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Dave Campbell / Associated Press, Published February 06 2013

Gophers football adds key late additions

MINNEAPOLIS – De’Vondre Campbell verbally committed to Kansas State. He had offers from Tennessee and Texas.

But Minnesota coach Jerry Kill and his staff didn’t give up. And they persuaded Campbell to change his mind and choose the Gophers, giving them a 6-foot-5, 225-pound linebacker to help build this year’s recruiting class around. Campbell, from Fort Myers, Fla., played last season at Hutchinson Community College in Kansas, where Kill and his assistants have strong roots.

“Went to see mom, and not everybody did that,” Kill said. “I think at the end of the day that helped us more than anything.”

The Gophers gained another late addition in Donovahn Jones, from Stockbridge, Ga. His original commitment was to Missouri, but despite a deep group of young quarterbacks he decided to join the Gophers for the chance to play his favored position rather than wide receiver. Minnesotans Philip Nelson and Mitch Leidner were prominent pieces of last year’s quarterback class, and Chris Streveler of Crystal Lake, Ill., is another heralded player in the 2013 group.

“I’ll recruit as many as athletic quarterbacks as I can get,” Kill said.

The Gophers were ranked last in the Big Ten by two of the major recruiting analysts, Scout.com and Rivals.com. But Josh Helmholdt, who covers the Midwest for Rivals.com, said after Michigan and Ohio State there’s not a big difference in quality among the remaining 10 teams in the conference. Signings

*Jeffrey Borchardt, wr, 6-0, 185, Medina (Minn.)/Wayzata HS

De’Vondre Campbell, lb, 6-5, 225, Fort Myers (Fla.)/Hutchinson (Kan.) CC

Eric Carter, wr, 5-11, 185, Lakeland (Fla.)/Lake Gibson HS

*Michael Conway, qb, 6-5, 205, La Crescent (Minn.)/La Crosse (Wis.) Aquinas HS

Rayfield Dixon, lb, 6-3, 205, Loxahatchee (Fla.)/Seminole Ridge HS

Berkley Edwards, rb, 5-9, 190, Novi (Mich.)/Chelsea HS

Hendrick Ekpe, dl, 6-5, 230, Lewisville (Tex.) HS

*Chad Fahning, ol, 6-6, 270, St. Paul (Minn.)/Cretin-Derham Hall HS

Donovahn Jones, qb, 6-3, 190, Stockbridge (Ga.)/Dutchtown HS

De’Niro Laster, lb, 6-4, 230, Shaker Heights (Ohio)/Cleveland Heights HS

*Matt Leidner, ol, 6-2, 280, Lakeville (Minn.)/South HS

Alex Mayes, ol, 6-5, 285, Van Alstyne (Texas) HS

Daletavious McGhee, cb, 6-1, 195, Decatur (Ga.)/Cedar Grove HS

Jalen Myrick, cb, 5-10, 200, Bloomingdale (Ga.)/Savannah Christian Prep HS

Demaris Peppers, dl, 6-3, 270, Memphis (Tenn.)/Fairley HS

*Conor Rhoda, qb, 6-3, 195, Eagan (Minn.)/Cretin-Derham Hall HS

Owen Salzwedel, dl, 6-6, 240, Beaver Dam (Wis.) HS

Chris Streveler, qb, 6-2, 205, Crystal Lake (Ill.)/Marian Central Catholic HS

Damien Wilson, lb, 6-2, 245, Gloster (Miss.)/Jones County JC

Chris Wipson, lb, 6-2, 210, Plymouth (Minn.)/Wayzata HS

Drew Wolitarsky, wr, 6-3, 208, Santa Clarita (Calif.)/Canyon County HS

Nate Wozniak, te, 6-9, 258, Greenwood (Ind.)/Center Grove HS

* denotes walk-on