Signee Spotlight: Mitch Leidner

Signee Spotlight: Mitch Leidner

GoldenSports.net profiles early enrollee quarterback Mitch Leidner from Lakeville, Minn.

Profile: Mitch Leidner
Size: 6-foot-4, 230 pounds
Hometown: Lakeville, Minn.
School: South
Position: Quarterback
Number: 7
Committed: June 29, 2011
Pronunciation: LIDE-ner

Prep Career Highlights:

Leidner helped lead his team to a 15-7 record over the past two seasons, including a section championship in 2010. He earned all-metro and all-conference honors as a senior and was also named honorable mention all-state in 2011. On the season he tallied 1,872 yards and 20 touchdowns passing.

As a junior, Leidner was named all-conference and honorable mention all-state choice as a junior in 2010. He totaled 2,096 yards passing and 17 scores.

Coach Matt Limegrover's Take:

"Mitch is a guy that [is] probably a little less heralded than some of the other commitments we have but if anyone would have seen him in our summer passing tournament this summer, our 7-on-7 tournament, you would have become believers. He's a guy that you could tell he's really taken seriously to being a quarterback and has worked at his craft.

"He's a big kid. He's 6-4, 225. A guy that he looks the part and then he goes out and he performs. He was a guy that was on our radar but, like I said, until we were able to see him live—throw the ball and do things—we weren't quite sure. Once we saw that, that really made a big difference. If you watch him throughout his senior year he just got better and better. Great guy to get here early, get onto campus, and get going as a quarterback."

Live Evaluation:

Leidner has great size and looks good standing in the pocket. He has a strong arm and can throw the ball quickly and accurately as long as he has enough time to set his feet and throw. When pressure comes off the edge, he does a nice job of stepping up in the pocket to give himself more time to throw or would run the ball. When he chose to run, he proved he can move rather well for a quarterback of his size, and it usually took at least two North defenders to bring him down.

However, when pressure came up the middle, he seemed to struggle at times and would either throw the ball into the ground or hold onto it too long and take a sack, which happened four times in this game. He also showed a tendency to lock onto his receivers early, which he can get away with at times because of the speed and accuracy he throws with, but it also led to two interceptions and at least one more that should have been picked off but the defender dropped it. This is something that he will need to work on if he wants to succeed at the next level.

Finally, the biggest concern that came out of this game is the fact that Leidner simply failed to move his team down the field for most of the night, with the South offense scoring only six points and converting only 3 of 11 on third downs. Leidner finished the game throwing for 138 yards with 10 completions and 20 attempts. He also threw one touchdown and two interceptions.

Getting to Know:

How does it feel to officially be a Gopher?
"It feels pretty good. I chose Minnesota because of the coaching staff and because it was close to home. I like the team. They're pretty cool and everything. I also like Coach Klein and the lifting program a lot."

What are you planning to major in?
"I don't have a planned major yet. Maybe kinesiology, but I'm not really sure yet."

What are your goals for next season?
"I don't want to put the cart before the horse or anything, but it would be sweet to get some playing time. I wouldn't mind red-shirting either, so I could keep getting a feel for the offense and keep getting stronger and faster to get ready for the next season."

What are your goals for your college career?
"I want to have a really good college career and hopefully make it to the league someday. Team-wise, obviously I want to win a Big Ten Championship and win some bowl games."

Is there a particular athlete you try to model yourself after?
"I don't know. I like Tom Brady a lot. He's got a really quick release and a quick ball. He's not the fastest dude, but he's athletic enough to make plays."

What is your favorite TV show?
"Probably Two and a Half Men. I don't like it as much now, but I like to watch the old ones."

Who is currently your favorite musical artist?
"I don't really have just one favorite. But I like country music."


Information from GopherSports.com was used in this report.

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