With the ink barely dry on their 2018 recruiting class, the Gophers and coach P.J. Fleck secured their first verbal commitment for the Class of 2019, and it’s a big name locally.
Cole Kramer, the quarterback who led Eden Prairie to the Class 6A state championship this year, announced Thursday morning via Twitter that he is committing to the Gophers. Kramer, 6-1, 195 pounds, is a three-star recruit as ranked by the 247Sports.com composite and has received interest from Iowa, Michigan State and North Dakota State.
“I am truly grateful and blessed to be in this position to be able to play college football, which has been my lifelong dream,’’ Kramer tweeted. “With that being said, I am COMMITTED to the University of Minnesota! Go Gophers!’’
Shortly after Kramer announced his commitment, three-star athlete Jason Williamson of Owatonna posted on Twitter that he's verbally commiting to the Gophers, too.
Kramer helped Eden Prairie win its 11th state championship in November with a 38-17 victory over Minnetonka in the Prep Bowl. The Eagles finished 13-0, and Kramer passed for 1,191 yards and 19 touchdowns this season with no interceptions. He also rushed for 250 yards and two TDs. Kramer, a junior this season, is a two-year starter and has thrown 31 TD passes without throwing an interception.
Kramer became the second consecutive Eden Prairie player to become the Gophers’ first verbal commitment in a recruiting class. Last year, Eagles cornerback Benny Sapp III gave his verbal commitment in early February for the Class of 2018. Sapp was among 26 players who signed their national letters of intent with Minnesota on Wednesday, the opening day of the early signing period.
Williamson, 6-1 and 205 pounds, is the Gatorade player of the year in Minnesota. He rushed 311 times for 2,316 yards and 38 TDs as a junior this fall. He also drew interest from Iowa, North Dakota State and South Dakota State.
In Owatonna's 63-26 victory over Elk River in the Class 5A state championship game, Williamson rushed 23 times for 213 yards and five TDs and returned a kickoff 67 yards for a TD. His six touchdowns tied the Prep Bowl record.
Williamson is the third-ranked Minnesota player in the Class of 2019, according to 247Sports. Kramer is ranked fourth. The top two are Edina offensiver tackle Quinn Carroll and Lakeville North offensive tackle Bryce Benhart. Both are being recruited by the Gophers.