The 6-foot-4 Leidner attended Gopher camps last week but did not throw, instead playing tight end. The Minnesota staff had the opportunity to evaluate him at a 7-on-7 tournament held by the Gophers this past Saturday. Leidner's performance was enough to earn him a scholarship offer from the Maroon and Gold.
Leidner didn't sit on his offer long, giving his commitment to Minnesota early Wednesday afternoon.
"Yea I did,” Leidner said when asked if he just committed. “The coaches just said they were proud of me and that I earned it. They were happy for me.
"Me and coach [Jerry] Kill watched film together on Monday and he thinks it will be a great fit for me because I’m very similar to a quarterback at Northern Illinois that he had. He said we’re pretty much the same exact build and everything. He fit in the offense great and is going to have a shot at the NFL.”
While the Gopher coaches worked Leidner out at tight end during camp last Thursday, they got a chance to see him play quarterback all day at a 7-on-7 tournament on the Minnesota campus.
“On Saturday at the 7-on-7 tournament we ended up just coming out and winning the whole thing,” he said. "There was a game were we had only one incomplete pass and our team was on fire.
“I talked with Coach Kill. Me and my parents did for like an hour after the 7-on-7 tournament. He wanted me to call him the next day and he’s like, ‘I need you to come down on Monday so we can talk.’ We talked for a couple hours on Monday after we watched film and then I talked to Coach Zebrowski on Monday night and he offered me.”
“I like him a lot,” Leidner said of Gophers’ quarterback coach Jim Zebrowski. “He’s a really fun young guy and I think it’s going to be fun.”
Did Leinder’s future position coach give him any pointers for his final season at Lakeville South?
“No, the only thing he told me to do is to keep working and doing what I’m doing so I’ll be able to compete,” he said.