National JUCO Signing Period, The First Piece of the 2012 Golden Gopher Recruiting Class

December 21st is the national mid-year signing date for junior college transfers. Jerry Kill and staff have hit the JUCO ranks pretty hard trying to get some experienced talent into the program. Five guys are expected to officially sign the dotted line and bring their talents to Minnesota.

One running back who may be your feature back next fall, one wide receiver who will likely be a depth guy and three defensive backs. I would expect that at least one of the DBs, maybe two of them will be starting in September 2012.

Nothing official has yet been released but these are the expected signees.

James Gillum
James_gillum_medium

Position: RB

Measurables: 5-11 /195

Videos: none

Rankings:
- Rivals: #NR (3*)
- Scout: #NR X
- ESPN: #NR X

Notes: Gillum recently finished up his JUCO season amassing 1,297 yards and 16 touchdowns as a freshman at Mississippi Gulf Coast C.C. and then another 1,047 this past year. Out of high school Gillum was a lightly recruited back from a small town in Louisiana. Kill's staff recruited him to Northern Illinois but grades became an issue and he was forced to the JUCO route. But those two years have prepared him for BCS level football.

"James is a Big Ten back. I can see him being a 1,000-yard rusher up there," said Steve Campbell, who coached Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College to a 10-2 record this season. "He can get you the tough yards. He's going to break a lot of tackles there. He can put up some numbers."

There is a huge hole to fill at RB and Gillum will have every opportunity to be the go-to back for the Gophers next year.

Jeremy Baltazar
Jeremy_baltazar_medium

Position: CB / S

Measurables: 6-0 / 196

Videos: [1], [2]

Rankings:
- Rivals: #NR (2*)
- Scout: #NR X
- ESPN: #NR X

Notes: Baltazar recently was named honorable mention on the NJCAA All-America teams. The defensive back can play safety if needed but was told that he was being recruited to play corner. A great position of need and I fully expect that Baltazar will see plenty of playing time in 2012 for the Gophers. He was the first JUCO defensive back to commit after a handful came to visit the weekend the Gophers lost to Wisconsin. Baltazar will be a December graduate and assuming everything goes according to plan he will be on campus for spring practice, giving him more time to acclimate and to be ready to play this fall.

Martez Shabazz
Martez_shabazz_medium

Position: CB

Measurables: 5-11 /170

Videos: none

Rankings:
- Rivals: #NR (3*)
- Scout: #NR X
- ESPN: #NR X

Notes: Shabazz enjoyed his official visit to Minnesota but the following week was enamored with Baylor's upset win over Oklahoma. He committed to Baylor, but admission issues prevented that from going through. Prior to his Baylor visit he sounded as though Minnesota was his clear-cut leader. When admission issues set in, he quickly switched to Minnesota.

I've talked with Coach Kill almost every day since I committed as well. He keeps telling me that he's real excited for me and can't wait until I get up there. He also told me that I immediately make them better in the secondary.

Shabazz is a fast corner who should greatly help the secondary with his speed alone.

Isaac Fruechte
Isaac_fruechte_medium

Position: WR

Measurables: 6-3 / 210

Videos: [1]

Rankings:
- Rivals: #NR (2*)
- Scout: #NR X
- ESPN: #NR X

Notes: The Caledonia prospect spent his first season, post-high school at Rochester Community College. When offered a scholarship from the Gophers last June he immediately accepted and is very excited to play for Minnesota.

"Come out and support Minnesota football. We are going to turn this thing around and become winners. We will play the game with passion, excitement, and love for the game. The team is going to work hard just like the great people in the state of Minnesota."

He is a unique JUCO in the fact that he only spent on year playing at Rochester and will have three to play for the Gophers. Wide receiver is also a position of need for the Gophers.

Briean Boddy
Briean_boddy_medium


Position: CB

Measurables: 5-11 / 175

Videos: [1-high school highlights]

Rankings:
- Rivals: #NR
- Scout: #NR
- ESPN: #NR

Notes:Like Fruechte, Boddy will have three years of eligibility at the U. Technically he has four years to play three so if they wanted him to redshirt, that is also a possibility. Boddy played his high school football in Delaware and was lightly recruited so he took his talents to Coffeyville C.C. in Kansas. Clearly he improved his stock enough to garner this BCS offer, which he took. There can't be too many kids who take the Delaware to Kansas to Minnesota route.

Boddy finished his season at Coffeyville with 40 tackles and 4 interceptions.

Rumor has it that we are still pursuing defensive tackles as that is a huge position of need. When that DT is signed I will update but for now these are the five guys JUCOs who have verbally committed to play for Coach Kill.

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