Rhoda Picking up Interest

Cretin-Derham Hall (Minn.) junior quarterback Conor Rhoda has recently seen his stock rise after taking over the starting job part way into his junior year. With a talented receiver in James Onwualu, Rhoda has found success early in his career. GoldenSports.net was able to get the latest from this talented quarterback.

"I have junior day invites from Northern Iowa, North Dakota, and North Dakota State," Rhoda said. "I have talked with Wyoming and they really want me to come out on June 10 for the day to throw for the offensive coordinator."

"They are excited after seeing my film as they run a similar spread offense to Cretin-Derham Hall," he said. "I've had continued communication with the Gophers and Michigan State. Brad Salem at Michigan State wants to come out this spring for one of their practices or a game.

"Their QB coach was not at their junior day and so it wasn't worth me going out for that. I received a hand written note from Michigan asking me to come out to a camp this summer and Iowa State asked to come out as well. I have lots of other interest from other schools like Winona State."

Rhoda was one of a limited number of quarterbacks who attended the Gophers' Junior Day.

"It was good," he said. "I was really impressed with their facilities. I've been to Iowa, Wisconsin and Michigan State already and Minnesota's facilities really stand out."

Rhoda was also able to talk one on one with the coaches at the Junior Day.

"I talked with Coach Limegrover and Coach Zebrowski," he said. "Limegrover told me he heard really good things about me from Coach Scanlan at Cretin-Derham Hall. He said they would like me attend some of their practices this spring and sit in on the quarterback meetings. Coach Z said the same thing. I definitely will get over there this spring to sit in on some of the quarterback meetings."

Cretin has produced many great players at all positions but quarterback in particular is steeped in tradition.

"It is helpful because I am coached by some of the best high school coaches who have a proven track record with developing good quarterbacks. It also means a lot that I took over this year in game five as the starting quarterback because it is Cretin-Derham Hall and those decisions are not made lightly.

"I can't say I don't feel pressure about being compared to some of the past quarterbacks, but I find it to be very motivating. I spent the past two days with Chris Weinke, refining my skills, and I am not sure I would have found that opportunity had it not been for the Cretin-Derham Hall connection."

Besides Weinke, Rhoda has had the opportunity to talk with some other recent Cretin greats.

"I met Chris Walsh last weekend and it was fun to talk to him about Cretin-Derham Hall football and future opportunities," he said. "I recently talked with Mark Alt about his thoughts on Minnesota. He was a senior when I was a freshman and I spent a lot of time throwing with him my first year at CDH. I have a lot of respect for Mark."

Working with a former Heisman winner is a unique opportunity and Conor has learned a lot about being a quarterback.

"Chris preaches footwork," he said. "You throw with your legs, it is not about throwing as hard as you can. I spent about four hours each day—two hours in the morning and two in the afternoon—throwing one-on-one with Chris. He gave me feedback with each throw.

"I also spent time in the classroom with him, reviewing my film from the throwing sessions. We talked about defensive coverage's and where to attack the weak spots. Chris builds on a lot of the principles that the CDH coaches have taught me. Cretin-Derham Hall's offense has the complexity of a college's offense."

Outside of football, Rhoda has also been taking steps to ensure that he is as prepared as he can be.

"I am interested in law school and so for my undergrad I will major in history or possibly government," he said. "I am taking an AP government class right now that is really piquing my interest in politics."

Gopher fans have seen "package deals" in the past and with Rhoda and Onwuala having spent four years together at Cretin but with James being recruited so heavily it appears they will not be a "package deal."

"Right now, we seem to be going down our own paths with the recruiting process, but I remember when James and I went to the Iowa camp together last summer—we attended a game at Iowa too this past fall together," he said. "The Iowa coach commented on the chemistry we had on the field together. James and I are good friends and it would be fun to continue our football careers together."

Rhoda is also receiving interest from the Gophers baseball program. He was a starting pitcher last year as well as playing outfield. The talented athlete said that he is more of a football guy and will likely not pursue baseball unless he is able to also play football.

Conor Rhoda Profile


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