Willie VanDeSteeg becomes latest FB commitment

6-4, 245 pound defensive end Willie VanDeSteeg of Glencoe Silver-Lake has committed to the Gophers. VanDeSteeg was named first-team All-State by the AP and All-Metro by the Star Tribune. He had three sacks to lead the Panthers to a 21-0 win over Delano in the Class AAA championship game of the Prep Bowl. VanDeSteeg finished with 18 sacks this season. Glencoe-Silver Lake held teams to just 200 yards per game and no postseason opponent scored more than ten points in the six playoff games.

Glencoe-Silver Lake head coach Dave Dose told me that Glen Mason visited the school yesterday and had dinner with Willie VanDeSteeg's family, where Willie decided to verbal to the Gophers.

Minnesota was not the only school to make an appearance at VanDeSteeg's high school yesterday. Colorado and Minnesota State-Mankato also made it to the high school.

Dose said that most of the NCC schools, such as North Dakota, North Dakota State, South Dakota State and Mankato had expressed lots of interest.

Dose said that Minnesota was calling before his strong senior season, especially after a strong performance at the Gophers' summer football camp.

"They used Willie as an example of how to do certain drills. An offensive coach was bragging about an offensive lineman who had played well. Coach Mason had the offensive lineman go up against Willie and Willie drove him back. The offensive coach got upset, so they went up against each other again. Willie drove him back again and really impressed the coaches."

Dose thinks that VanDeSteeg has a bright future.

"He's a big-framed kid with excellent quickness. He could put on 30 to 50 pounds and he is lightning fast. I think that he is a Division I defensive end. The Gophers were looking at him as a tight end or defensive end."

Dose said that VanDeSteeg will take the ACT on Saturday and made the honor roll this past semester.

VanDeSteeg is the tenth verbal commitment for the Gophers, who will have plenty of players coming for visits the next two weekends.

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