GopherSports.com will be posting interviews with many of the newest Gophers from the 2012 signing class throughout the remainder of the winter and spring. The next profile in our series is a conversation with quarterback Mitch Leidner of Lakeville, Minn.
Leidner enrolled in school in January and will participate in spring practice. Leidner was ranked as the 56th best quarterback in the nation by Rivals.com. Scout.com listed him as a three-star prospect and he was given two stars by Rivals.com and ESPN.
GopherSports.com: How does it feel to officially be a Gopher?
Mitch Leidner: It feels pretty good. I chose Minnesota because of the coaching staff and because it was close to home. I like the team. They're pretty cool and everything. I also like Coach Klein and the lifting program a lot.
GopherSports.com: When did you know that you wanted to be a Gopher and what was the experience like when you informed the coaches you'd be coming to Minnesota?
Mitch Leidner: I probably knew I wanted to be a Gopher when they offered, because I wasn't sure if they were going to or not. But when they did, I knew I wanted to be a part of the program. The coaches were pretty excited when I told them.
GopherSports.com: Why did you decide to enroll early?
Mitch Leidner: I know a lot of quarterbacks do it. I'm glad I did it so far, because I've got a lot of the offense down already and I'm getting stronger and faster. So it's already benefited me.
GopherSports.com: What are you planning to major in?
Mitch Leidner: I don't have a planned major yet. Maybe kinesiology, but I'm not really sure yet.
GopherSports.com: What are your goals for next season?
Mitch Leidner: I don't want to put the cart before the horse or anything, but it would be sweet to get some playing time. I wouldn't mind red-shirting either, so I could keep getting a feel for the offense and keep getting stronger and faster to get ready for the next season.
GopherSports.com: What are your goals for your college career?
Mitch Leidner: I want to have a really good college career and hopefully make it to the league someday. Team-wise, obviously I want to win a Big Ten Championship and win some bowl games.
GopherSports.com: Is there a particular athlete you try to model yourself after?
Mitch Leidner: I don't know. I like Tom Brady a lot. He's got a really quick release and a quick ball. He's not the fastest dude, but he's athletic enough to make plays.
GopherSports.com: How do you feel about the new uniforms?
Mitch Leidner: I like them a lot. They're pretty sweet. I probably like the gold jerseys with the maroon pants the best.
GopherSports.com: What is your favorite TV show?
Mitch Leidner: Probably Two and a Half Men. I don't like it as much now, but I like to watch the old ones.
GopherSports.com: Who is currently your favorite musical artist?
Mitch Leidner: I don't really have just one favorite. But I like country music.
-Interview by Mitch Praxl, Athletic Communications Student Assistant