...And in the span of a week, Minnesota went from zero to three wide receiver pledges. In the process, Kill managed to flip his third prospect in a row. I thought we didn't like that aspect of recruiting? cacklecacklecackle
Mentor (OH) Mentor HS wide receiver Conner Krizancic flipped to Minnesota this evening, ending his long time commitment to Cincinnati. Conner was the quarterback for the Ohio Class 1 state runner-up, coming up just short in a wild title game against future Gopher teammate and fellow WR corps member, Isaiah Gentry. For his efforts, Krizancic was named Ohio's Mr. Football 2013.
Conner is rated as a 2 star prospect according to 247Sports' Industry Composite, selecting the Gophers over the Bearcats and listed offers from Kent State, Akron, Ohio, Toledo and Buffalo. Krizancic is the 19th known commitment to the Gophers 2014 recruiting class and 12th projected player on offense.
Gopher247's Kyle Goblirsch with Conner after his official visit ($) this last weekend:
"The visit was awesome. It really went great. The facilities were awesome, awesome campus, met a lot of players on the team that were real nice and got to spend a lot of good time with the coaches. I sat with Coach Kill, Z and Poore. It went great, they were real excited and they were great to talk to."
Conner in his own words:
"No plays off.
I don’t know when this started but I just knock on my knee pad before every play. It’s like knocking on wood, but I don’t have any wood. I don’t know why I do that.
I can adapt to new situations. Learn to be comfortable outside my comfort zone. It was tough moving to from receiver to quarterback at the beginning of the year, but I loved it at the end and I grew very comfortable.
ESPNU Evaluation ($):
Displays a good ability to control his body and find a way to get open. Not blessed with pure speed, so he must use his head and technique to get open -- and he does.Catches the ball away from his body with his hands and in a very relaxed and confident manner. He then knows what to do with it as he can maneuver in the open field easily.
(Likely Fraudulent) Measurables
Weight: 190-193 lbs.
Fake 40 Time: 4.6s
Senior Year (all QB highlights), via Hudl.
Junior Year (WR highlights), via Hudl.
Folks who don't pay attention to recruiting with fervor would be none-the-wiser if you told them Minnesota went an entire year without landing a wide receiver on the trail. That, with about a week before signing day, the Gophers were still showing a goose egg at a position that saw two players transfer, the best senior option lost in the penultimate game of the regular season and a spot relying upon a duo of true freshman for production. They'd meet the exasperated expression on your face with a puzzled retort, since they ultimately don't care when someone commits as to opposed to the other important questions.
So, forgive me here as I wax a little about what Jerry Kill and his staff have accomplished in the last week. Starting with a fantastic "get" of Melvin Holland, Jr. - arguably the #1 receiver on the Minnesota board - and mixing in a legitimate deep threat in Isaiah Gentry, landing Krizancic as a potential slot player just feels like gravy. Conner has that "gamer" aspect to him which you can see pop out on film: he's a competitor and a player you want with the ball in his hands. Leading his team to the title game in a loaded football state like Ohio (and earning best player honors to boot) is impressive on its own merits: to do so in your first season as a quarterback is down right phenomenal.
Minnesota's recruiting pitch to Conner sold him as the new Eric Decker, and #WSR jokes aside, I'm not gonna go there. What Krizancic does bring to the table is excellent height and build for a slot receiver (there the staff goes again by adding taller wideouts to the mix) and a knack for using double moves and body fakes to get open. Conner does most of his damage at the high school level from the slot, which is where the Gophers will use him.
Another thing I like about this commitment is the increased recruiting presence of the staff into Ohio. After landing one recruit a piece in 2012 and 2013, Minnesota has gone hard after Ohio recruits this season and secured three verbal commitments from the Buckeye state. Ohio is quickly joining Georgia, Texas, Florida and Alabama as key footprint areas for the staff to find talent.