Tony Mortensen talks about his commitment to U

6-4 senior quarterback Tony Mortensen of Hutchinson (MN) High has committed to Minnesota. He is a three-year starter for the Tigers who are one of the state's top programs. He will join high school teammate Lydon Murtha, who previously committed to Minnesota, on the Gopher roster next season.

Tony Mortensen passed for 1000 yards and rushed for 500 yards last season. He threw for 12 touchdowns and ran in six as well. Mortensen is 12 of 18 passing for 152 yards and one touchdown and has rushed 19 times for 92 yards this year in two games.


Mortensen had told me that Minnesota was the big favorite at a scrimmage last month. He called Minnesota "a good program that is headed in the right direction."



I spoke with Mortensen this evening after the commitment he made after the Gophers' win 48-7. He had not planned on committing this early in the season, but felt that he was ready to make his decision.


"I had not planned on this, but I'd been thinking about this for awhile.


Mortensen said that the Troy State contest was the first game that he has attended this season, but he will try to make the remaining home games.  He has been impressed with the Gophers' play so far this season.


"I think that they are making progress. They look good through two games, but I want to see how they do in the Big Ten.


The Gophers will lose starting quarterback Asad Abdul-Khaliq and backup Benji Kamrath to graduation, leaving them with just redshirt freshman Bryan Cupito and true freshman Pete Martinsen. Minnesota has said that they would recruit two or three quarterbacks this season. Mortensen said that he was not concerned about the gophers recruiting other players at the position.


"I figured that they would recruit that position with losing two seniors. I like the competition. It makes me work harder."


The recruitment of several quarterbacks means that one or more of the newcomer could undergo a position change in their career, but Mortensen is not concerned about that.


"The Gophers want me as a QB. Nebraska originally wanted me as a tight end, but towards the end, they were looking at me as a quarterback. Colorado was looking at me more as a tight end."


Mortensen said that having high school teammate Lydon Murtha playing alongside him was a factor in his decision.


"It is nice. It was another plus. It's nice to know someone coming in."


Hutchinson was ranked number one in the state in Class AAA before losing Friday to Farmington at home. Mortensen admitted that he was disappointed with the loss.


"We set big goals for ourselves, but we have a lot of young guys who don't understand what it takes at times. An early loss keeps your intensity level high, so hopefully we can learn from this."


Mortensen is an excellent student with a 3.7 GPA and he posted a 23 on the SAT. He is undecided about his major.


"Sports medicine or sports management are possibilities. Something in sports. I'd like to maybe get into coaching."


Mortensen is the sixth player to commit to Minnesota and is the second QB to verbal to the Gophers, joining Johnny Carlson of Minnetonka (MN) Hopkins.



Gopher Illustrated Top Stories