Brett Kitrell said his Twitter name — Brettycrocker52 — dates to youth football.
“It was because I pancaked people,” the Ashland-Greenwood senior offensive lineman said.
Now Brettycrocker52 will be playing his college football in Betty Crocker’s backyard.
Kitrell committed Friday to Minnesota — home of the famous food brand based in Minneapolis — as possibly the first Gopher scholarship player from Nebraska.
“They’ve been my leader for quite awhile now,” he said. “It felt like a great fit with the way they run their program. And I like how they go at people.”
The 6-foot-4, 280-pounder had six other offers — Central Florida, Ohio, Air Force and Army in the FBS and South Dakota and South Dakota State in the FCS.
Nebraska? No offer, though he said he was in contact with defensive line coach John Parrella. Kitrell’s father, Barry, went to NU and older brother Bo is a sophomore fullback for the Huskers.
But NU was waiting on a scholarship offer, he said. “And I felt like Minnesota was an awesome fit, so I pulled the trigger.”
Kitrell said he wanted to end his recruitment before his season began. Practice in Nebraska high schools starts Aug. 8, with his first game Aug. 26 at home against Wahoo.
Kitrell missed most of his junior season with an ACL injury.
“The knee is stronger than ever. There’s no worry about getting hurt this year,” he said. “I have complete faith in my knee and its strength and explosiveness.
“It was awesome Minnesota gave an offer when I only played a game and a half last year.”
Kitrell said he decided Thursday night and told Ashland-Greenwood coach Ryan Thompson, then called the Minnesota coaches Friday morning.
When Gopher head coach Tracy Claeys got on the phone, Kitrell said, “He was pumped. It was a really good vibe, a lot of love, which was awesome.”
Kitrell’s visit to Minneapolis was last month.
“I was able to tag along,” Thompson said. “They really made it feel like home and made him feel he was their guy. He’s definitely going to a place where he’s going to flourish.”
Kitrell welcomes the chance to accumulate more pancakes at Minnesota, where he will begin as an interior offensive lineman.
“It’s an awesome position,” he said. “It’s a tribute to play on the offensive line in the Big Ten.”