Andy Brinkhaus Talks About Gopher Commit

Andy Brinkhaus, a 6-foot-3, 257-pound left tackle from Bloomington (MN) Jefferson, became one of the first players to commit to Minnesota along with Elk River tackle Justin Jenson. Brinkhaus is the younger brother of Tony, who will start this season for the Gophers. Andy led Jefferson to an 8-2 mark, losing to eventual state champion Minnetonka in the second round of the Class AAAAA, Section 2 quarterfinals. caught up with Brinkhaus Monday to find out the latest on his decision.

Andy Brinkhaus and the Jefferson Jaguars will open the season at Eastview Friday in a Lake Conference matchup.
You committed to Minnesota right after the Gopher football camp. What was the main factors in you choosing Minnesota?
"I had been going to that camp for three years. I was in the mind set that if I got an offer, I was going to commit there."
How big of a factor was having your brother there?
"He showed me what college was all about. The "U," everything seemed to be pretty cool, like a good fit. I figured that it would be a good place to go. I got the offer first from there, so I said that I might as well go for it at the "U."
Tony is going to be a starter this season as a redshirt sophomore. Is that something that you are looking forward to even more watching him this season?
"Definitely. He is going to be going through all that stuff that I'll be going through years from now. It is going to give me a big heads-up on what's coming. That is going to help. I'm going to be in to watch him this year, especially if I redshirted my first year there."
How fun is going to be to play with him? You are spaced out enough that he was a freshman at Minnesota when you became a sophomore starter at Jefferson.
"That will be really cool. It is going to be kind of intimidating at first, but he does not scare me too much (laughs). I've seen him my whole life. It's going to be fun. It's going to like new."
Do you think that it is going to help you having him there?
"It should be a really good experience, seeing everything that they go through. Especially with this team that they got, on the offensive line, it's going to help a lot seeing these guys play right when I am coming in."
How about your high school team? I think that you surprised a lot of people going 8-2. What are the expectations for this year? You lost some good players, but you return a lot of key players.  
"Last year, we raised the expectations for our team. I think that our coaches are sticking with it. We have enough guys coming back, that if we jell together, we can be just as good as last year. I think that we have pretty high expectations on the season."
How about offensively? Do you have most of your key guys back?
"We've got some of our offensive linemen back and a few receivers, but our backfield is pretty much new. But they are guys that have played before. Our whole defensive line is pretty much coming back. We have eight defensive starters and that should be our strong side, but I think that our offense should be pretty solid.
You play left tackle. Is that where you see yourself playing in college?
"It actually does not matter. I'd like to do that because I have done that for the last three years, but I could play guard if I had to or even right side. It would not bother me much."
What others schools were you talking to. I'm sure some coaches thought that you might commit to Minnesota because of your brother. Did you get many looks?
"I was getting a lot of letters and teams were sending me videos to send back. I did that to a couple of schools, but I talked to the "U" and I was in contact the most with them, probably because they were so close to home."
How about having your head coach (Jon Leverenz) being a former Gopher?
"That did not really play too much of a role. It is always cool, though, like talking to him and stuff. He was pretty excited when he found out about the "U." It is like a longer string of people that I have gotten to be around. It seems like a good school, so that helped with the decision."

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