Rosemount WR Jonathan Mann signs with Gophers: 'I've made the right choice'

Jonathan Mann had no idea that a breakout game against Wayzata more than two years ago would serve as the springboard to him playing football in college.

Fast forward to Wednesday, and the Rosemount senior football star made his dream become a reality. He was P.J. Fleck’s first commitment for the 2019 class. That happened in a meeting with Fleck on April 17, 2018.

He signed his national letter of intent Wednesday, making his dream of playing for the Gophers a reality nearly two years after his commitment.

Mann was one of 26 players to put pen to paper for the Gophers on National Signing Day.

“It’s crazy. A few years ago I never thought that I would be a Gopher. Signing today and making it official after almost two years of being committed, finally signing and making it official, it just solidifies the feeling that I’ve made the right choice,” Mann said.

It was after that breakout game as a sophomore against Wayzata that college coaches started to take notice. Mann had heard from Iowa State, Iowa and Arkansas as well as the Gophers.

Mann had quite the senior year on the football field with more than 700 yards receiving and nine touchdowns. He plays basketball in the winter and is also a track star. If that’s not enough, he excels in the Rosemount choir program and wants to go in broadcast journalism.

Mann was one of four Minnesota natives on Wednesday to sign with the Gophers, along with Anoka linebacker Cody Lindenberger, Orono defensive lineman Danny Striggow and St. Francis tight end Wyatt Schroeder.

"We want to take the right people who really want to be here, who have dreamed of being here. I want people to think I need that, I want that, I’m waiting for that one offer and when you get it, you go," Fleck said.

For them, the Gophers were the right choice. Mann got to talk with the Minnesota coaching staff Wednesday after sending in his letter of intent.

“Wearing the ‘M’ on your chest is definitely a huge thing. It’s not just every day that you get to step outside in your backyard and see kids running around in Minnesota stuff,” Mann said. “People are just so passionate about what we have here in Minnesota and Minnesota football. As you could tell in the last two games, people really started to take pride in wearing the Maroon and Gold. Just to be a part of that, even now, I haven’t even put on the jersey yet, but it just means a lot to me.”

Rosemount football coach Jeff Erdmann saw Mann’s potential as a sophomore. He even remembers having a conversation about him wearing the No. 1 jersey. It comes with pressure, expectation and scrutiny.

“He handled it like a champion in all different phases,” Erdmann said. “Jonathan has always been humble, he’s always been a guy that always works, and that’s why he’s developed into the special type of athlete and special person that he is.”

Mann will now join a Gophers program that had the top two receivers in the Big Ten this season in Rashod Bateman and Tyler Johnson.