Gopher fans will be most familiar with one official visitor, Andre McDonald, due to that fact that he was a Minnesota commit for over four months before committing to Vanderbilt.
When former Vanderbilt wide receiver coach Chris Beatty joined Tim Beckman's new staff at Illinois, McDonald began to look at other schools. His first official visit since the coaching change will be to Minnesota.
The Gophers have a legitimate shot at landing McDonald, again, due to his relationships with other Minnesota commits. Future Gopher Philip Nelson told GoldenSports.net, "I was supposedly the first person he told that he was taking a visit to Minnesota."
With only two receivers in the 2012 class, McDonald would add legitimate, depth as well as great size, speed and hands, to the position.
DT – Roland Johnson, (Butler C.C., Kans.)
Losing experienced defensive starters like Anthony Jacobs and Brandon Kirksey have left little depth at tackle for the Gophers. With a number of talented interior linemen in the 2012 class, the future is bright on the line but Minnesota is looking for a player who can fill that void.
JUCO transfer Roland Johnson has ideal size at 6-foot-2 and 295 pounds to play in the middle of Minnesota's defensive line. He is strong in the run defense, totaling 32 tackles to go with six tackles-for-loss and 3.5 sacks. The Gophers have a great shot at landing Johnson after his official visit this weekend.
ATH – DeAnte Lawrence, (Prattville, Ala.)
Although he is still committed to Southern Miss., DeAnte Lawrence is exploring his options when former Golden Eagles head coach Larry Fedora left to take the same position at UNC.
Lawrence, a versatile athlete, played on both sides of the ball for Prattville, the Class 6A state champs. The 6-foot-1, 195-pounder amassed 251 yards rushing on 39 carries with one touchdown as a running back last season.
Like many of the prospects already committed to Minnesota, Lawrence could provide versatility and play numerous positions if he flips his commitment to the Golden Gophers.
ATH – Duke Anyanwu, (Blaine, Minn.)
The only player visiting this weekend without a Minnesota offer, Blaine (Minn.) athlete Duke Anyanwu is hoping the Gopher coaches will give him good news.
"I'm probably looking forward to hearing if they're going to offer or not the most," Anyanwu said when asked about the official visit. "Also I'm looking forward to seeing some of the guys that are going to be there."
The 6-foot-4, 200-pounder is being recruited by Minnesota as an H-back. Although Anyanwu has never played the position, he certainly has the athleticism to create mismatches at the position. As Blaine's starting quarterback this season, Anyanwu rushed for 1,130 yards and 18 touchdowns while passing for 926 yards and five scores.
If an offer is extended, there is little doubt Anyanwu will end up in the Maroon and Gold.