Troy Evangelist picks Columbia over Gophers

Troy Evangelist, a 6-foot-7, 230-pound tight end and defensive end from Mahtomedi (MN) High, has committed to Columbia. Evangelist received an offer from Minnesota and visited the campus last weekend. Evangelist emerged as a prospect on the Gophers' watch list as he led the Zephyrs to a 9-1 record and a Classic Suburban championship title. They lost to South St. Paul 30-6 in the Class AAAA Section 3 Finals.

Troy Evangelist committed to Columbia on Tuesday. The Gophers received a ocmmitment from Matt Stommes, a tight end/defensive end from Eden Valley-Watkins who also visited Minnesota last weekend. Evangelist felt that Columbia was the place for him.

"It was a combination of things. I had a good feeling about Columbia. It was a gut feeling."

Evangelist was hosted by freshman John Carlson and attended last Saturday's Minnesota-Michigan State basketball game with his mother and stepfather.

Evangelist visited Columbia last week and he has narrowed his list of schools to Minnesota and the Ivy League school by eliminating Colgate and Buffalo.

Evangelist caught 20 passes for 321 yards and five touchdowns this season. He had 30 tackles as a defensive end, with five sacks and one fumble recovery.

Head coach Wally Malstrom has nothing but good things to say about one of his captains.

"He is very athletic. He is a good receiver who does a good job at fighting off blockers. He makes acrobatic catches. He is very likeable and led our team in sacks," Malstrom said.

Evangelist said that his strengths are blocking and catching the ball.

Columbia made an in-school visit and has done a financial plan with his family. He visited the campus this past weekend and it offered him the equivalent of a scholarship (Ivy League schools do not give out the regular sport or academic scholarships). Four of their coaches have met with the family and they had told Troy that he is their number one recruit and would play as a freshman.

Minnesota offered him a scholarship two weeks ago after returning from Columbia, but assistant coach Moe Ankeny calls him on a regular basis and has mentioned scholarship possibility.

Evangelist is the Mahtomedi basketball team captain this season and they are off to a 6-11 start. He is the Zephyrs' lone double-figure scorer as he is averaging 14.5 points per game. Evangelist has scored in double figures in 14 of the first 17 games with a season-high 22 points against Brooklyn Center. He scored 16 points to lead all scorers in their 52-39 win over Henry Sibley Friday night. The Zephyrs finished 8-19 last season, losing to North Branch in the Class AAA, Section 6 first round.

Evangelist scored a 27 on the ACT and has a 3.6 GPA. He is unsure of a possible major, but electrical engineering is a possibility.

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