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Gophers football adds 12 recruits during Summer Splash weekends

The number two ranked Minnesota high school football recruit was among the handful of verbal commits over the previous two weekends.
Image by Amaya Battle
The Gophers’ 2025 class is P.J. Fleck’s highest-ranked recruiting class as Gophers head coach.

Gophers football held its annual Summer Splash on the weekends of June 9 and 16 where they officially hosted high school recruits from across the country.

Minnesota ended its Summer Splash with 12 new Gophers from the class of 2025. The list includes Abu Tarawallie, the state’s number two recruit in the 2025 class, and former Toledo commit Bradley Martino, among others.

The Gophers also added David Amaliri to their 2024 roster during Summer Splash. Amaliri attended Clearwater Academy International in Florida, where current Gophers safety Rhyland Kelly played in high school.

Amaliri said he could play at the next level, but few schools were interested in him before attending offseason camps.

“I just had to show it,” Amaliri said. “I just spent time grinding, trying to get ready for camps. When camps came around, it all paid off.”

Gophers defensive coordinator Corey Hetherman first saw Amaliri at the Lindenwood Mega Camp and extended him an offer on June 1. That same day, Amaliri received offers from North Dakota State, North Dakota and Kent State.

Offensive lineman Nelson McGuire committed to the Gophers on June 9 but de-committed two weeks later after official visits to Arkansas and Texas Tech.

The trenches were bolstered during Summer Splash as the Gophers added six linemen, five of them on the ball’s offensive side, including Mark Handy. Handy, a wrestling state champion from New Mexico, said he learned more about the culture of playing at a Big Ten school after his official visit with the Gophers.

Handy added it was one of his more unofficial visits as he spent time on Minnesota’s lakes with other players.

“I really felt a good connection with all the staff and the players,” Handy said. “My family liked it too.”

Handy said he started playing football in ninth grade and drew inspiration from his teammates at La Cueva High School and Indianapolis Colts’ guard Quenton Nelson.

2025 running back Grant Washington attended Minnesota’s first camp of the summer and received his first Power Four offer. Washington previously committed to Central Michigan. He said he worked to get an opportunity at a Power Four school but needed help along the way.

“We didn’t really know if it was going to happen or not,” Washington said. “I just felt blessed that it happened, and God put me in that situation.”

The Washington family is no stranger to the Big Ten, as his father, Gary Washington, played for Nebraska. 

Gary Washington coached his son throughout middle school. Grant Washington said his father’s help was one of the reasons for his success.

The Gophers 2025 graduating class grew over the past two weeks, with Minnesota now having 22 commits. In terms of volume, this is the Gophers’ largest recruiting class since 2020.

According to 247 Sports, the Gophers 2025 class is ranked No. 24 in the country. If all goes as planned, P.J. Fleck will have recruited his best class as the Gophers’ head coach.

Gophers 2025 Verbal Commits

Abu Tarawallie (Osseo, Minnesota) – DL

Bradley Martino (Naples, Florida) – ATH

Daniel Shipp (Corona, California) – OL

David Amaliri (Oakdale, Connecticut) – LB

Jayquan Stubbs (Cleveland, Ohio) – DL

Legend Lyons (Covina, California) – WR

Mark Handy (Albuquerque, New Mexico) – OL

Naiim Parrish (Oradell, New Jersey) – CB

Nathan Cleveland (Hoffman Estates, Illinois) – LB

Nick Spence (Peoria, Illinois) – OL

Shane Marshall Ocilla, Georgia) – RB

Zac Stascausky (Portland, Oregon) – OL

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  • Robert Starz
    Jun 26, 2024 at 3:32 pm

    I hope they are men of their word and don’t decommit. We need men of character!

  • Jim
    Jun 26, 2024 at 2:28 pm

    Excited for the program overall and all these young men getting the opportunity.