Gophers FOOTBALL: Class of 2018

The Gophers have 26 players in their freshman class of 2018 who signed their national letters of intent Wednesday, the start of the three-day early signing period.


Player Pos. Ht. Wt. Stars

Mayan Ahanotu DE 6-4 250 ⋆⋆⋆

From Berkeley Prep (Tampa, Fla.): Son of former Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Cal standout Chidi Ahanotu. Had 30 tackles and 5.5 sacks as a senior. Offers included Oklahoma, Michigan State, Virginia Tech and Vanderbilt.

Zack Annexstad QB 6-3 215 ⋆⋆⋆

From IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.): Son of former Gophers lineman Scott Annexstad. Passed for 940 yards and 10 TDs for unbeaten IMG. Transfer from Mankato West signed as a preferred walk-on.

Josh Aune Ath. 6-2 200 ⋆⋆⋆

From St. Paul Highland Park: Versatile athlete rushed for 841 yards and 12 TDs and led the Scots with 116 tackles and seven sacks as a linebacker.

Rashod Bateman WR 6-2 185 ⋆⋆⋆⋆

From Tift County (Tifton, Ga.): Set school single-season records for catches (83), yards (1,539) and TDs (21) this year. Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina and Texas A&M had offered since Dec. 8.

Austin Beier OG 6-4 275 ⋆⋆⋆

From St. John’s Jesuit (Toledo, Ohio): Ranked 30th-best guard nationally. Allowed only one sack in 11 games. Offer list included Boston College, Cincinnati, Indiana and Northwestern.

Nathan Boe C 6-4 275 ⋆⋆⋆

From Lakeville North: Anchored offense that averaged 28.7 points per game. Will enroll at Minnesota in January.

Jason Dickson OT 6-6 300 ⋆⋆⋆

From Diablo Valley (Calif.) College: Anchored offense that averaged 25.3 points per game. Will have two years of eligibility remaining. Originally committed to UCLA.

Curtis Dunlap Jr. OG 6-5 370 ⋆⋆⋆⋆

From IMG Academy: Highest-ranked recruit for the Gophers. Ranked No. 6 guard in his class. Formerly committed to Florida. Arkansas, Florida State, Georgia and LSU among schools extending offers.

Nolan Edmonds RB 5-11 200 ⋆⋆⋆

From Alpharetta, Ga.: Rushed for 970 yards and 14 TDs as a senior. Ranked No. 23 nationally at running back. Committed to U on March 15, rescinded June 23, then recommitted July 30.

Daniel Faalele OT 6-9 400 ⋆⋆⋆

From IMG Academy: Massive Australian has played only one year of varsity football but had scholarship offers from Alabama, Georgia, Auburn, Florida State and Michigan. Will compete in Under-Armor All-America Game along with teammate Curtis Dunlap Jr.

Erik Gibson WR 6-3 190 ⋆⋆⋆

From Martin Luther King (Detroit): Ranked 25th among Michigan wide receivers. Missed significant portion of the season because of injury.

Jornell Manns WR 5-11 190 ⋆⋆⋆

From Mansfield, Ohio: Versatile player in high school, leading Mansfield with nearly 2,000 rushing yards. Scored 37 TDs as a senior.

Grant Norton OT 6-8 260 ⋆⋆⋆

From Camdenton, Mo.: Anchored offense that averaged 37.2 points per game. Nebraska, Purdue and Wisconsin offered him scholarships.

Abi Okonji DE 6-3 245 ⋆⋆⋆

From South Gwinnett (Snellville, Ga.): Had 35 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and two sacks as a senior. Had offers from Indiana, Maryland, Michigan State and Rutgers among Big Ten teams.

Braelen Oliver LB 6-0 215 ⋆⋆⋆

From Douglas County (Douglasville, Ga.): Ranked No. 42 nationally among outside linebackers. Amassed 164 tackles and five sacks. Received offers from West Virginia, Syracuse and Duke.

Alex Reigelsperger DE 6-4 255 ⋆⋆⋆

From Wayne (Huber Heights, Ohio): Former Kentucky commit had 107 tackles and 12.5 sacks as senior. Ranked No. 24 nationally among weakside DEs.

Thomas Rush OLB 6-3 225 ⋆⋆⋆

From Marysville, Ohio: Ranked No. 58 outside linebacker nationally. Originally committed to Bowling Green as a running back.

Benny Sapp III CB 6-1 180 ⋆⋆⋆

From Eden Prairie: Played in only two games this year after needing knee surgery to repair meniscus. Missed previous two seasons because of torn ACL. Turned heads early in career at Florida power St. Thomas Aquinas.

C.J. Smith CB 6-1 180 ⋆⋆⋆

From Duncan U. Fletcher (Neptune Beach, Fla.): Hard hitter originally committed to Georgia Southern. Mississippi State, South Florida offered.

Terell Smith CB 6-1 180 ⋆⋆⋆

From South Gwinnett (Snellville, Ga.): Ranked 54th nationally among cornerbacks. Won state Class 7A 100-meter dash in 10.39 seconds.

Mariano Sori-Marin ILB 6-3 235 ⋆⋆⋆

From Providence Catholic (New Lenox, Ill.): Had 88 tackles and five sacks. Versatile player also saw action on offense. Had offers from Ivy League schools Brown, Cornell, Harvard, Penn and Yale.

Brevyn Spann-Ford TE 6-7 245 ⋆⋆⋆

From St. Cloud Tech: Ranked No. 19 nationally among tight ends. Had 46 catches for 770 yards and 16 TDs as a senior. Also had offers from Iowa State, Michigan State, Missouri and West Virginia.

Elijah Teague DT 6-3 295 ⋆⋆⋆

From Marist (Chicago): Part of highest-rated DL class for Gophers in internet era. Had offers from Oklahoma, Penn State, Wisconsin.

Vic Viramontes QB 6-1 215 ⋆⋆⋆

From Riverside (Calif.) C.C.: Top-ranked dual-threat JUCO QB could be Gophers starter in 2018. Passed for 1,868 yards and 22 TDs, rushed for 1,346 yards and 21 TDs.

Bryce Williams RB 6-0 200 ⋆⋆⋆

From Cardinal Mooney (Sarasota, Fla.): Ranked 18th nationally among RBs. Rushed for 1,500 yards as a senior. Had offers from Iowa State and Purdue.

Jack York OT 6-6 300 ⋆⋆⋆

From First Baptist Academy (Dallas): Anchored an offense that averaged 40.7 points per game. Originally committed to Texas State, flipped to San Diego State, then flipped to Gophers.

Class of 2019 addition

Logan Richter, a defensive tackle from Perham, Minn., will enroll at the U in January and become part of the 2019 freshman class.

Stars: Composite ranking of several recruiting sites as tabulated by Sources: Star Tribune reporting,