Minnesota has adopted a national recruiting strategy under head coach Tim Brewster and now the Gophers are targeting a junior linebacker from the state of New Jersey.
Quinton Alston, a 6-foot-1, 218-pound linebacker from Sicklerville, N.J., had already received offers from Iowa, Louisville, Duke, Pitt and Old Dominion going into this week. Now you can add one more school to the list.
"I received an offer today from Minnesota," Alston confirmed early Tuesday evening. "I was actually talking to coach (John) Butler the last couple of days. I talked to him on Saturday and he said the coaching staff was going to review my highlight tape and make a decision on whether to offer me.
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"My head coach told me to give Minnesota a call back. So I called coach Butler and he put me on the phone with the head coach. It caught me totally off guard because I had never received mail to them or talked to them in person. We had just talked over the phone. I sent them my highlight tapes and that was it."
It doesn't seem as though Minnesota is just another school Alston will list when he's talking about who has offered. He seems serious about checking out the Big Ten school.
"They want me to take an official visit when they play USC to see the school. I think I'm going to be doing that."
Alston will have a busy schedule before then. He plans on visiting Louisville on March 27. On April 24 he will decide between the spring games at Cincinnati, Rutgers and Old Dominion. He is attending the Big Time Football Showcase on May 6, and will choose between the NIKE Camp at State College and the spring game at Stony Brook in May.
He is looking forward to his upcoming trip to Louisville.
"I'm still learning," he said of the Cardinals. "But I've been talking to coach (Larry) Slade a lot. I'm trying to talk to him once or twice a week to establish a relationship between me and the coaching staff.
"I haven't really started doing a lot of research as of yet. I'm just trying to prepare for next season. I was planning on researching the schools that have offered this weekend."