Last year it was a quarterback who was the top recruit coming out of Minnesota. SMB’s Jalen Suggs is considered one of the better athletes to come out of the state in some time and has since signed on to play not football, but basketball for Gonzaga.
This year it’s Riley Mahlman that has turned the most heads. The Lakeville South senior is considered the top recruit in the Class of 2021. At 6’7” and 270 pounds, the offensive tackle has committed to the University of Wisconsin where the Badgers are known for their insanely sized and skilled offensive lines.
According to 247sports.com, Mahlman is rated in the top 150 prospects nationally and in the top 20 at his position. He is one of the rare breeds of size and athleticism that project for him to not only be a sensational college player, but perhaps a kid who can one day play for a long time in the NFL.
A trio of defensive ends are also near the top of the list for 2021 recruits coming out of Minnesota. Davon Townley of Minneapolis North, Deven Eastern of Shakopee, and Justice Sullivan of Eden Prairie are all high recruits coming out of the state. Townley is undecided but is said to have had up to 15 offers, including tenders from Oregon, Penn State, Arizona State, Missouri and Minnesota to name a few. At 6’6” and 220, his position is a strong side defensive end. He is also an outstanding basketball player and is described as a very fluid athlete. Townley is another combination of size and athleticism.
Sullivan is 6’1” and 220 pounds and is ranked No. 21 in the nation at his position of weak side defensive end. He has committed to Iowa where he projects to be a strong player with the chance of playing in the NFL.
Eastern is headed to the Gophers and at 6’5” and 270 pounds, is a physical force coming off the end. He turned down offers from Nebraska and Missouri to stay close to home as a Gopher.
Rosemount’s Jake Ratzlaff is considered the state’s top linebacker in the Class of 2021. Ratzlaff was projected to play hockey at the college level as one of the state’s top players, but he is said to have a strong love for the gridiron and is still undecided on offers from Minnesota and Wisconsin among others. Both schools would love to have him either in a hockey sweater or a football jersey. Either way, he is a gifted athlete and will be wearing shoulder pads at the college level. We just don’t know which ones.
Next on the list are four offensive tackles who average a size of 6’6” and 260 pounds.
Joe Alt (Totino Grace), Bastian Swinney (Edina), Logan Purcell (Annandale) and Tyler Magnuson (Wayzata) have all committed to Division 1 schools. Alt is heading to Notre Dame. His father, John, was a two-time brow bowler for the Kansas City Chiefs and at 6’7” and 245 pounds, the younger Alt has the size and ability to follow in dad’s footsteps.
Swinney is 6’6” and 275 pounds and described as a premiere run blocker who could play multiple years as a starter in college and projects to play beyond college. He is headed to California.
Purcell is committed to the Gophers, giving them two of the top 10 recruits in the state with the possibility to also get Ratzlaff and Townley. The 6’7” 245 pound lineman is said to be a good athlete with lots of upside and the ability to add muscle and size to his frame.
Tyler Magnuson was a force on Wayzata’s championship squad last season and the 6’5” 260-pounder has chosen Syracuse where he hopes to step in and play early.
Bryce Lance, a wide receiver from Marshall rounds out the top 10 recruits, according to 247sports.com. At 6’2” and 160 pounds, Lance recently became the school’s all-time leader in receiving yards. He already has four TDs in his team’s first two games. His older brother, Trey, plays for North Dakota State University and was MVP of the school’s title game earlier this year. He is projected to go in the NFL draft in 2021.
Minnesota’s Top Prospects
Player POS HT WGT High School College Commit
Riley Mahlman OT 6-7 270 Lakeville South Wisconsin
Davon Townley DE 6-6 220 Minneapolis North Undecided
Jake Ratzlaff LB 6-3 220 Rosemount Undecided
Devan Eastern DE 6-6 280 Shakopee Minnesota
Justice Sullivan DE 6-1 220 Eden Prairie Iowa
Joe Alt OT 6-7 257 Totino Grace Notre Dame
Bastian Swinney OT 6-6 275 Edina California
Logan Purcell OT 6-7 245 Annadale Minnesota
Tyler Magnuson OT 6-5 260 Wayzata Syracuse
Bryce Lance WR 6-2 160 Marshall Undecided
Other Players To Watch:
Dominic McMillan, LB, MPLS North
Michael Olowo, CB, Rogers
Cade Ahrenholz, LB, Lakeville South
Aidan Kingsbury, OT, Concordia Academy (Princeton)
Gaven Ziebarth, RB, Cambridge-Isanti (NorthDakota)
Trey Longstreet, TE, Delano
Kristoff Kowalkowski, QB, Totino Grace (St. Thomas)
Trey Feeney, QB, Moorhead (North Dakota)
Elijah Green, WR, Farmington
Alec Rasmussen, OT, Wayzata
Terrance Kamara, RB, MPLS North
Cheick Kaba, OT, Fridley (Air Force)
Sam Floysand OG, Cretin-Derham Hall (Air Force)
Kenyatta Brannon, OG, Chanhassen
Zach Yeager, QB, Minneapolis North (North Carolina A&T)
Jaden Norby, TE, West Central Area (North Dakota)
Eli Mau, LB, Chanhassen
RJ Chakolis, LB, Hopkins
Shawn Shipman, RB, Champlin Park