Gophers Expecting Big Visit Weekend

With many of the state's top players visiting this weekend for the Minnesota junior day, head coach Jerry Kill has the opportunity to lay the foundation for the 2012 class. Here is a rundown of prospects that have confirmed their intentions to attend this weekend.

"We all know that you win games not with coaches, but you win it with players and recruiting," head coach Jerry Kill said at the National Signing Day press conference. You've got to have good players. There's no question about that. "We got to continued to that and do a great in the state of Minnesota and keep those good ones here."

Coach Kill will get his chance this weekend to impress many of the state's top football prospects. The state of Minnesota will be well represented this weekend staring with a trio of teammates from traditional powerhouse Cretin-Derham Hall.

Monster nose-tackle Jonathan Harden (6-0, 300) will be joined by running back Kendrik Brewster (5-11, 185) and wide receiver Taylor Montero (6-4, 215). None of the three listed claim a Minnesota offer but that could certainly change over the weekend.

Teammates Andrew Larson (5-11, 194) and Drake Michaelson (6-1, 205) from Eden Prairie (Minn.) will be in attendance this weekend. Neither Larson nor Michaelson have a scholarship offer but they are both drawing heavy interest from schools around the nation.

Minnetonka (Minn.) Minnetonka cornerback Charles Webb (5-11, 175) will be on campus this weekend. Webb has already attended a junior day at the University of Iowa and has junior day invites from Wisconsin and Michigan State.

The instate offensive line class this year is very deep and one of the most sought after prospects is Mendota Heights (Minn.) St. Thomas Academy offensive guard Isaac Hayes. Hayes has seven total offers but is still waiting on an offer from Minnesota. "I'm really excited to meet the coaches and see what the U has to offer," the 6-foot-2, 265-pound Hayes said about his impending visit to Minnesota.

The newest 2012 commit — Minnetonka (Minn.) Hopkins wide receiver Andre McDonald — will be in town. McDonald committed on his last visit to Minnesota and should help the Gopher coaches with recruiting this weekend.

Edina (Minn.) Nick Rallis may also be in attendance this weekend. Rallis was the first Gopher commitment of the 2012 class.

The lone 2011 prospect that will be in attendance this weekend is Grand Rapids (Mich.) defensive end Carlton Johnson. The 6-foot-3, 240-pound JUCO prospect told recruiting analyst Scott Eklund, that he has been in contact with Minnesota since National Signing Day. Johnson doesn't have a Minnesota offer yet, but admitted he would likely sign with the Golden Gophers if an offer was extended.

Perhaps the top overall prospect in state — Blue Earth (Minn.) offensive tackle Jonah Pirsig — has scheduled an upcoming visit to Minnesota but that won't take place until Tuesday. The mammoth 6-foot-9, 295-pounder is rated as a three-star prospect by and holds offers from Ohio State, Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota. With Pirsig visiting mid-week, it will allow the entire Gopher coaching staff to focus their attention on the highly sought-after lineman.

Gopher Illustrated Top Stories