Andre McDonald talks Minnesota visit

Jerry Kill and the Golden Gopher football staff aren't going to let talented Andre McDonald leave the state easily. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound wide receiver was previously committed to Minnesota before he decided to switch to Vanderbilt. He opened things up a bit after recruiting coach, Chris Beatty, left Vanderbilt for a position at Illinois. We learn more about the visit and final decision...


"My player host was MarQueis Gray, the starting quarterback," Andre McDonald said of the official visit. "We went to dinner the first night at [Brazilian Steakhouse] Fogo de Chão. He took me around the campus the next day. I got to see the stadium, facilities, and academic buildings. I knew a lot of the players already from when I was committed, but got to met a few more."

McDonald starred at Hopkins High School in nearby Minnetonka. Kill, coming off his first season in the Big Ten, wants to keep the state talent at home especially the elite players from the Minneapolis area.

"I first met Coach (Pat) Poore at camps," said McDonald of the Minnesota wide receivers coach. "We went into the the coach's office and broke down film. On the last day I met with the head coach. It went well. He told me how important I was to helping turn the program around. He said he would treat me like a son like he does all of his players. That's Coach Kill."

While McDonald has some great options, including an official visit to UCLA this coming weekend, he has a difficult decision to make in less than two weeks.

"I was just selected to play in the International Bowl in Austin [Texas]," McDonald said. "I'm going to announce my final decision at the game. The first thing I'm going to consider is the relationship I have with the coaches and the players. Next is what kind of support system is there for me. And last I'm going to look at the overall structure of the football program."

Illinois and Coach Beatty had secured an official visit for the weekend of January 27th from McDonald, but he is leaving next Friday for the game in Austin.

McDonald says it is between three schools, Vanderbilt, Minnesota, and UCLA, for his signature. All three programs have head coaches going into their first or second seasons in 2012.

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