Since verbally committing in April 2018 to play football at the University of Minnesota, not a day has passed when Rosemount’s Jonathan Mann woke up and didn’t think about signing his national letter of intent.

Still, a new sensation overtook Mann as he rose Wednesday morning.

“I had a different feeling, like, I was actually going to be a Gopher,” Mann said. “Now it’s finally coming true and it’s pretty crazy.”

The first player from the class of 2020 to give a verbal commitment to Gophers coach P.J. Fleck, Mann was given a three-star rating from the composite of major national recruiting services.

The 6-3, 205-pound Mann considers himself “a big, physical receiver, and I like to beat up on cornerbacks.” He chose Minnesota over Arkansas, Iowa and Iowa State. Mann is the fifth-highest rated recruit from Minnesota and one of just three in-state players in this Gophers class.

Watching the Gophers go from 7-6 last season to 10-2 with an Outback Bowl game still ahead Jan. 1 proved extra gratifying for Mann. He heard from doubters last year, including his own family. After Minnesota’s 55-31 loss at Illinois, Mann said his father asked, “Does that make you feel different? Do you want to stay committed?”

Mann replied, “This excites me more because I get to be part of the building process.”

Referring to Minnesota’s success this season, Mann said, “I’m not really surprised based on the history coach Fleck has.”

Watching the Gophers defeat teams with a strong aerial attack featuring receivers Tyler Johnson and Rashod Bateman impressed Rosemount coach Jeff Erdmann.

Initially a skeptic, Erdmann said Mann, “laid out all the reasons he wanted to go to the University of Minnesota and one of the things he listed was great quarterback play. I challenged him on that. But now … it’s playing out really well.”