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How good of a day was last Friday for Riley Sunram? Even when he missed a block, he ended up on the good side of a highlight reel.

Sunram is a senior two-way lineman for Kindred (N.D.) High School who has verbally committed to the Gophers. On Friday, he and his Vikings teammates were playing Dickinson Trinity in the North Dakota Class A championship game in the Fargodome.

On a trap play, the 6-4, 295-pound Sunram missed his original assignment. "I pulled left, and the guy came off hot and I missed him," he said. "I was behind our quarterback [Jake Starcevic], and he was going down and pitched it to me. It wasn't planned at all."

Sunram rambled for 19 yards on his first career rushing attempt, one of several moments he'll remember from the Vikings' 36-7 victory that secured their second state championship in three years.

"It's awesome. I'm just amazed," Sunram said of Kindred's 12-0 season. "This year was so fun that I'm at a loss of words to say just how fun it was. That's what we all wanted this year — to go out with a win and go undefeated."

A four-star recruit, Sunram will be a defensive lineman with the Gophers. He's the top-ranked recruit from North Dakota and the 73rd-ranked defensive lineman nationally in the 2024 recruiting class, according to the 247Sports composite ratings of major recruiting services.

He now turns his attention to basketball season, during which he plays center for Kindred. Mixed in with hoops is the start of college football's early signing period on Dec. 20, when Sunram is expected to sign his national letter of intent with the Gophers.

Sunram's primary recruiter with the Gophers is defensive line coach Winston DeLattiboudere III, the former Minnesota defensive end who's infused a jolt of energy into the position group. Sunram said DeLattiboudere's high-energy approach reminds him of his defensive line coach at Kindred, former North Dakota State defensive end Brad Ambrosius.

Kindred, with a population of approximately 930, plays in the smallest of North Dakota's three 11-man football classes. Sunram credited teammates for helping him develop.

"Our line has been pretty good the last few years," he said. "It's good competition for me in practice. I would say most of my competition is in practice rather than the games."

With his hometown being roughly 20 miles from Fargo, home of FCS power North Dakota State, Sunram was recruited heavily by the Bison. He also had scholarship offers from Duke, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Miami (Fla.), Missouri and Nebraska, among others.

Minnesota, however, has been his choice all along. He'll complete his senior season at Kindred, then join the Gophers in June.

"I just love the coaches and family there — just their culture, mainly," Sunram said. "Coach [P.J.] Fleck's a great guy. We talk every two weeks. … It just seemed like the place for me."