Joe Christensen covered Major League Baseball for 15 years, including three seasons at the Baltimore Sun and eight at the Star Tribune, before switching to the college football beat. He’s a Faribault, Minn., native who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1996. He covered Jim Wacker’s Gophers for the Minnesota Daily and also wrote about USC, UCLA and the Rose Bowl for the Riverside Press-Enterprise before getting this chance to cover football again.
Email Joe to talk about the Gophers.
Gophers football recruit Ryan Santoso is 6-5 and weighs 270 pounds. His position, of course, is kicker.
Santoso was a soccer goalie who joined the football team at Pace (Fla.) High School as a sophomore, three games into the season.
“I gave him a chance because we were really having trouble with our kicking game,” Pace coach Mickey Lindsey told me last week. “He ended up kicking that year and doing OK. His junior summer, he went to some combines. His senior year, he just had a great year.”
According to GopherIllustrated.com, Santoso made a verbal commitment to Minnesota on Christmas eve but visited Southern Miss this past weekend. It’s that time of year, with signing day coming Feb. 6, and recruits trying to finalize their decisions. The Gophers have reportedly talked to Santoso about punting, as well as as kicking.
Santoso was 14-for-17 on his field goal attempts this year, with a long of 42 yards. He was 29-for-29 in extra point attempts and sent 46 of his 49 kickoffs into the end zone. He was selected for the Under Armour All-America Game and went 1-for-3 on field goal attempts, connecting on a 44 yarder.
“He’s still a work in progress at times because of his experience,” Lindsey said. “His potential is unlimited. He’s got so much size, he’s got so much pop on the ball, and he’s starting to lose some of that extra weight, trimming down, and he’s just going to continue getting better and better.”
As signing day gets closer, check back here for updates on Santoso and other Gophers recruits.
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