Prior to researching and writing this I wasn't too thrilled with Streveler, but now I am convinced that he will be a major contributor at some point. I'm most excited about Edwards, Streveler and Mayes amongst the offensive commitments.

On top of the names listed above who are getting scholarships the staff has worked pretty hard to secure a number of "preferred walk-ons." These are kids who the staff wants on the roster as ones who may eventually play or at the very least are going to add some higher caliber depth. PWOs that I am aware of include...

  • Micheal Conway - QB/DB - LaCrosse, WI - offer from NDSU
  • Chandler Wright - OL - Wayzata, MN - no other offers
  • Matt Leidner - OL - Lakeville, MN - brother of Mitch
  • Jeff Borchardt - WR - Wayzata, MN - no other offers
  • Nick Hart - TE - Prior Lake, MN - no other offers
  • Chad Fahning - OT - De La Salle HS, MN - offers from Columbia, W Mich, E Mich, North Dakota, UNI, Penn, SDSU and Montana St
  • Conor Rhoda - QB - Cretin Derham Hall - North Dakota offer

The defensive commitments will be posted soon.

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