skip navigation

2004 Gopher Football Recruiting Class

2004 Gopher Football Signees

Player Pos Ht Wt Hometown / School Rivals Scout
Maurice Alexander RB 5-8 185 Southfield, Mich. / Southfield HS 2 NR
Dominique Barber DB 6-0 180 Plymouth, Minn. / Wayzata HS 3 3
William Brody DE 6-5 230 Garfield Heights, Ohio / Benedictine HS 2 2
John Carlson QB 6-2 205 Wayzata, Minn. / Hopkins HS 3 3
Matt DeGeest DE 6-5 250 Harrisburg, S.D. / Harrisburg HS 2 2
Adam Ernst QB 6-2 195 Orange, Calif. / Mt. San Antonio Calif JC / Servite HS 3 2
Jason Giannini K 5-10 180 Canton, Ohio / Glen Oak HS 2 2
Deon Hightower LB 6-3 195 Arlington, Texas / Mansfield Summit HS 2 2
Leland Jones LB 6-2 215 Atlanta, Ga. / Frederick Douglass HS 3 2
Justin Kucek P 6-0 180 Canfield, Ohio / Canfield HS 2 2
Tommy Leavitt TE 6-3 215 Minneapolis, Minn. / Washburn HS 2 2
Mike Maciejowski QB 6-3 210 Columbus, Ohio / Upper Arlington HS 2 2
Steve Moore LB 6-2 230 Coon Rapids, Minn. / Blaine HS 2 2
Tony Mortensen QB 6-3 200 Hutchinson, Minn. / Hutchinson HS 2 2
Everett Pedescleaux DE 6-5 240 Plymouth, Minn. / Armstrong HS 2 2
Gary Russell RB 5-11 195 Columbus, Ohio / Walnut Ridge HS 2 2
Johnny Sampy LB 6-2 215 Houston, Texas / Galena Park HS 2 2
Sam Scroggins TE 6-3 245 Florissant, Mo. / McCluer North HS 2 2
Hussain Shakir DB 6-0 190 Pennsauken, N.J. / Woodrow Wilson HS 2 2
Jack Simmons TE 6-4 215 Libertyville, Ill. / Carmel HS 3 3
Andre Sloan El QB 6-2 185 Pennsauken, N.J. / Roman Catholic HS (Philadelphia, Pa.) 2 2
Nhemie Theodore DT 6-3 275 Irvington, N.J. / Irvington HS 3 3
William VanDeSteeg DE 6-4 235 Silver Lake, Minn. / Glencoe-Silver Lake HS 2 2
David Wess QB 6-1 195 Whitehall, Ohio / Yearling HS 2 2

Maurice Alexander, RB, 5-8, 185, Southfield, Mich. (Southfield High School)
Was an all-city, all-county, all-conference, all-area and all-state selection in 2002...amassed 4,220 yards on 541 carries with 42 touchdowns for his career...totaled 1,120 yards on 180 carries with 14 touchdowns in nine games his senior season...rushed for 1,400 yards during his junior campaign and scored 17 touchdowns...also participated in track as a 100-meter and 200-meter specialist... is undecided on major...high school coach is David Reese...son of Melinda Alexander Lampkin...born 4/19/84.

Dominique Barber, DB, 6-0, 180, Plymouth, Minn. (Wayzata HS)
Ranked as the 42nd-best player at his position in 2003 by Rivals...selected for the SuperPrep Midwest Team, ranked as the 58th-best player...selected as a PrepStar All-Midwest Region choice...named all-state and all-county his senior season at defensive back and was an all-conference and all-area selection his senior season at running back... selected to the KARE-11 and Star Tribune All-Metro teams in 2003...tallied one interception, which he returned for a touchdown in 2003...rushed for 911 yards on 138 carries with nine scores last season, while also recording 25 catches for 288 yards with three touchdowns...follows father, Marion Barber, Jr., and brother, Marion Barber III in playing for the Gophers...also lettered twice in hockey and once in baseball...plans to major in education ...high school coach is Brad Anderson...son of Marion and Karen Barber...born 8/2/86.

William Brody, DE, 6-5, 230, Garfield Heights, Ohio (Benedictine HS)
First-team all-state his senior season...was also an all-city, all-county and all-area selection in 2003...named to the "Best of the Best" Northeast Ohio Team...totaled 29 career sacks...registered 100 tackles, 13 sacks, five tackles-for-loss, three pass break-ups, three forced fumbles and one interception his senior year at defensive end...helped lead Benedictine to a 14-1 record and state championship his senior season...also lettered twice in basketball as a forward...plans to major in business...high school coach is Art Bortnick...nephew of Jim and Cheryl Carcioppolo...born 12/28/85.

John Carlson, QB, 6-2, 205, Wayzata, Minn. (Hopkins HS)
Selected as a PrepStar All-American...ranked the 19th-best dual-threat quarterback in the nation by Rivals...Ranked the 17th best quarterback in the nation by ESPN's Tom Lemming... selected for the SuperPrep Midwest Team, ranked as the 40th-best player...was an all-state selection and was a three-time all-conference performer...threw for 5,500 yards and 43 touchdowns in his career, completing 60% of his passes... also rushed for 1,650 yards in his career with 29 touchdowns...A-roll honor student...also lettered and was an all-conference performer in track...undecided upon major...high school coach is Ken McDonald...son of David and Jan Carlson...born 4/16/85.

Matt DeGeest, DE, 6-5, 250, Harrisburg, S.D. (Harrisburg HS)
Earned honorable-mention recognition on the Gatorade All-America team...selected as a PrepStar All-Midlands Region performer...three-year letterwinner, who was an all-conference and all-area selection in 2003...tallied 100 tackles with five sacks and eight tackles-for-loss in his career...Honor Roll student...a four-year letterwinner and all-conference standout in basketball...also lettered in track...plans to major in education...high school coach is Scott Ebert...son of Scott and Sandy DeGeest...born 6/27/85.

Adam Ernst, QB, 6-2, 195, Orange, Calif. (Mt. San Antonio JC / California / Servite HS)
Ranked among the SuperPrep Juco Top 100...rated the 11th-best junior college quarterback by for 2,300 yards and 23 touchdowns last season, completing 176-of-293 passes...was a first-team All-Mission Conference selection in 2003... helped lead MSAJC to a 10-2 record in 2003...Academic All-America nominee in college and Honor Roll student in high school... was a first-team All-Sierra League performer at Anaheim Servite HS his junior and senior seasons...plans on majoring in business...Mt. San Antonio JC coach is Bill Fisk...high school coach was Larry Toner...son of Mike and Lynn Ernst...born 10/4/82.

Jason Giannini, K, 5-10, 180, Canton, Ohio (Glen Oak HS)
Was an All-Ohio, All-Federal League, all-county and all-district selection in 2003...won the kicking contest at the annual Canton Repository Pro Football Hall of Fame East-West All-Star Football Game...three-time letterwinner in wrestling...undecided upon major... high school coach is Jack Rose...son of Tony and Sandy Giannini...born 7/16/85.

Deon Hightower, LB, 6-3, 195, Arlington, Texas (Mansfield Summit HS)
Was an all-city and all-area selection in 2003...played in the Texas Coca-Cola All-Star Game...had 60 tackles, including 35 solos with four sacks, four pass break-ups and three forced fumbles his senior year...helped lead his team to a 9-2 record in 2003...also participated in track...named academic all-district...plans to major in business...high school coach is Timothy Beck...son of Dwight and Tosha Hightower...born 5/14/86.

Leland Jones, LB, 6-2, 215, Atlanta, Ga. (Frederick Douglass HS)
Ranked as the 24th-best outside linebacker in the nation by Rivals... selected as a PrepStar All-Southeast Region performer...named Conference Player of the Year and Area Defensive Player of the Year in 2003...also an all-state, all-county and All-Metro Super 11 performer his senior season...registered 440 tackles, including 340 solos with 22 sacks, 62 tackles-for-loss, 15 forced fumbles and six interceptions in his career...had 153 tackles with 11 sacks and 20 tackles-for-loss his senior season...had consecutive 90-tackle and 10-sack seasons his junior and senior year...undecided upon major...played at the same high school as current Gopher linebacker Terrance Campbell...high school coach is Gary Cantrell...son of Valerie Bell-Jones...born 10/7/86.

Justin Kucek, P, 6-0, 180, Canfield, Ohio (Canfield HS)
Received honorable-mention all-state recognition in 2002 and was a second-team selection in 2003...twice named to the All-Northeast Ohio Team and was a three-time all-conference choice...named Canfield's Special Teams Most Valuable Player the past three seasons...averaged 42.3 yards per punt last season with 27 punts for 1,142 yards with a long of 56 yards...also lettered in baseball...undecided upon major...high school coach is Mike Pavlansky...son of Jack and Janice Kucek...born 5/22/85.

Tommy Leavitt, TE, 6-3, 215, Minneapolis, Minn. (Washburn HS)
Named all-state his senior season and was all-city and all-conference his junior and senior All-Metro selection by KARE-11 and by the Star Tribune in 2003...accumulated 724 yards on 46 receptions with eight touchdowns in his career...caught 29 passes for 444 yards with four scores his senior season...was also a defensive standout by totaling 231 tackles with 17 sacks...lettered twice and was an all-conference selection in basketball...Honor Roll student...undecided upon major...high school coach is Peter Haugen...son of Seth Leavitt and Kim Pickering...born 10/22/85.

Mike Maciejowski, QB, 6-3, 210, Columbus, Ohio (Upper Arlington HS)
Selected as a PrepStar All-Midwest Region choice...named to the SuperPrep Midwest Team...three-time all-city, all-conference and all-area selection...was an all-county selection in 2002 and 2003... set school record for career passing yards with 4,600...threw for 1,700 yards on 131-of-206 passing with 17 touchdowns his senior season...also rushed for 300 yards and three scores in 2003...accumulated 1,900 yards and 22 touchdowns passes during his junior campaign...Honor Roll student...father, Ron, lettered at Ohio State and later played for the Chicago Bears and Cincinnati Bengals...plans to major in business...high school coach is Darrell Mayne...son of Ron and Lindy Maciejowski...born 12/15/85.

Steve Moore, LB, 6-2, 230, Coon Rapids, Minn. (Blaine HS)
Selected as a PrepStar All-Midwest Region choice...named all-state and All-Metro in 2002 and 2003...three-time All-Northwest Suburban Conference selection ...selected as Blaine's Offensive Player of the Year and Special Teams Player of the Year in's all-time leader in interceptions with 15...recorded 102 tackles in his career with three tackles-for-loss and 19 pass break-ups...helped lead his team to four consecutive Northwest Suburban Conference captain in 2003...Honors student...plans to major in business...high school coach is Shannon Gerrety...son of David and Loretta Moore...born 7/3/85.

Tony Mortensen, QB, 6-3, 200, Hutchinson, Minn. (Hutchinson HS)
Selected as a PrepStar All-Midwest Region choice...named to the SuperPrep Midwest Team...three-time all-conference selection...completed 140-of-250 passes for 2,700 yards and 30 touchdowns in his career...also ran for 1,500 career yards and 18 scores...threw for 900 yards his senior season with nine touchdowns and a 60% completion percentage...led team to back-to-back state championship A-Honor Roll student and all-state academic team member...lettered three times in basketball, twice in baseball and once in track...undecided on major...high school coach is Andy Rostberg...son of Steve and Colleen Menze...born 8/28/85.

Everett Pedescleaux, DE, 6-5, 240, Plymouth, Minn. (Armstrong HS)
Named to the SuperPrep Midwest Team...a PrepStar All-Midwest Region selection...all-conference and all-state performer in 2003...selected to the KARE-11 and Star Tribune All-Metro team on the defensive line in 2003...registered 73 tackles, nine sacks, four tackles-for-losses and two forced fumbles his senior season...four-time letterwinner and an all-state performer in basketball...undecided on major...high school coach is former Gopher football player Derrick Fisher...son of Carl and Lynette Thomas...born 1/19/85.

Gary Russell, RB, 5-11, 195, Columbus, Ohio (Walnut Ridge HS)
Named to the SuperPrep Midwest Team...along with being an all-state selection, was a three-time all-city and all-conference performer...was also a two-time all-county and all-area choice...gained 2,136 yards and scored 29 touchdowns his senior season after rushing for 1,800 yards and 29 scores his junior season...selected to play in the North-South All-Star Game...was a Buckeye Blue Chip Award winner...also lettered in wrestling and basketball...undecided on major...high school coach is Gary Carter...son of Joe and Joyce Russell...born 9/8/86.

Johnny Sampy, LB, 6-2, 215, Houston, Texas (Galena Park HS)
Named to the Houston Chronicle Texas Top 100...chosen first-team all-district and was an all-conference selection his senior season...also lettered in track and basketball...plans on majoring in sports management...high school coach is Mike Coker...son of Shirley Sampy...born 11/25/85.

Sam Scroggins, TE, 6-3, 245, Florissant, Mo. (McCluer North HS)
Named to the SuperPrep Midlands 66 Team...ranked as the third-best tight end in Missouri by Rivals...earned all-state, all-area, all-county and all-city status his senior year...a two-time all-conference selection...had 14 receptions for 210 yards with two scores during his career...named team captain prior to the 2003 campaign...Honor Roll student...undecided on major...high school coach is Jim Schottmueller...son of Stephen and Linda Scroggins...born 2/17/86.

Hussain Shakir, DB, 6-0, 190, Pennsauken, N.J. (Woodrow Wilson HS)
Named to the SuperPrep Northeast Team...ranked as the third-best defensive back in New Jersey by all-state and all-area performer in 2003 and a two-time all-county and all-conference choice...registered 106 tackles with 13 interceptions for his career...had six interceptions in both his junior and senior seasons...also an offensive threat with 978 career receiving yards and 11 all-conference selection in basketball and track...undecided on major...high school coach is Michael McBride...son of Tauheedah and Shaah Shakir...born 2/21/86.

Jack Simmons, TE, 6-4, 215, Libertyville, Ill. (Carmel HS)
Ranked among the top 25 tight ends in the country and the No. 1 tight end in Illinois by Rivals...selected to the SuperPrep Midwest Team, ranked as the 93rd-best player...a PrepStar All-Midwest Region selection...two-time all-state, all-area and all-conference selection...three-time all-county choice...had 108 receptions for 1,900 yards with 15 touchdowns for his career...caught 35 passes for 677 yards with six scores his senior season after posting 43 receptions for 700 yards with seven touchdowns in 2002...Honor Roll student...father, Terry, also played football for the Gophers...plans on majoring in communications... high school coach is Andy Bitto...son of Terry and Cindy Simmons...born 2/21/86.

Andre Sloan El, QB, 6-2, 185, Pennsauken, N.J. (Roman Catholic HS (Philadelphia, Pa.))
Named to the SuperPrep Northeast Team...selected as a PrepStar All-Atlantic Region choice...first-team all-state and all-conference selection...second-team all-city performer...completed 111-of-211 passes for 1,498 yards, while also rushing for 300 yards his senior season...threw for 3,768 yards on 277-of-593 passing with 36 touchdowns along with 17 rushing scores for his career...lettered four times and was a two-time all-conference selection in basketball...Honor Roll student...plans on majoring in business management/sports medicine...high school coach is James Murphy...son of Andre and Miriam Sloan El...born 1/30/86.

Nhemie Theodore, DT, 6-3, 275, Irvington, N.J. (Irvington HS)
Selected as a PrepStar All-American...ranked among the top-50 defensive tackles in the nation by Rivals...three-time all-conference, all-area and all-city selection and an all-county performer in 2003...tallied 250 tackles, including 160 solos, with 30 sacks, 41 tackles-for-loss and 16 forced fumbles in his career...had standout senior season, which included 70 tackles, eight sacks and 18 tackles-for-loss...three-time letterwinner and all-conference performer in track and two-year letterwinner in basketball...plans on majoring in sports management...high school coach is Darnell Grant...son of Alphonse and Eramse Theodore...born 10/8/86.

William VanDeSteeg, DE, 6-4, 235, Silver Lake, Minn. (Glencoe-Silver Lake HS)
An all-state performer and two-time all-conference all-area choice by the Associated Press...named All-Metro by KARE-11 and KSTP...selected to the Star Tribune All-Metro team on the defensive line...registered 75 tackles with 20 sacks and five forced fumbles his senior season...named team's Defensive Lineman of the Year in 2003. ...undecided on major... high school coach is Dave Dose...son of Cherie Ruzicka...born 9/22/85.

David Wess, QB, 6-1, 195, Whitehall, Ohio (Yearling HS)
Named all-state in 2003 and was an all-conference and all-area choice in 2002 and 2003...completed 94-of-135 passes for 1,881 yards and 32 touchdowns his senior year...threw for 4,206 yards in his career...lettered three times and was an all-conference selection in basketball...also lettered in track twice and once in baseball...Honor Roll student...plans on majoring in sports management ... high school coach is Kip Kane...son of David Wess and Cheryle Bowers...born 6/25/85.

Player bios courtesy of University of Minnesota