Mariano Sori-Marin (OLB), Providence Catholic
Providence Catholic junior outside linebacker Mariano Sori-Marin (6-foot-2, 225 pounds) added a recent offer from Minnesota and gave the Gophers his verbal commitment late last week.
"It's been pretty overwhelming," Sori-Marin said. "Minnesota just offers the best fit for me so I committed. Minnesota also offers strong academics, plus they also play in the Big Ten. After I visited, I knew that Minnesota is a great place to be so I talked it over with my family and I committed."
Sori-Marin, who missed nearly the entire 2016 season after suffering an injury in Week 1, went from largely under the radar to Gophers pledge in a hurry.
"Both my recruiting coach at Minnesota (Brian Callahan) and the defensive coordinator (Robb Smith) came to watch one of my workouts in person a few weeks ago," Sori-Marin said. "The Minnesota coaches called me a few days later and invited me to come up and make a campus visit. I went to Minnesota last week with my parents for a visit and they offered me before we left campus. We went home and talked it over and gave it a few days to sink in. Minnesota is just a great fit for me and I'm very excited to be committed to the University of Minnesota."
Sori-Marin is now the third Illinois verbal pledge to Minnesota's Class of 2018, joining Glenbard North defensive back Tyrik Henderson and Marist defensive tackle Elijah Teague.
Denver Warren (DT), West Aurora
West Aurora freshman defensive tackle Denver Warren (6-foot-3, 285 pounds) has been highly impressive on the camp circuit. Warren added his first two scholarship offers last weekend from Iowa State and Central Michigan.
"It's awesome to add two offers already," Warren said. "I spoke with the coaches at Iowa State on Saturday and then about a half hour later I also talked to Central Michigan and they also extended me an offer. I'm just really excited and so is my family."
Warren, who played for Aurora Christian last season before transferring to West Aurora, has also started to draw more recruiting attention after adding his first two offers.
"I've had 5-6 different college coaches start to follow me on Twitter right after I tweeted out my offers," Warren said.
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Jaylan Alexander (ILB), Hoffman Estates
Hoffman Estates junior inside linebacker Jaylan Alexander (6-foot-2, 225 pounds) has added several scholarship offers and increased recruiting attention this spring.
"I have offers so far from NIU, Western Kentucky, Illinois State, Eastern Michigan, Western Illinois, Central Michigan and Bowling Green," Alexander said. "We've also been seeing a lot of college coaches in school this spring. Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Central Michigan, NIU, Illinois, Western Kentucky and a few others have all been in so far. Most of the coaches come and watch our team workouts. Michigan State has also invited me to come and camp with them this summer."
Alexander also is lining up his summer college one-day camp schedule.
"I'm planning to go to the North Central College camp with Minnesota and then the following day when Iowa State is at NCC," Alexander said. "I'm also going to the Northwestern showcase camp and also NIU for a one day camp."
Alec Pierce (WR), Glenbard West
Glenbard West junior wide receiver Alec Pierce (6-foot-3, 191 pounds) has a half dozen scholarship offers, along with several BCS schools paying close attention to him.
"We've seen a lot of coaches in school so far," Pierce said. "Most of the college coaches come into school in the morning to watch our morning workouts. Illinois was in school, along with Minnesota, Purdue, Vanderbilt, Boston College, Northwestern and Wisconsin over the past week. It also seems like the entire Mid-American conference as been in school this spring."
Pierce has scholarship offers from Illinois State, Fordham, Central Michigan, Columbia, South Dakota and Western Illinois.