Gophers sign five linebackers to replace Cooper, Rallis

Nate Gotlieb

With starters Keanon Cooper and Mike Rallis departing, the Gophers had some holes to fill in the linebacking corps.

They’re hoping their new recruiting class can fill them.

The Gophers signed five linebackers Wednesday, including last-minute signee De’Vondre Campbell. 

Campbell, a three-star recruit according to, originally committed to Tennessee but de-committed after a coaching change. A junior college transfer, Campbell will have three years of eligibility remaining at Minnesota. 

“I think we all built a great relationship with De'Vondre,” Minnesota head coach Jerry Kill said.  “At the end of the day, he just couldn't tell us no.”

The Gophers also signed Rayfield Dixon, De’Niro Laster, Damien Wilson and Chris Wipson to play linebacker. 

Wilson earned national junior college defensive player of the year honors after recording 122 tackles last season. He will have two years of eligibility remaining at Minnesota. 

Wipson, the lone Minnesotan in the recruiting class, earned first team All-State honors during his senior season. 

The Gophers signed 19 players in all Wednesday.


– By Nate Gotlieb