Matt Veldman is getting late Gopher interest

Matt Veldman, a 6-foot-7, 225-pound tight end from Becker, is back on the Gophers' recruiting radar. Veldman was named the St. Cloud Times Player of the Year as he led 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 received a commitment from teammate Shane Potter.

Matt Veldman emerged this season as a college prospect 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 ex-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 and to the Minnesota Viking All-State team.

Veldman told GoldenSports.Net during halftime of the Minnesota Vikings-St. Louis Rams game that Minnesota was out of the picture after receiving commitments from tight end prospects Collin McGarry of Stillwater (MN) High and J.J. Watt from Pewaukee (WI) High.

However, with the coaching change to Tim Brewster, Veldman has heard more from the Gopher coaching staff.

"It has changed a little. They are taking a second look. However, I am a little in the dark."

"I sent out my highlight films. Iowa State went for a Juco and Purdue might do something. They have four guys in today and have two or three scholarships left."

Veldman visited North Dakota State last weekend and North Dakota the previous weekend. Both schools have offered him a scholarship.

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 a standout basketball player for the Bulldogs and has played on the varsity the past two seasons. He is averaging nearly 20 points per game this season for the Bulldogs, who are off to a 2-10 start and face Cambridge-Isanti.

"The team is struggling, but we are trying to work hard."

Veldman was hopeful earlier in the year that Potter, who also plays on the basketball team, would be ready to play during the second half of the season. Unfortunately, that will not happen.

"No. It is too early. "It's just the way it is."

Veldman played on the Minnesota Magic Black AAU team this summer, coached by Mike Leuer, father of Wisconsin commit Jon Leuer.

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.

Gopher Illustrated Top Stories