Matt Veldman is St. Cloud Player of the Year

Matt Veldman, a 6-foot-7, 225-pound tight end from Becker who is on the Gophers' recruiting radar, was named the St. Cloud Times Player of the Year. Veldman leads the Bulldogs to the Prep Bowl, where they fell to Glencoe-Silver Lake 42-20. He has attended three Gopher home games and is getting recruiting interest from the Gophers, who has already received a commitment from teammate Shane Potter.

Matt Veldman emerged this season as a college prosepect when standout Becker star receiver and Gopher commit Shane Potter was injured in the season opener. Veldman caught eight passes for 131 yards in front of Minnesota head coach Glen Mason, who was watching Potter, but came away intruiged by the big tight end.

Veldman finished the season with 53 receptions for 850 yards and 19 touchdowns. He caught three passes for 45 yards in the Prep Bowl, including a four and 36-yard touchdown pass. Veldman was also named to the Star Tribune first team All-Metro squad.

Veldman has attended the Penn State, Indiana and North Dakota State games this season at the Metrodome. Veldman attended the North Dakota State-Northeastern game earlier this season. Veldman said that the Air Force Academy has asked for a copy of his transcript. He is an excellent student with a 3.8 GPA and a 25 ACT score. Veldman is also hearing from Division II schools such as MSU-Moorhead, North Dakota, Augustana.

Veldman is also a standout basketball player for the Bulldogs and has played on the varsity the past two seasons. He also played on the Minnesota Magic Black AAU team, coached by Mike Leuer, father of Wisconsin commit Jon Leuer. Veldman is hopeful that Potter, who also plays on the basketball team will be ready to play during the season.

Veldman comes from a football family. His father Greg Veldman spent a year at Minnesota, then was a standout tight end at Minnesota State-Moorhead. He signed as a free agent with the Dallas Cowboys and suffered an Achilles' heel injury that ended his career.

Two of his uncles, Steve and Mark, played football at the University of North Dakota. Steve was a safety. Mark played tight end. Another uncle, Bruce Veldman, played basketball at Augustana.

Veldman's grandfather, Pete Veldman, was the longtime athletic director at South St. Paul High School and a former wrestler at Minnesota.

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