Gophers football diary

In a week when the Gophers got their third commitment in football, they were still pursuing other athletes that were getting attention from other big-time programs. Here's what a few of those athletes are saying.

Top Wisconsin Athlete Likes Noles And Canes
by Dave Peters of, May 20, 2004 at 10:22am ET

The top player in the state of Wisconsin is starting to rack up the offers, including one from Florida State. This northern standout is very high on both Florida State and Miami.

"I have six offers so far," Travis Beckum of Oak Creek (WI.) said. "Ohio State, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Florida State, Minnesota and Arkansas are my offers."

Beckum, who grew up a fan of both Florida State and Miami, is very high on both programs.

"Florida State told my coach that I have a scholarship," he said. "I think they are recruiting me for rush-end. They are a good football program with a lot of success. Florida State is one of my top teams on my list."

"Miami came by my school this month also," he said. "They haven't offered yet but Coach Randy Shannon said that they are going to recruit me hard. Miami is a great program and they are also one of my top teams."

The Wisconsin standout will take all of his official visits after his season and then decide on the school of his choice.

What plans does the 6-foot-5 and 220 athlete have for the summer?

"I'm not attending any camps," he said. "I plan of lifting a lot of weights though. Right now I bench around 340 pounds. I want to get up to 235 pounds for my playing weight."

Beckum, who could also play offense at the next level, had 40 solo tackles, 12 sacks and eight interceptions as a junior while being named first-team all-state.

Bass Up To 16 Offers
by Mike Frank of, May 19, 2004 at 10:43am ET

Jackson, Mich. is home to one of the more exciting players of 2004, quarterback Antonio Bass. The 6-2, 195-pound Bass can hurt teams with both his arm and his feet. He's an athletic quarterback that has gotten plenty of attention from college coaches, including 16 offers.

"I'm not sure what my stats were," said Antonio Bass. "I know I ran a 4.4 at the Nike camp, but I don't remember my stats from last year."

His stats were good enough for many top schools to offer him. "I have 16 offers already," said Bass. "Mostly Big 10 schools. Michigan, Michigan State, Iowa, Penn State, Purdue, Nebraska, Virginia Tech, Syracuse, Florida, Illinois--those are what I can remember."

As with any athletic quarterback, the question becomes where does he play? Bass says he wants to be recruited as a quarterback. "I want to go as a quarterback," Bass said. "I think I can play quarterback at the next level. If it doesn't work out for me there, I'll make the switch to another position, wide receiver maybe, no problem.

"Most teams are telling me I can play whatever I want--kind of recruiting me as an athlete, but I'll get a shot at quarterback."

Bass says he's made some summer plans as well. "I don't know if I'll go to any camps or not this year," said Bass. "If I don't, I'll probably go visit some schools this summer. I went to Ohio State last year. I've seen Michigan. I've seen Michigan State as well. I'll probably go check out some other schools."

Michigan has been rumored as his top school. We asked Bass if that rumor is true. "They are pretty high up there," said Bass of the Wolverines. "Florida, Virginia Tech, Syracuse, Michigan State, there are others. I'm wide open right now, really. I don't know when I'll decide. I'll probably take some visits before deciding."

Bass also appears to be fully qualified with a self-reported 3.0 in his core and he said he scored a 21 on his A.C.T.

Minnesota has also offered him.

Gophers Land Third FB Commitment
by Chris Monter of, May 19, 2004 at 3:58am ET

Six-foot-3, 220-pound Nate Triplett of Delano became the third player to verbal to Minnesota. Triplett made an unofficial visit to Minnesota on Friday and made his commitment earlier this week. Iowa, Nebraska and Notre Dame recently visited his school.

Triplett played both sides of the field and helped lead the Tigers to a 10-4 mark and the Class AAA championship game. They lost to Glencoe-Silver Lake 21-0 in the Metrodome. He rushed 11 times for 54 yards and caught two passes for 21 yards in the loss. Triplett also had six tackles.

Triplett rushed 155 times for 1,355 yards (8.7 yards per carry) and 17 rushing touchdowns. He caught 28 passes for 485 yards (17.4 yards per catch) and eight more scores.

He is also shining on the baseball diamond as a catcher-pitcher for the 10-4 Tigers.

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