J.C. Hassenauer, a 6-3, 295-pound center who will be a senior at East Ridge High School in Woodbury this fall, has given a verbal commitment to play for reigning Division I national football champion Alabama. Hassenauer recently attended camp at Alabama and impressed the coaches enough to be offered a scholarship.
“That is where he’s always wanted to go,” East Ridge coach Mike Pendino said. “He’s worked awfully hard to accomplish this.” Before the camp, Hassenauer had been weighing offers from Minnesota and Vanderbilt and had received interest from more than a dozen other BCS programs.
He had been making a name for himself after being selected the offensive line MVP at three spring combines: the Adidas combine in Detroit, the Nike combine in Memphis and the Rivals.com combine in Chicago.
Hassenauer is the second East Ridge football player to recently give a verbal commitment to a Division I school. George Behr, a 6-5, 235-pound tight end, committed to Rutgers on June 7. A third East Ridge player, sophomore quarterback Seth Green, recently received a scholarship offer from Minnesota.
• Eastview grad Joey King signed his tender to play for the Gophers men’s basketball team. The 6-9 King transferred from Drake, where he averaged 6.9 points and 2.9 rebounds last year, earning Missouri Valley Conference All-Freshman team honors.
• Gophers women’s basketball coach Pam Borton announced that junior captain and former Lakeville North star guard Rachel Banham underwent successful surgery for patellar tendinitis earlier this week. Banham, a first-team All-Big Ten selection last season, ranked 14th nationally with a 20.7 points per game average.