Blaise Andries, Marshall’s 6-6, 310-pound lineman, heads our 2017 class of Super Preps. Andries, just as much a standout student as he is an athlete, is committed to the Gophers and is the top-ranked player in the Gophers’ incoming recruiting class.
After almost two decades of our Super Preps tradition, here is a look back on the past 10 football stars we spotlighted. We ranked the top five based on their on-field success after high school.
1. 2008 - Michael Floyd, wide receiver, Cretin-Derham Hall to Notre Dame
Floyd starred at Notre Dame and was the No. 13 overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft by Arizona. He was a regular target for the Cardinals for four five seasons before being released last month after a DUI arrest. He was claimed off waivers by New England and will play in the Super Bowl on Feb. 5.
2. 2014 - Frank Ragnow, offensive lineman, Chanhassen to Arkansas
Ragnow was Arkansas’ most consistent offensive lineman and one of the top centers in college football this season. The junior was graded by Pro Football Focus as the best center in the SEC. Coach Bret Bielema said Ragnow is NFL-ready, but the former Chanhassen star has not yet announced his plans to declare for the draft or return for his senior season.
3. 2007 - Broderick Binns, defensive lineman, Cretin-Derham Hall to Iowa
Binns matured into Iowa’s defensive MVP and was selected second team All-Big Ten as senior in 2011. He went undrafted in 2012, but signed with Arizona as free agent rookie. He was released a few months later. He joined Iowa’s staff as a graduate assistant and in April 2016 was named the director of player development.
4. 2012 - Jonah Pirsig, offensive lineman, Blue Earth to Gophers
Pirsig has been one of the Gophers most consistent players over the past two seasons. He earned a spot in the January Tropical Bowl showcase game after his standout senior season. He played in 42 games for the Gophers. Pirsig is rated among the Top 30 offensive tackles in the 2017 NFL draft class and if undrafted should earn the chance to play somewhere.
5. 2010 - Seantrel Henderson, offensive lineman, Cretin-Derham Hall to Miami
Henderson starred at Miami and selected by Buffalo in the seventh round of the 2014 NFL draft. He had a standout rookie season, but missed time in 2015 after being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. He underwent surgery and planned to return to the sport in 2016, but was suspended twice for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. It was reported the reason for the suspension was use of medicinal marijuana to treat Henderson's Crohn’s disease.
2013 - James Onwualu, wide receiver, Cretin-Derham Hall to Notre Dame
Onwualu saw limited action at wide receiver his first two seasons at Notre Dame. He eventually moved to defense and settled into the linebacker position as a junior. He wrapped up his college career this past season with 75 tackles, 11.5 for a loss, three sacks, five passes defended, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. He could be snatched up in the 2017 NFL draft.
2016 - Carter Coughlin, linebacker Eden Prairie to Gophers
Coughlin played in 11 games and started one as a true freshman. He made 25 tackles, four for a loss, and had two sacks. He had four tackles and one sack in the Holiday Bowl victory over Washington State.
2012 - Isaac Hayes, offensive lineman, St. Thomas Academy to Gophers
Hayes saw limited action throughout his college career. He graduated with a mechanical engineering degree in spring 2016 and wrapped up his career after his redshirt junior season.
2014 - Jeff Jones, running back, Minneapolis Washburn to Gophers
The former highly touted recruit changed positions to wide receiver and played in just three games after missing 10 games with an injury his redshirt freshman season. Jones transferred to Iowa Western Community College and was dismissed from the team. He has since gotten into trouble with the law.
2015 - Jashon Cornell, defensive tackle, Cretin-Derham Hall to Ohio State
Cornell played in three games and totaled four tackles as a redshirt freshman this season.