Sid Hartman
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Quinn Carroll, the Edina offensive lineman, is going through what few Minnesota high school athletes have, with 16 teams from around the country already visiting him here and the head coaches from Penn State, Wisconsin, Virginia Tech and the Gophers making personal trips to his games before he has started his senior season.

After more than 20 unofficial visits to campuses around the nation, Carroll announced this past week he had narrowed his choice to six programs, and the Gophers are one of them. The others are Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, Virginia Tech and Wisconsin.

ESPN currently has him ranked as the eighth-best offensive tackle in the country for the Class of 2019, while 247 Sports has him ranked as the 55th-best prospect in the country.

The Gophers have been recruiting Carroll since his freshman year when he attended an offensive line camp. He said that he has had around 10 visits with the Gophers including games, practices, workouts and meeting with coach P.J. Fleck.

“We get along well. I don’t have a top set of schools, but Minnesota is under consideration and I have a good relationship with Coach Fleck,” he said before including the Gophers on his six finalists.

Still, Carroll said that when the Gophers lost offensive line coach Ed Warriner to Michigan this offseason, it meant having to build a new relationship. “I’m still trying to develop a relationship with the offensive line coach [Brian Callahan] at Minnesota right now,” he said.

He added that the fact that his brother Collin Carroll went to Virginia Tech and his father, Jay Carroll, went to the Minnesota has definitely played a part in his recruitment.

“That might have an effect as well. [The Gophers] are trying to sell me how I’m a legacy recruit and my dad played there and did very well,” he said. “But, you know, you never know where I’ll end up as far as right now. But both Virginia Tech and Minnesota are trying to sell me on how my brother went there and my dad went to Minnesota.”

A family affair

Quinn Carroll’s recruiting has been a real family affair.

The Carrolls have deep sports ties. Collin was a long snapper at Virginia Tech. Brother Kevin Carroll played at Northern Iowa, another brother, Patrick Carroll, was a pitcher at Augustana, and a third brother, Preston Carroll, was a captain on the Edina football team. Jay was a three-year letter winner as a tight end with the Gophers and played in the NFL.

“I’ve taken, what was it, 22 or 23 unofficial visits?” Quinn said. “That is to schools all over the country. It has been a blast with Collin, he has been on every visit, and it has really just opened my eyes to what I really want in a school, what I like, what I dislike, and it has been a lot of fun.”

While Carroll will start official visits either in the spring or fall, he said he isn’t in a big hurry.

“It has always been my dream to play college football, but never anything like this,” he said. “It has been a blessing.”

Rules and regulations

Carroll’s recruiting process has been especially intense because offers started rolling in when he was still just a sophomore in high school.

Collin has been acting as a sort of high school sports agent, and he described the crazy routines they had to go through.

“[Schools] had to call the coach at Edina, the coach at Edina would have me get with Quinn to call the coaches,” Collin said. “Quinn got a lot of interest before the coaches at colleges were allowed to reach out directly. I kind of had to be a little bit of the receptionist, or the secretary, and kind of facilitate those conversations.”

Jay said the family asked Collin if he would help with his brother’s recruitment. “When Quinn started to get all of the interest after his sophomore year, so a little more than a year ago, it was apparent to us that this was going to be a lot of schools coming at him,” Jay said. “We were told that early on. I asked Collin to take over the lead contact in Quinn’s recruiting.”

Jay was asked if his recruitment was anything like his son’s.

“I had maybe five or six schools that were pursuing me, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Dartmouth and Notre Dame,” he said. “They mainly sent me letters or they would show up at my football games, rarely did they call. The letters that I had, I was looking at a box. Quinn has three stacks of boxes from letters from colleges from all over the country. I had a little bit of interest, he has a lot of interest.”

Jay ended up with the Gophers because he became good friends with Tim Salem, who was the son of then-Gophers coach Joe Salem, when he roomed with him at a Gophers camp.

And in a fun twist, three Salems have offered Quinn a scholarship: Tim at Pittsburgh, where he is tight ends coach; Brad Salem, Tim’s brother and the quarterbacks coach at Michigan State; and Landan Salem, Tim’s son, who is the director of player personnel under Lane Kiffin at Florida Atlantic.

JOTTINGS

• Gophers football coach P.J. Fleck said the team is planning to use only two facilities for most of its spring practices, TCF Bank Stadium and their new indoor practice facility. “I want to use the indoor a lot,” he said. “It’s one of the most beautiful indoors in the country. A lot of people have given so much for that to happen.”

• With Shannon Brooks out for the season because of a leg injury, look for Nolan Edmonds, ranked as the No. 30 running back in the country coming out of high school last year by Rivals.com, to get some chances during Gophers spring practice. In 2017, Edmonds ran for 970 yards and 14 touchdowns at Alpharetta High School near Atlanta, earning first-team all-region honors.

• You have to wonder with the new imported steel tariffs being imposed by President Donald Trump if Minnesota United got lucky that the bulk of the team’s stadium foundation is done. CEO Chris Wright talked about how fast construction has been moving. “For all of the steel that has gone in during the winter and the steel workers that have been working for Mortenson Construction, for them to do the work that they’ve done during this winter, keep on schedule, slightly ahead of schedule, is just truly remarkable,” Wright said.

• Along with their playoff position, the Timberwolves’ draft status remains in limbo, too. If the Wolves miss the playoffs, they will keep their draft pick that is due to Atlanta. If Oklahoma City makes the playoffs, the Wolves will get the Thunder’s first-round pick, which is also lottery-protected. The Wolves will also get Miami’s second-round pick no matter what, and their own second-round pick will go to Portland or Cleveland. Wolves GM Scott Layden said the team is evaluating all its options with the draft: “We’re trying to make sure we’re prepared for wherever we’re picking. We have a number of things that could happen with picks so we’ll stay abreast of that.”