Safety waiting for offers

Top Division I schools like Notre Dame, Michigan and Ohio State are showing an interest in a Twin Cities safety, but Minnesota is not one of them ... yet. Still, if and when it happens, it sounds like the Gophers would be a strong frontrunner.

Most high school kids have aspirations of being offered a scholarship to attend their hometown university. This is especially true when you have grown up your whole life cheering for that particular school. Such is the case for safety Jim Markwardt, a 6-foot-2, 205-pounder from Roseville High School. He hasn't gotten any offers but one he'd like to receive is one from the "U."

"I hope Minnesota offers. I have always liked them since I was young. It's close to home and they have a beautiful campus." said Markwardt.

So far, most of the interest in Jim has come from Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Michigan, Akron, Boston College, Iowa, Ohio State, and Nebraska. He is very open to schools that are interested in him. His early list of favorites includes: Minnesota, Notre Dame, Michigan, Nebraska, and Oregon.

The 2003 first-team All-Suburban East Conference selection tallied 97 tackles and three interceptions during his junior campaign. He is also pretty good on the hardwood, averaging 13 PPG and being named All-Conference for Roseville. He was averaging 18 PPG but he suffered a severely sprained ankle that is still bothering him now into track season. He is throwing the shot put and his best toss is 38 feet, 7 inches.

"I sprained three ligaments, Markwardt said. "One on the inside of the ankle and two on the outside; it's coming around. I am almost fully recovered."

Q: What are some of your goals heading into the 2004 season?

A: "I want to win states and the conference. I would like to have more tackles and interceptions then I had last year. I want to make the All-Conference and All-State teams also."

Q: How do you play, what's your best asset?

A: " I am tough. I'm a hard hitter. I am smarter than I am quick. I rely on anticipation and my ability to read and react."

Q: What are the main criteria for you when looking at schools?

A: "Location. I would like to be within six hours or so of home if possible. Strong academics are important to me. The community and the environment I prefer more of a city-type atmosphere."

Jim helped lead Roseville to a 5-3 record last season. He has a 2.6 GPA on a 4.0 scale and has scored 21 on the ACT. In the weight room, Jim bench presses 230 pounds and squats 325. He has not been timed in the forty. He is going to be attending the Minnesota Preps Combine in Woodbury, Minnesota and may also attend the Nike Combine in Iowa.

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