From the moment he stepped foot on campus, Ryan Algrim said he noticed a bond and a family-like atmosphere that made the University of Minnesota feel like home.
Of course, Gophers head coach P.J. Fleck is more than a little familiar with Algrim’s home because he is a Kaneland graduate.
Algrim, who just finished his junior season at Kaneland, committed to play for the Gophers and coach Fleck next year.
“I really felt like he really wanted me there. He likes having another Kaneland person in the building,” Algrim said. “He’s really excited about that. I didn’t speak to too many head coaches, but he was the most excited of all them about a long snapper, which I was amazed by.”
Algrim plays linebacker for the Knights and will see some time on the offensive line this year as well. But he was recruited heavily as a long snapper.
Algrim chose Fleck and the Gophers over a handful of other schools, including Marshall, Navy and Bowling Green.
“Their special teams coordinator [Rob Wenger] is all about being perfect with special teams,” Algrim said. “He’s going out there and finding the best special teams guys he can find. He came after me, saw me at the Lindenwood camp. He was like, ‘You’re really good. We think you have a great shot of being the guy we offer. We just need to see you at our camp.’ After that they offered me.”
Algrim said he’s a preferred walk-on with the Gophers, who have two long snappers already on the roster. Brady Weeks is a senior and Austin Sullivan is a junior.
“I was kind of shocked I was offered and was able to commit this early,” Algrim said. “My game plan was to know where I was going this winter. As a long snapper, we’ll fall behind the kickers even, so a lot of guys don’t commit or figure out where they’re going to go until the middle of the winter, even some guys early spring. I was really shocked this happened this fast, this quick.”
Algrim said taking care of his college plans earlier than expected will let him focus on his final season with the Knights, who went 5-5 last season.
“It makes me feel great, not having to worry about college recruiting anymore,” Algrim said. “I’ve just got to worry about my high school season and not where I’m going. It takes a lot of stress off my shoulders. I can go out there and play, do my best on the field and not have to worry about impressing schools anymore.”