Gopher Recruiting Targets Shine in Week Seven

Several Minnesota recruits shined in their seventh game of the 2004 season this past weekend. The following is a look at some of the performances by Minnesota commitments or recruiting targets.

Gopher verbal Nate Triplett of Delano (MN) High ran for 61 yards on 10 carries as they lost to Glencoe-Silver Lake 41-7. Triplett has 121 carries for 976 yards with 13 touchdowns (eleven rushing) and 54 tackles.


Gopher verbal Jay Thomas of Oakdale (MN) Tartan rushed 17 times for 208 yards to become the schools' all-time leader in career rushing yards as the Titans beat North St. Paul, 20-15. Thomas had touchdown runs of 74 and 66 yards in the second half to give him 17 touchdowns this season, 15 rushing, both Tartan records. Thomas has led the Titans to a 5-2 mark. He has excellent speed and finished third in the 100-yard (10.77) and 200-yard dash (21.49) in the state meet. Thomas was also a key reserve on the Titans team that that advanced to the Class AAAA boys basketball tournament. Thomas has carried the ball 101 times for 1,129 yards this season.


Chris Joppru, a 6-5, 225-pound tight end from Minnetonka (MN) High, caught three touchdown passes to help lead the Skippers, ranked fourth in the state, to a 48-15 win over Robbinsdale (MN) Cooper. His brother, Bennie, was a standout tight end for the Michigan Wolverines who is now with the NFL's Houston Texans. Minnetonka is off to a 6-1 start. Joppru is hearing from Michigan, Minnesota, Ball State, North Dakota State and South Dakota State. He has 22 catches for 361 yards this season.


Marcel Jones completed 17 of 35 passes as he threw for 246 yards and three touchdowns as the Spartans lost to St. Thomas Academy 41-28, falling to 3-4. Jones rushed 13 times for 41 yards. Jones, who was the first player to commit to the Gophers this year, has completed 99 of 212 passes for 1,529 yards with 15 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.


Gopher commitment Eric Decker, a 6-foot-3 wide receiver from Cold Springs (MN) Rocori, caught six passes for 76 yards and one touchdown, but it was not enough as the Spartans, ranked third in Class AAAA lost for the first time this season, fell to No. 6-ranked Sartell 28-21. The Spartans (5-1, 6-1) will be the No. 2 seed in the upcoming Section 8, Class 4A playoffs. Decker attended the Gopher football camp and became the fourth in-state player to pledge to Minnesota. Decker has 46 catches for 676 yards (14.7 yards per catch) and 12 receiving touchdowns this season. He is also a standout basketball player for Rocori.


Athletic Reggie Rock of St. Paul (MN) Cretin Derham Hall has moved to defensive back after starting the season at quarterback. Most observers feel that defensive back will be his primary spot in college. The Raiders defeated Edina 37-0 and will face Evangel Christian Academy of Louisiana on Fox Sports Thursday night. Rock, who is getting looks from Florida, Florida State, Minnesota, Miami, Michigan, Notre Dame and Wisconsin, has completed 49 of 92 passes for 848 yards and five touchdowns this season.


Junior wide receiver Kimuel Royston, who attended the Gopher football camp, had two catches for 25 yards. He also had three tackles as a defensive back as the Raiders improved to 5-2. Royston has 20 catches for 395 yards and five touchdowns this season.


Quinn Hendel, a 6-3, 215-pound running back from Plymouth (MN) Wayzata High,

had 55-yard touchdown run and finished with 213 yards on 26 carries as the Trojans defeated Armstrong 25-3 to improve to 6-1. Hendel has 154 carries for 1,015 yards and eight touchdowns.


Zach Larsen of Northfield scored 1- and 4-yard touchdowns as he helped lead the Raiders to a 36-8 win over Holy Angels. He finished with six carries for 21 yards and also plays linebacker. The Raiders have outscored their opponents 244-32 this season. Larsen has 36 carries for 192 yards and five touchdowns.


Junior quarterback Adam Weber of Arden Hills (MN) Mounds View completed four of nine passes for 31 yards and one touchdown, as the Mustangs defeated Forest Lake 24-21. He is the son of former Gophers player Bobby Weber. Weber has completed 61 of 117 passes for 1,074 yards and 11 touchdowns this season.



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