Incredible to think back three years ago, when the Gophers extended scholarship offers to only 3 in-state prospects and landed just one. Those days are not missed.
Monticello (MN) HS junior offensive linemen Conner Olson verbally committed to Minnesota this evening, becoming the 7th member of the Minnesota class of 2016 and 6th in-state recruit overall. Conner is a 3 star prospect according to 247Sports' Industry Composite, selecting the Gophers over a number of Ivy League offers.
(Likely Fraudulent) Measurables**
** The section title is a bit. It's intentionally facetious comment on how recruiting sites (and even some college coaches) notoriously exaggerate traditional combine measures -- especially the 40. No offense is meant.
Weight: 270-274 lbs.
Fake 40 Time: That's a mean thing to ask a linemen.
Olson compares favorably to current Gopher senior Joe Bjorklund. Like Conner, Joe was a pretty athletic high school tackle who projected better as a guard at the next level. Conner also has a similar frame and height to Bjorklund as a high school senior.
2016 Minnesota Commitments
Carter Coughlin Pledges to Minnesota
Jerry Kill and Mike Sherels just won their biggest recruiting battle to date with the commitment of a legacy four star linebacker.
2016 Minnesota Commitments
Conner is an athletic knee-bender who really moves his feet well and can get out in space. He's quick off the snap and light on his feet for a big man; he moves more like a big high school tight end than an offensive linemen. Due to his quickness and feet, he'll likely be a guard at the next level and will probably be asked to pull and combo block in Matt Limegrover's scheme. His 2014 highlights show that he was a bit skinny for a high school junior, but Conner has reportedly put on 20 lbs. or so since then, prompting the staff to offer. A playing weight of 300-305 looks about right for Olson, which is more than doable in Klein's S&C program and in the range of where Minnesota's current guards tip the scales at.
Impact on Other Prospects?
Olson's commitment has no bearing whatsoever on Matt Kegel, who is still deciding between the Gophers and Oklahoma State. The Minnesota staff have been keeping tabs on Olson for a while now, even back so far as last summer during their annual Big Man camp. Conner has not taken a spot away from Kegel, nor would Olson's decision impact Matt either way. In fact, the staff recently offered two new offensive linemen this week -- including a JUCO. It's becoming increasingly likely that the staff could take up to 5 linemen this cycle, especially as they try to balance out the scholarships from a very small 2013 OL class.