Isaac Fruechte will be taking full advantage of enrolling early at the University of Minnesota next month, joining high-profile incoming freshman quarterback Philip Nelson.
The two will be roommates and could become a future tandem with the Gophers.
Fruechte, a sophomore from Caledonia, Minn., who played wide receiver at Rochester Community College last year, is one of five midyear football recruits who signed with the Gophers on Wednesday. They expect to join the team for spring practice in March.
Nelson, Minnesota’s mr. Football and a standout quarterback at Mankato West, also will enter college early after he graduates from high school late this month.
“We’ve known each other for a little while and played catch before,” Fruechte said of Nelson. “We’re going to get a chance to build that relationship because I’m also living with him this spring.”
Along with Fruechte, the Gophers signed Gulf Coast (Miss.) Community College running back James Gillum, Coffeyville (Kan.) Community College cornerback Briean Boddy, Blinn (Texas) College defensive back Jeremy Balthazar and Trinity Valley (Texas) Community College defensive back Martez Shabazz.
Fruechte, 6-3, 210, plans to compete for a starting receiver spot next season, which shows how much he has developed since high school.
He was invited to join the Gophers as a walk-on under former coach Tim Brewster last year but he didn’t have a qualifying ACT score. he caught 29 passes for 788 yards and eight touchdowns for Rochester as a freshman in 2010 but decided to sit out this past season to have three years of eligibility with the Gophers.
After hearing about Fruechte’s size, solid hands and impressive sub-4.4 speed in the 40-yard dash, Minnesota coach Jerry kill offered Fruechte a scholarship in June.
“I committed right away,” Fruechte said. “I’ve always had a dream of staying home and playing for the Gophers. Now I’ve gotten a step closer to making that dream come true. I can’t wait to get there.”