Armstrong K Eric Ellestad Commits to Gophers

Eric Ellestad, a 6-foot-3, 180-pound kicker from Plymouth (MN) Robbinsdale Armstrong, has committed to Minnesota. Ellestad is a three-year starter for the Falcons, who advanced to the Class AAAAA semifinals as a sophomore.

Eric Ellestad was named 2004 second-team Minnesota Associated Press All-State and is a three-year starter as a kicker.

Ellestad is a four-sport athlete at Armstrong. He also plays soccer, basketball and runs track.

Ellestad finished 10th in both in the long jump (18-3/4) and high jump (5-9) in the Classic Lake Conference meet. He ran a 57.66 in the 400-meter dash Classic Lake Indoor Meet at the University of Minnesota.

His commitment is a bit of a surprise since the Gophers have redshirt freshman scholarship kicker Jason Giannini and redshirt freshman walk-on Joel Monroe.

However, Giannini has struggled at times, missing five extra points and missing a 40-yard field goal in the Gophers' 38-34 loss to Wisconsin.

GoldenSports. Net caught up with Ellestad to talk about his Gopher commitment, a place where he said he "always wanted to come here since I was a little kid."

What camps did you go to this summer?
"I went to the University of Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota and Iowa State."
What offers did you have?
"Only Minnesota."
As a kicker, scholarship offers usually come very late, right?
"They come very late. I was shocked that they offered.
When you look at schools and you see a situation where they have two redshirt freshmen, does that concern you at all?
"I was surprised. I thought that they would say that they have two freshman kickers and do not need one, but I was surprised with the offer."
What other sports do you play?
"I play soccer, basketball and track."
What things have you really been concentrating on this season?
"My punting. I have been doing really good with my punting. I'm averaging 43 yards a punt. I've been working on that a lot."
Are teams looking at you more as a field goal kicker or a someone who can kick and punt both?
"My strong points in field goals and kickoffs."

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