MINNEAPOLIS (KMSP) - Yesterday, the University of Minnesota got a commitment from a player who is the cream of the Minnesota crop in 2016 when Tyler Johnson from North High School in Minneapolis committed to play football for the Gophers.
"He's a playmaker, get the ball in his hands, whether it's offense, defense or special teams. He makes plays," Said Johnson’s current coach Charles Adams.
That versatility on the football field made Johnson one of the most prized recruits in the Upper Midwest, earning offers from The University of Wisconsin, Iowa, and Iowa State.
"Growing up as a Gopher fan, that's a big factor. It was a dream school, and I went to all of their camps as a child. For me to commit, it means a whole lot,” Johnson said of playing for the Gophers.
Johnson committed to the Gophers last night, giving Minnesota an athletic option on either offense or defense, a situation that suits the North senior just fine after speaking with head coach Jerry Kill.
"I see myself fitting in pretty good. Every time we talk he says that I’m a ridiculous athlete. He talks about me being anywhere on the field, and I agree with it because I want to be anywhere on the field as long as I’m playing," Johnson said.
North High has not been a recruiting powerhouse for Division 1-A football talent, but Johnson hopes that his success is just the tip of the iceberg for the Polar's program.
"The expectation they have for Northside kids is usually pretty bad. Being a Northsider growing up, I feel like I can change that," Johnson said. "I hear it all the time. People say ‘Tyler, I’m going to be the next you.’ For me that means a lot, because people want to be like me. I feel like I can inspire people."
His current head coach agrees he could impact the community.
"He can be the person that influences everyone else. You know, why not? This is the community that he was born and raised in, just like me,” Adams said. "It’s a dream come true for him, so why not take advantage of it when it's in front of your face?"
Johnson's commitment to the University of Minnesota gives the Gophers their ninth player from the state of Minnesota in the class of 2016.
Before heading off to play in college, Johnson will lead the Polars to the playoffs in back to back years for the first time in school history.