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Hopkins receiver back with U

By Phil Miller, Star Tribune, 01/26/12, 10:20PM CST


The Royals' Andre McDonald, the state's top recruit, agreed to join the Gophers -- once again.

Wide receiver Andre McDonald of Hopkins (12) recommitted to the Gophers on Thursday.

Philip Nelson is known for passing the football and Maxx Williams for catching it. Here's one more Big Ten-level talent that duo possesses, too: recruiting.

Nelson and Williams, the Mankato West quarterback and Waconia tight end already committed to playing at Minnesota next year, joined Hopkins receiver Andre McDonald at the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl in Phoenix earlier this month and took the opportunity to lobby their fellow Minnesotan to join them as Gophers.

On Thursday, McDonald agreed, informing Gophers coach Jerry Kill and his staff that he will sign a letter of intent with Minnesota next Wednesday, the first day prep athletes can formally accept scholarship offers.

McDonald, who had 1,253 yards and 17 touchdowns for the Royals during his senior year, is considered the No. 1 recruit in the state by rivals.com.

The 6-3, 200-pound receiver said in an interview on KARE-TV that Kill and his assistant coaches "just kept such a firm relationship with me, kept talking to me, showed me that they're always there, no matter what," even after he withdrew his original commitment to the Gophers last summer.

McDonald chose the Gophers last February, then changed his mind in favor of Vanderbilt over the summer. But when the assistant coach who recruited him left the school, McDonald reconsidered again, visiting Minnesota and UCLA this month before making up his mind.

McDonald joins at least six other Minnesota high school players who are expected to sign with the Gophers next week, including Nelson and Williams.

Edina safety Nick Rallis, Blue Earth offensive lineman Jonah Pirsig, Lakeville quarterback Mitch Leidner and St. Thomas Academy lineman Isaac Hayes also have committed to be part of Kill's class of 2012.

Division I recruits

Duke Anyanwu Blaine Senior QB Minnesota Yes
Matt Arends Prior Lake Senior WR Princeton Yes
Tavaughn Blair Hopkins Senior SS Northern Iowa Yes
Cal Bloom Osseo Senior TE Central Florida Yes
Nick Carr Totino-Grace Senior OL South Dakota State Yes
Kevin Carroll Edina Senior OL Northern Iowa Yes
Paddy Clancy St. Thomas Academy Senior DB Dartmouth Yes
Breion Creer Benilde-St. Margaret's Senior DT Northern Iowa Yes
Nick Davidson Eden Prairie Senior OT Stanford Yes
Rob Diane Robbinsdale Cooper *RCC Junior DE South Dakota State Yes
Cedric Dicke Cannon Falls Senior LB Minnesota Yes
Karmichael Dunbar Prior Lake Senior DL Louisianna Yes
Isaac Fruechte Caledonia *RCTC Sophomore WR Minnesota Yes
Joel Fuxa Minnetonka Senior TE Drake Yes
Jonathan Harden Cretin-Derham Hall Senior DT Western Michigan Yes
Tyler Hartmann Andover Senior DE Minnesota Yes
Isaac Hayes St. Thomas Academy Senior OL/DL Minnesota Yes
Cody Hazelette Simley Senior LB/TE Northern Illinois Yes
Kyle Hughes Minneapolis Washburn Senior WR/DB Eastern Michigan Yes
D.J. Hebert Osseo Senior QB Northern Iowa Yes
Cavonte Johnson Edina Senior DB Minnesota Yes
Will Johnson Osseo Senior TE West Virginia Yes
Zack Johnson Eastview Senior OL North Dakota State Yes
Paul Kaczor St. Cloud Tech Senior OL Harvard Yes
Brian Labat Detroit Lakes Senior RB North Dakota Yes
Andrew Larson Eden Prairie Senior RB Harvard Yes
Brandon Larson Bemidji Senior LB North Dakota Yes
Ben Lauer Wayzata Senior OL Minnesota Yes
Mitch Leidner Lakeville South Senior QB Minnesota Yes
Andre McDonald Hopkins Senior WR Minnesota Yes
Nate Meixell Lake Crystal-Wellcome Memorial Senior LB South Dakota State Yes
Nate Meyer Rocori Senior QB South Dakota State Yes
Drake Michaelson Eden Prairie Senior LB Wofford Yes
Rossevelt Morisset Thief River Falls Senior WR Southeastern Louisiana Yes
Andy Moritko Totino-Grace Senior DB South Dakota State Yes
Philip Nelson Mankato West Senior QB Minnesota Yes
Brett Pierce Holy Angels Senior DL North Dakota State Yes
Jonah Pirsig Blue Earth Senior OL Minnesota Yes
Nick Rallis Edina Senior S Minnesota Yes
Taj Rich Robbinsdale Cooper Senior LB North Dakota Yes
Zach Riopelle Warren-Alvarado-Oslo Senior LB North Dakota State Yes
Kasey Robinson Breck Senior WR Drake Yes
Chase Roullier Burnsville Senior OL Wyoming Yes
E.J. Welch Mesabi East *MRCC Freshman DL North Dakota Yes
Lucas Wiborg DeLaSalle Senior OG Cornell Yes
Evan Williams DeLaSalle *IWCC Freshman RB Northern Iowa Yes
Maxx Williams Waconia Senior TE Minnesota Yes
Carey Woods Bemidji Senior WR North Dakota State Yes

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