How did your junior season go?rnI thought I had a good season. I got to play with a lot of new kids that moved up, and I made a lot of friends. I wanted to play more defense than I did. We were short at the quarterback position, and the coaches wanted me to play quarterback and not get hurt on defense. I only got to play four or five games on defense. I didn’t want to do it but I did what the team needed. I ended up being fine with it.
What do you do best at the quarterback position?rnI last played quarterback – probably in fourth grade. It was a lot different. As a quarterback, you are trying not to get hit, but the way I play football, I run toward people and try to run them over – two different mindsets. I was definitely best in the Wildcat draws – getting out and running.
What was your role on defense, and what did you do well there?rnI play inside linebacker and defensive end. I still made about 60 tackles playing four – four and a half games on defense. I wish I would have got more touches on that side of the ball. I think my defense strengths are open-field tackling, getting off linemen, and pursuing the ball.
What do you think your role will be next year?rnWe have two solid quarterbacks coming back. I shouldn’t have to worry about playing quarterback. I think I will be inside linebacker and running back.
What did you do during the winter and spring seasons?rnI played basketball. Next year will be my third year starting. I played my freshman year but didn’t start. In the last two years, I started at power forward. I think I am sitting at 950 career points. In the spring, I run track. I run the 100 and 4X100 and throw the shot put.
What football skills have you been looking to improve?rnI want to be able to cover inside slot receivers and be able to keep up with them. On offense, I am working on my lateral movement and being able to break away.
What have you been doing this summer?rnLast track season, I put on about 15 pounds in the spring, but my 100-meter time went down half a second. My goal is to put on muscle mass but keep my speed. We have speed and strength every morning. We lift for about an hour and a half. Then every other day, some of the guys go over to the field, and we work on passing routes, and I work with the linebackers, doing drills.
Talk to me about the recruiting process.rnFor me, it was quick. I went to a couple of camps and a couple of the prepredzone combines. Once I got to the Minnesota camp, I got an offer that day. I committed two days later. I knew where I wanted to go right away.
What made you decide to pull the trigger on committing to the Gophers so quickly?rnI have been a Gophers fan my entire life. Ever since PJ Fleck took over, he completely flipped the program around. When he talks to you, he makes you want to destroy people. Their culture and their coaches are great. I have toured the campus multiple times – their facilities are amazing. They have a bunch of awesome guys and coaches. I never really considered anyone else. I knew since I was thirteen years old that if the Gophers offered me and gave me a full scholarship – no matter what – I was going to that school.
Where do the Gophers see you playing?rnInside linebacker
You only left a little time for other schools, but what other schools were interested in you?rnI got messages from Yale, Michigan, Penn State, Notre Dame, Rutgers, and Wisconsin.
Your brother (Ethan) was offered a PWO spot with the Gophers. Talk to me about how going through the recruiting process with your brother helped you.rnWe agreed to play with each other in college. Ethan had (a smaller program offer), but he knew I was going to go to the Gophers, so we both ‘got in the boat.’
How did the Gophers’ coaches react to you not playing much defense?rnWhen I told Coach Rossi that – he was kind of mad about it, he wanted to see some film of me on defense, but I told him how our team is structured, I had to do it.