The premier Minnesota recruiting event of the summer happens this weekend: the annual Kill Recruiting BBQ. More than any other activity, sans camps, the BBQ is the staff's chance to bring talented prospects on campus to hang out with coaches, eat some pork butt and spend time with other targets. Many other Power5 schools have similar events (Michigan and Auburn's Big Cat Weekend come to mind) and the one's that don't, well, I'd say get on that but I'm competitive and hate everyone else.
Who's All Coming?
Well maybe not everyone, but close to two dozen 2015 and 2016 prospects will make their way on campus for a cornucopia of seared animal flesh. It's a brilliant strategy, since the compromised yet blissful state of consciousness that arises from the meat sweats cracks even the most stubborn of subjects; they'll commit to anything when they've stuffed their gullets with pork belly.
List courtesy of Gophers247.
The 2015 Guys
Suwanee, GA (North Gwinnett) 3-star WR Almonzo Brown - Offered
Aurora, ON (St. Andrew's College) 3-star RB Jonathan Femi-Cole - Offered
Pittsburg, KS (Pittsburg) 3-star ATH Alex Barnes - Offered
Copperas Cove, TX (Copperas Cove) 3-star MLB Jaylen Waters - Offered
Webb City, MO (Webb City) CB Kiante Hardin - Offered
Springfield, IL (Sacred Heart Griffin) 3-star OL Quinn Oseland - Offered
Roselle, IL (Lake Park) 3-star CB Antonio Shenault - Offered
Norwalk, OH (Norwalk) 3-star RB Breck Turner - Offered
Southfield, MI (Southfield) 3-star ATH Ray Buford Jr.
Morganza, LA (Livonia) 2-star LB Bryce Jones
The 2016 Bros
2016 Saint Paul, MN (East Ridge) 4-star QB Seth Green - Offered
2016 Sioux Falls, SD (Washington) 4-star OT Matt Farniok - Offered
2016 Saint Paul, MN (East Ridge) 4-star DT Jojo Garcia - Offered
2016 Eden Prairie, MN (Eden Prairie) 3-star OLB Carter Coughlin - Offered
2016 Chaska, MN (Chaska) OT Matt Kegel
2016 Minneapolis, MN (Robbinsdale Armstrong Senior) LB/RB Thomas Barber
2016 Mayer, MN (Lutheran) OT Sam Schlueter
2016 Saint Paul, MN (East Ridge) WR Kjetil Cline
Talk to Me about These 2015 Kids
Arguably the most sought after prospects of the group are Oseland, Brown and Barnes, each of whom list multiple Power 5 offers. The vector of predictions for Oseland is pointing toward Oklahoma State, and the staff really has their work cut out for them to pull Quinn from Lincoln Land. Brown and Barnes register a 100% Minnesota Crystal Ball poll each; Almonzo is a play-making wideout/h-back/tight end hybrid while Alex is more a projectable athlete than allocated running back.
Corner and perhaps running back are positions of need for the 2015 class, so it's little surprise the BBQ features multiple attendees at each position. Hardin and Shenault are shorter than the prototypical Sawvel/Claeys corner but are active, physical defenders who make up for their lack of overall length. Femi-Cole and Turner have complimentary styles at running back: JFC is a physical, between the tackles bruiser while Breck is an upright slasher with pretty good top end speed.
The Gophers already hold an inside linebacker pledge from Jacob Huff, though Waters may simply be too good to reject for bean counting reasons. Jaylen is one of the most powerful natural tacklers Minnesota has recruited at linebacker in the Kill era. Bryce Jones is a curious scenario: he doesn't hold an offer yet and looks more like a safety than a linebacker on film. It'll be interesting to see if Coach Sherels pulls the trigger this weekend.
2016 Looks Awesome, Right?
Landing the top 2015 recruits at the BBQ would be a nice coup. Grabbing the best 2016 recruits in attendance would put that cycle in contention for best Minnesota recruiting class ever.
The East Ridge trio grab all the headlines, as they should. JoJo and Seth are Top247 recruits for their class and rank as the best Minnesota prospects at their respective positions in several years. Cline holds offers from Pitt and WMU at the moment, though that number should climb as his senior year approaches. I hope he becomes a Gopher so I can replace the SotS lede with The Call of the Kjetil.
Carter Coughlin posted a ridiculous (though likely hand-timed) 4.44s forty at the Ohio State camp this summer, which is all the more preposterous given he's 1) a junior to be 2) a 6'3", 200 lbs. linebacker and 3) from Eden Prairie. Those things generally don't compute, but they do, and that could be a huge boon to Coach Sherels in the future. You may have heard of Thomas' dad and older brothers; it's only a matter of time before he gets an offer, commits, as awesome at everything he does and heads off the League.
Finally, some offensive line hogs. Farniok would be a huge recruiting win for Limegrover; I'm skeptical at the moment. Schuelter and Kegel will both camp this weekend in addition to their BBQ appearance, and should remain on the coaches radar for potential offers heading into next summer.
Anyone Going to Swear an Undying Oath of Fealty?
Probably. I'd say definitely but relative uncertainty and all.
High on the list of commitment watch are Femi-Cole and Waters. I think one of the CBs could pop over the weekend or early into next week, since - speculation here - Shenault and Hardin could be competing for one CB reservation while the staff aims a bit higher during official visit season. JoJo has given hints in the past that he'd like to shut down his recruitment before his junior season begins, and called Minnesota his "dream offer." Any offer extended to Thomas Barber would be accepted on the spot, since he'd get beat up (probably not but still) if he didn't.
What's On the Menu?
Brisket and Boston Butt are a labor of love but the slow cooked attention to detail would surely impress. Ribs are a crowd-pleaser. Brats, dogs and burgers are the bare minimum, but would constitute more of a "cook-out" than a true BBQ. Chicken, for variety. Burnt tips? More like TURNT TIPS.*
* I have no damned idea what they're serving.