The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Sports

April 24, 2014

MSU football recruits say coach switch is no problem

Hoffner's return has had little impact on recruiting class

MANKATO — Isaac Weber was caught a bit off guard last week when Todd Hoffner announced that he would return to Minnesota State as the head coach of the football program, but after meeting him during last Saturday’s practice, Weber is ready to go.

“I didn’t know how MSU was going to handle it,” the Mankato West senior linebacker said. “But it’s still the same people there. I’m going to stick with MSU.”

Weber is one of the 23 players who signed letters of intent with the Mavericks in February, and three were contacted this week to see if they had changed their minds about playing at Minnesota State. They each expressed confusion, but none said they were going elsewhere even though they thought they would be playing for Aaron Keen, the head coach at that time.

Weber, whose primary recruiter was assistant coach Kevin Sanger, said he had not met Hoffner before Saturday so he was unsure about what the future looked like, but after watching a practice and a brief conversation on the sidelines with his future coach, Weber heard was what he needed to hear.

“He introduced himself and asked me if I had any questions,” Weber said. “He was very welcoming.”

Hoffner said he has been dealing more with on-campus issues this week but hopes to talk with recruits in the next few days. Some of the recruits will be at Saturday’s spring game.

“I think we have an outstanding recruiting class,” Hoffner said. “I’m excited to get these young men on campus and get them fired up to play football at Minnesota State.”

Safety Jake Engelken of Maple Grove said he was confused by the goings-on at Minnesota State last week, but he was more impressed by how the players handled it.

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