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.

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Analysts view incoming recruit from Wisconsin as potential steal for Minnesota

Posted by: Joe Christensen under Gophers recruiting Updated: February 5, 2013 - 8:50 AM

Who is the biggest sleeper in this year’s incoming recruiting class for the Gophers? The best guess here is Owen Salzwedel, a 6-6, 235-pound defensive end from Beaver Dam, Wis.

We’ll get a better picture during National Signing Day on Wednesday, but analysts sound intrigued about this three-star recruit.

“He was kind of an under-the-radar type guy,” said Josh Helmholdt, Midwest recruiting analyst for Rivals.com. “I watched him on film, and he’s a big kid. We’ve got him listed at 6-6, 235, and he’ll certainly play heavier than that in college. He moves pretty well at that size. He could develop into a big-time player.”

Last week, I was doing some reporting on Keelon Brookins, the defensive back from Tartan who de-committed from Minnesota and went to Wisconsin, while overcoming ACL injuries to both knees.

Tom Lemming, a recruiting analyst for CBS Sports Network, mentioned that while the Gophers lost Brookins, they went into Wisconsin and lured a pretty good one in Salzwedel.

“He’s got real good potential,” Lemming said. “He’s tall and athletic, with quick footing. He’s going to get bigger and stronger, but he’s a very good athlete. So in the long run, he may be better than Brookins.”

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