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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Posts about Gopher recruiting

Gophers land their third wide receiver commitment of the past week

Posted by: Joe Christensen Updated: February 3, 2014 - 7:54 PM

The Gophers added a third receiver to this year's recruiting class Monday night, when Conner Krizancic, from Mentor, Ohio, flipped his commitment from Cincinnati to Minnesota.

Wide receiver was a main position of need for the Gophers, and they have addressed it with three commitments in the past week. Krizancic joins Melvin Holland Jr. (from Ashburn, Va.) and Isaiah Gentry (Cincinnati Moeller), and all are ranked as three-star recruits by Rivals.com.

Krizancic tweeted the news:

Report: Gophers flip defensive tackle recruit from Southern Miss

Posted by: Joe Christensen Updated: February 3, 2014 - 4:34 PM

Gary Moore, a defensive tackle from Mobile (Ala.) Murphy High School, has committed to sign with the Gophers after flipping from Southern Mississippi, according to Minnesota.247sports.com.

Moore is the 18th commitment in this year's class for the Gophers, who have up to five more slots to fill heading into National Signing Day on Wednesday.

Moore is 6-4, 285 pounds, yet can run the 40-yard dash in 4.75 seconds. He also had an offer from Northern Illinois.

This story on AL.com notes that Moore has a connection to the Gophers, as Murphy High School also is the alma mater of junior wide receiver KJ Maye.

Ragnow set to announce his decision today at 3:15

Posted by: Joe Christensen Updated: January 31, 2014 - 12:03 PM

Frank Ragnow plans to announce his college decision today at 3:15 p.m., at Chanhassen High School. The 6-6, 290-pound offensive lineman announced earlier this month that he had narrowed his choices to Arkansas, Minnesota and Florida State.

The final decision appears to be down to Arkansas and Minnesota, with Florida State having filled its offensive line needs in this class.

The Gophers first offered Ragnow a scholarship before his junior year and have made him one of their top priorities in this class. He is a consensus four-star recruit and ranks as the third-best prospect in this year’s class from Minnesota behind Minneapolis Washburn running back Jeff Jones and East Ridge center J.C. Hassenauer.

I will be in Chanhassen for Ragnow's announcement, so check back here for the news.

Gophers land another big recruit at wide receiver

Posted by: Joe Christensen Updated: January 29, 2014 - 11:20 AM

The Gophers added another tall receiver to this year's recruiting class, according to multiple reports, when they flipped 6-4 Cincinnati Moeller High School product Isiah Gentry from his commitment to Kent State University.

The news was first reported by David Shama, at Shamasportsheadliners.com and confirmed by GopherIllustrated.com and Minnesota.247Sports.com, which both have Gentry ranked as a three-star recruit.

On Sunday night, Melvin Holland Jr., a 6-3 receiver from Ashburn, Va., reportedly committed to the Gophers while Coach Jerry Kill was making his at-home visit. On Tuesday, Gentry reportedly did the same. Josh Helmholdt, the Midwest recruiting analyst for Rivals.com, was impressed with the news:

The Gophers now have 17 players committed in this year's class, with signing day coming Feb. 5.

Gophers land coveted wide receiver recruit and an offensive lineman

Posted by: Joe Christensen Updated: January 27, 2014 - 7:39 PM

The Gophers landed one of their most coveted targets on this year's recruiting trail tonight, when Melvin Holland Jr., a wide receiver from Briar Woods High School in Ashburn, Va., gave them a verbal commitment.

Holland is a consensus three-star recruit who also had offers from Wisconsin, Rutgers, Boston College and Wake Forest.

Then, less than one hour later, the Gophers received a commitment from Jared Weyler, an offensive lineman from Dayton (Ohio) Centerville High School. Weyler had offers from Bowling Green and Miami (Ohio).

Also tonight, Chanhassen offensive lineman Frank Ragnow tweeted (@Knarfwongar) that he will announce his college decision on Friday at 3:15 p.m. Ragnow has narrowed his list down to Minnesota, Arkansas and Florida State.

The Gophers have made it clear they have room for both Weyler. They now have 16 players committed with signing day coming Feb. 5.

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