Minnesota's high school football playoffs have reached the state tournament stage — the final eight teams in each of the seven classes — and quarterfinals will be played Thursday through Saturday.
The Gophers' 2024 recruiting class features seven players from Minnesota who have given verbal commitments, and four of them will see action in the state tournament. Here is a look at those players, plus the three other Gophers-committed Minnesotans who had their seasons end short of the state tournament:
In Class 6A, top-ranked Eden Prairie, with defensive lineman Mo Saine, meets Lakeville North at 7 p.m. Friday at Spring Lake Park High School. Saine, a 6-4, 260-pound three-star recruit, helped the Eagles (10-0) beat Eagan 42-14 in a section final.
In Class 5A, Chanhassen, with defensive end Sam Macy, plays Mahtomedi at 1 p.m. Saturday at Apple Valley High School. The Storm (10-0) edged Mankato West 37-36 in a section final. Macy, a three-star recruit, has 34 tackles, four tackles for loss and 2½ sacks this season.
In Class 4A, Hill-Murray, with cornerback Simon Seidl, plays Byron at 6 p.m. Friday at Eastview High School. Seidl, a three-star recruit, helped the Pioneers (8-2) defeat Chisago Lakes 42-36 in a section final by returning the opening kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown.
In Class 3A, Esko, with safety Koi Perich, plays Annandale at 1 p.m. Saturday at Brainerd High School. Perich, a four-star recruit who's the top-ranked player in the Gophers 2023 class, had seven tackles and an interception, along with rushing for 153 yards and three TDs, in a 34-14 section final win over Pequot Lakes. Perich on Monday received an offer from Ohio State.
Three future Gophers saw their seasons end before the state tournament:
Prior Lake, with 6-5, 295-pound defensive lineman Jide Abasiri, lost 26-23 in overtime to Centennial in a Class 6A section final. Abasiri had 41 tackles, four tackles for loss and two sacks entering the section final. The Lakers finished 5-5.
Detroit Lakes lost 30-28 to Rocori in a Class 4A section final, with linebacker recruit Mason Carrier scoring a touchdown on a 1-yard run. The Lakers finished the season with a 7-2 record, and through seven games Carrier had 66 tackles.
Mankato West wide receiver Jalen Smith saw his season end in the 37-36 loss to Chanhassen. The Scarlets finished 8-2, and Smith surpassed 40 receptions and 550 yards with nine touchdowns.