The 2016 class looks to be very strong in Minnesota and plenty of in-state juniors made it in for the Gophers junior elite one day camp on Sunday. One of those highly touted players was Chaska (MN.) junior offensive tackle Matt Kegel, who featured his great talents and size in front of offensive coordinator Matt Limegrover and head coach Jerry Kill. With his impressive performance, he got some unexpected news after camp that made his longtime dream become a reality.
“I was at the junior elite camp on Sunday and at the beginning of camp, Coach Limegrover came up to me and he said can I speak to you and your parents because me and Coach Kill want to talk to you after camp,” Kegel told GopherDigest. “I was just thinking he was wanting to meet my parents. I have talked to Coach Kill and Coach Limegrover before, so at the end of camp I got my parents thinking nothing. I wasn’t really expecting the offer, but he extended the offer and it was just kind of one of those moments like it lasted forever."
“We had been talking a lot with Bronson coming out of the same school. They talked to me and said they were going to recruit me. I just had no idea the offer was going to come this soon. It was a dream come true. I have been working so hard since third grade since I have started playing football with the dream to go off and play college football someday. It makes the dream a reality.”
The 6-6, 295-pound road grader has already established a strong bond with the coaching staff at Minnesota especially Coach Limegrover and it strengthen after their recruiting BBQ this past weekend.
“I also got to go to their BBQ on Saturday and me and Coach Limegrover got the chance to play bean bag toss,” said Kegel. “It was pretty fun, but he kicked my butt. I ate two cheeseburgers, a chicken sandwich, a bratwurst, some homemade chips and those were pretty good. I also had a big serving of macaroni and loved all the food. He is just a good guy though and seems like a family guy. I really like him and his goals with the program are.”
“I went to the Big Man camp at the start of June and I met Coach Limegrover. When I first walked into the training facility, him and Coach Sherels knew who I was just because we have Bronson coming out of Chaska. Coach Kill jokes with Bronson and me saying that Bronson is my number two recruiter right now (laughter). I have definitely grown a good relationship with Coach Limegrover.”
After landing that dream offer from the Gophers, where do things stand in his recruitment and did the thought of committing cross his mind?
“Minnesota has always been kind of on the top of my list,” said Kegel. “It is the hometown school and I won’t get homesick or anything, but it is far away enough to get away from my parents. It is close enough to where I can see them, then I can too. Them and a couple other schools are the main ones. I have also talked to Pittsburgh, Oklahoma State. Miami, Cincinnati and Ohio State also sent me camp invites. It is not a lot of verbal communication right now, but it is just mainly Minnesota, Pittsburgh and Oklahoma State.”
“Oh yeah, I definitely thought about committing. I actually been thinking about it a lot like yesterday and today. I thought about it, but I just really want to wait till after my junior season.”
When Kegel does sit down and make a decision, he knows what he will be looking for in a school.
“I really want to go into a program, where it is somewhere I can fit in and I haven’t made up my mind on what I want to major in, so I want to make sure they have something to do when I get that major,” said Kegel. “I also want to make sure they are a family program. Everyone I have talked to at Minnesota like Coach Sherels and everyone who has graduated from there say everyone there is like family. I have talked to five guys and they have all said their best man in their wedding was one of their teammates from Minnesota.”