The race has heated up for one of the top-ranked high school football player in Minnesota in the 2025 recruiting class.
Big scholarship offers have been coming in for Robbinsdale Cooper athlete Emmanuel Karmo this week.
Powerhouse programs Ohio State and USC recently sent assistant coaches to the suburban school and extended offers to the 6-foot-3, 225-pound linebacker/receiver.
As part of its “blitz” across the state, the Gophers had Winston DeLattiboudere, its young, energetic and up-and-coming defensive line coach, visit Cooper last week, but the U has not yet offered a scholarship to Karmo.
Karmo said on social media site X that, as a junior, he had 62 tackles, 10 for lost yards, two sacks and both one interception and one fumble returned for touchdowns. On offense, he claimed 17 receptions for 294 yards and nine touchdowns.
Cooper coach Willie Howard has been singing Karmo’s praises for a while. “He is what I said(:) he is a Dawg,” Howard posted on X in September.
Howard, a standout defensive lineman at Stanford and a 2001 second-round draft pick by the Vikings, is very familiar with high-level recruiting battles. His son, Jaxon Howard, was the top-rated recruit from Minnesota in the 2023 class. The 6-foot-4, 240-pound defensive end signed with LSU over the Gophers and others. As a true freshman, he had two tackles in five games for the Tigers last season.
A handful of recognizable recruiters are visiting Karmo: former Wayzata linebacker and current Buckeyes linebacker coach James Laurinaitis; former Gophers and current K-State assistant Brian Anderson; and former North Dakota State head coach and current USC linebackers coach Matt Entz.
Karmo has top-tier company, too. Abu Tarawallie, a 6-foot-4, 275-pound defensive lineman from Heritage Christian Academy in Maple Grove, has eight scholarship offers, including the Gophers, Wisconsin, Penn State, Oklahoma, Michigan State and others, according to 247sports.
The Gophers have had a tougher time netting the state’s best high school prospects over recent years, but bucked that trend with the signing of Koi Perich of Esko in the 2024 class. The safety was the No. 1 player in the state and picked Minnesota over Ohio State. He went on to be named the MVP of the All-American Bowl in early January.