Hartmann Accepts Preferred Walk-On Offer

With the class of 2012 filling up quickly, Jerry Kill and his staff have been looking to add talented walk-ons to the roster. One such player is Andover (Minn.) defensive lineman Tyler Hartmann. Hartmann recently accepted a preferred walk-on offer to become a member of the Gophers.

A lifelong Gopher fan, Hartmann, a 6-foot-3, 250-pound defensive end, jumped at the chance to be a preferred walk-on at the University of Minnesota. Hartmann spoke with tight end coach Robert Reaves about the opportunity.

"He basically talked about how they'd love to have me on the team as a preferred walk-on," said Hartmann. "It's tough to give me an offer when I was unable to play my senior season. They really liked me at their camps though, which essentially gave me the opportunity."

The contact with Minnesota had been limited since Hartmann attended two camps this past summer.

"I went to their lineman camp in the summer and I attended their Friday Night Lights camp," he said. "I hadn't heard from them until last week."

After an ACL tear early in the season, the camp performances were a large part of Minnesota's interest in Hartmann as a walk-on.

"I tore my ACL in the second game and got the surgery," he said. "I'm about four months out and everything is well ahead of schedule."

Although a very serious injury, Hartmann is progressing through the rehab process and should be ready for fall camp.

"It's about a six-month recovery time for the injury to be back in full contact, so that shouldn't be a problem," he said.

Hartmann will be ready to suit up for the Gophers in the fall but will look into what the university has to offer this weekend on a visit to Minneapolis.

"I am going to be going on an unofficial visit this Saturday, so I can get an opportunity to get a closer look at everything and meet with the coaches."

Although he has already visited Minnesota, Hartmann is looking forward to this weekend.

"Just the fact that I can enjoy everything so much more because that is where I'm going to school," he said when asked what he was eager to see while on campus. "I'm especially excited to meet with the coaches now that they know I'm going to be a part of the team."

This excitement is the result of a life-long dream to become a Gopher.

"My parents played for them, so it has been ingrained in me my entire life—a dream come true."

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