Matt DeGeest talks about his Minnesota commitment

6-6 Matt DeGeest of Harrisburg (S.D.) High became the third player to commit to the Gopher program when he accepted the scholarship offer that Minnesota had made to him last week. However, it was not until his junior season that he decided that football, not basketball, was the sport for him.

Matt DeGeest said that he wanted to be a basketball player, but he quit growing vertically and got bigger strength-wise. It is not hard to tell who his favorite basketball team is, as his e-mail name mentions Duke. However, the two-sport standout will concentrate on football in college.


"I want to play tight end, but they told me that I'll probably be looked at defensive end as well. I just want to play."


DeGeest attended the Northern Iowa, Minnesota and South Dakota football camps. He had been recruited hard by Division II schools North Dakota, North Dakota State, South Dakota, South Dakota State, Northern Iowa, Winona State, Minnesota Duluth, Concordia and Morehead State.


Minnesota was the first Division I school to offer him, although DeGeest felt that other schools were close to offering him a scholarship.


"I liked the coaches and facilities at Minnesota. I like the academic situation for the athletes. I felt comfortable. It is a big program that is going to get bigger."


DeGeest plans on majoring in secondary education and he would like to be a college coach.

His older brother, Derek, played the past two seasons at South Dakota State, before transferring to the University of Sioux Falls. Derek is a defensive end who is 6-4 and 270 pounds.


His Saturdays will be busy between University of Sioux Falls and Gophers games.


"I plan to attend as many games as I can, between watching my brother play."


DeGeest likes playing tight end, but as one of the team's biggest players, he did not get to catch many passes and spent most of the time blocking last season.


He said that the offensive line is back, but the team, which finished 8-3 last season, will have a new quarterback. They have backs with experience, but he is the lone returning starter back on the defensive line.


Harrisburg, which is five miles from Sioux Falls, lost to eventual state runner-up Parkston in the state semifinals. They open the season August 29th against Lennox.



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