MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - University of Minnesota football coach P.J. Fleck might have found a future star in Esko safety Koi Perich.
The top recruit in-state signed with the Gophers last month, and on Saturday, he won MVP honors at the 2024 All-American Bowl. The All-Star Game features the top high school seniors in the country before many of them enroll in college and start practicing with their teams later this month.
Perich had a diving interception in the end zone, two pass break-ups, blocked and recovered a punt and also had a tackle for loss on a punt return. He helped lead Team West to a 31-28 win. Perich is a consensus four-star recruit who committed to Minnesota last summer and had scholarship offers from all over the country.
He signed with the Gophers on Dec. 20 despite a late push from Ohio State. He’s the No. 3-ranked safety in the country, and the No. 53-ranked player overall in the 2024 class.
Perich led Esko this past season to a 10-1 record and accounted for 27 total touchdowns in 10 games. On defense, he had 62 tackles, seven tackles for loss, two sacks, five interceptions, recovered two fumbles, forced one and five touchdowns.
On offense, Perich ran 61 times for 7-8 yards and 16 touchdowns. He had six catches for 80 yards and a score, and threw one touchdown pass. On special teams, he returned three punts and one kickoff for a touchdown.
Perich was one of three Gophers’ signees to play in the All-American Bowl, the most Fleck has ever had. The others were Brett Carroll and Riley Sunram.