At 6-4, 291 pounds, Logan Richter coming out of nowhere is a little hard to imagine.
And yet, that’s exactly what the defensive tackle did in March 2017, at a junior day recruiting event, when Gophers coach P.J. Fleck offered him a scholarship on the spot.
Richter’s size and athleticism were the attention grabbers. He was an unheralded recruit from Perham, a northwestern Minnesota town with a population of about 3,000. Pegged for last December’s Gophers recruiting class, Richter faded into obscurity again by “grayshirting” the 2018 season, postponing his arrival at the U.
For the past year, the 18-year-old has again been largely forgotten. But that’s about to change again Wednesday, when he finally signs his national letter of intent.
Grayshirting is a practice coaches mainly employ to push a scholarship to the next class, if a program is full on signing day. The Gophers reached the maximum 25 signees last year without Richter. After he initially committed, Richter said he realized he needed more time to develop.
“I was 17 at the time, and I was young and just wanted to take time to better myself,” Richter said. “It felt to me it was the best thing to take a semester off. But now that the time’s come, I feel I’m ready to compete at that level and hang out with all the guys and meet everybody.”
The defensive lineman — who could get moved to the offensive line, given his size — said he’ll arrive on campus Jan. 16 to officially enroll and prepare for spring football. Since graduating from Perham this past spring, he’s been keeping busy but lying low. He worked for his dad’s dock and boat lift business, when he wasn’t training for college football.
Richter’s friend and former Perham teammate Anthony Dahl said Richter lifts every day and has really taken football seriously these past couple months.
“He’s a big, powerful, powerful man,” Richter’s high school coach Kyle Knutson said. “A lot of natural strength. He didn’t really commit a lot of time to the weight room when he was younger. ... For a guy that’s his size, he’s got tremendously quick feet.”
While Richter might have a lot to prove on the football field, he’s actually most looking forward to just picking up the friendships he started to make with his original recruiting class.
“Guys there are working hard every day,” Richter said. “I feel the need to do the same.”
After a year spent idle from football, he’ll soon immerse himself in Fleck’s program.
“My time will come,” Richter said.