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.
The Gophers pulled a signing day surprise today, announcing that they've reeled in junior college linebacker De'Vondre Campbell, who also had offers from Texas, Kansas State and Tennessee, according to Rivals.com.
According to Minnesota's official web site,GopherSports.com, here's a list of players who are signed, sealed and delivered, with height and weight, as reported by the University:
Hendrick Ekpe, DE, Lewisville (Texas), 6-5, 230: His brother, Scott, started at defensive tackle for the Gophers last season as a freshman. Hendrick already enrolled at the U.
Chris Streveler, QB, Marian Central Catholic (Ill.), 6-2, 205: Passed for 2,397 yards and rushed for 1,124 yards as a senior. Streveler already is enrolled at the U.
Damien Wilson, LB, Jones County Junior College (Miss.), 6-2, 245: Good Juco tackler has a chance to start at middle linebacker -- this fall. Wilson already is enrolled at the U.
Eric Carter, WR, Lakeland Lake Gibson (Fla.), 5-11, 185: Three-star recruit picked the Gophers after de-committing from Cincinnati.
Rayfield Dixon, LB, Loxahatchee Seminole Ridge (Fla.), 6-3, 205: Picked Minnesota over West Virginia; needs to add bulk.
Berkley Edwards, RB, Chelsea (Mich.), 5-9, 190: Breakaway speed, good bloodlines; father (Stan) and brother (Braylon) reached NFL.
Alex Mayes, OL, Van Alstyne (Texas), 6-5, 285: Good-sized lineman had offers from Colorado and Kansas State.
Nate Wozniak, TE, Greenwood Center Grove (Ind.) 6-9, 258: Had offers from Miami (Fla.) and Purdue. Size might force him to O-line.
Owen Salzwedel, DE, Beaver Dam (Wis.), 6-6, 240: Has the size and athleticism to become the sleeper of this class.
Donovahn Jones, QB, Hampton Dutchtown (Ga.), 6-3, 190: Flipped his commitment from Missouri to Minnesota this week and also had offers from Arkansas, Kentucky and North Carolina State.
Jalen Myrick, DB, Savannah Christian School (Ga.), 5-10, 200: A speedy two-way player that the Gophers plan to use at cornerback.
Daletavius McGhee, DB, Ellenwood Cedar Grove (Ga.), 6-1, 195: Two-star recruit needs to add bulk but could develop into a safety.
De’Niro Laster, LB, Cleveland Heights (Ohio), 6-4, 230: Converted wide receiver; had offers from Kansas and Illinois.
De'Vondre Campbell, LB, Hutchinson (Kansas) Community College, 6-5, 225: Had offers from Texas, Tennessee and Kansas State.
Ryan Santoso, K, Pace (Fla.), 6-5, 260: A converted soccer goalie, he played in Under Armour All-America Game.
Chris Wipson, LB, Wayzata, 6-2, 210: Strong tackler from high school linebacker factory; tore ACL in his left knee in November.
Demaris Peppers, DT, Memphis Fairley (Tenn.), 6-3, 270: Hard worker needs to add bulk to make an impact on D-line.
Drew Wolitarsky, WR, Canyon Country Canyon (Calif.), 6-3, 208: Though not a speedster, he’s California’s all-time leading receiver.
Note: The Gophers listed Jordan Hinojosa with last year's class. Academic issues sent him to Coffeyville (Kansas) Community College, but the defensive tackle is now enrolled at the U and will be ready for spring practice.
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