It's just getting silly now in the best possible way.
Chaska (MN) HS junior offensive linemen Matt Kegel verbally committed to Minnesota this afternoon via Twitter, the latest in-state prospect to do so and second this week. Matt is a 3 star prospect according to 247Sports' Industry Composite, choosing Minnesota over his other finalist Oklahoma State, plus offers from Iowa State and Pitt. Kegel is the seventh in-state prospect to pledge Maroon & Gold for the 2016 cycle and the 3rd linemen from Minnesota in the class. Matt will join former Chaska teammate and 2015 signee Bronson Dovich in Dinkytown.
Matt with Gopher247's' Kyle Goblirsch on his commitment:
"I knew about a week ago," Kegel told 247Sports of his decision to be a Golden Gopher. "I just wanted to wait and make sure before announcing today. It feels great to join the class and the program and to have my recruitment behind me."
Kegel back in March during his on-campus visit with another in-state commit, Sam Schlueter:
"It went really well, we got to chill with some O lineman and got to tour the campus and the business school. We also got to talk to the strength staff and equipment staff and also some time with Lime (Matt Limegrover) and Coach Kill," Kegel replied.
"I like them, they seem like they know what they are doing and how to help athletes reach their potential," Matt added regarding the meeting with the strength staff.
The weekend in Dinkytown was a revisit of sorts for the two west metro lineman. "Me and Sam played youth football 3rd to 8th grade, he's a good guy. We were all together the whole time except for we had individual meetings with Kill Sunday morning," Kegel explained.
"My one on one with Kill was great. He says I'm a top priority and he wants me really bad which feels very good to hear."
(Likely Fraudulent) Measurables**
** The section title is a bit. It's an 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: 303 lbs.
Fake 40 Time: NULL
Big 4 Ratings:
*Rated as a guard by Scout.
Kegel has a similar height, build and development level to Ed Olson, Jr. at equivalent points in their high school careers, though Matt plays meaner and is a little bigger than Eddie at this stage in the game. Kegel moves really well for a big man and handles his bulk well, though he'll need to work on playing with a wider base, better knee bend and firing off the snap with a flatter back, a not uncommon problem for a taller line prospect.
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
Kegel is yet another offensive linemen brought on board by Matt Limegrover over 6'5" who plays through the whistle. The Gophers love snapping up taller linemen who can move their feet, and they also prefer recruits with some versatility to play multiple positions along the offensive line. Matt is most likely a tackle when he arrives on campus due to his limited experience pulling at the high school level, though an ability to pull out in space is not a requirement in this offense (just a preference).
Impact on Other Prospects?
With four offensive linemen in the fold, there's only two scenarios in which the staff would take another linemen in the 2016 class: 1) an absolute must-take recruit wants to commit (ala Quinn Oseland or Tyler Moore, or 2) they decide to bring in a JUCO to help with roster imbalances caused by taking only one prospect in 2013. The latter seems more likely, especially since Limegrover did just offer a JUCO from Mississippi this week.
Kegel's pledge made it 7-for-7 local recruits making their commitments to the home town program. Simply put, what Jerry Kill and his staff have accomplished this cycle is unprecedented, since never before has a Minnesota staff had this much success grabbing local prospects in bulk and securing the elite level recruits. Indeed, in the Internet recruiting era only the 2012 group of Minnesota signees had more total in-state prospects and 247Composite points than the current Gopher class, and Kill most certainly isn't done yet. When all is said and done, the 2016 class may represent the single best in-state recruiting effort in modern program history.
As it currently stands, Minnesota is 29th nationally and 4th in the Big Ten according to 247Sports' Team Rankings. Granted rankings can and do change between early classes and signing day, but the Gopher staff is well on their way to their best class at Minnesota and arguably one of the better classes in the Internet recruiting era. The depth and breadth of the in-state crop has afforded the staff with much more flexibility than they've previously experienced, and could allow them to focus more time on high impact prospects now that nearly half the class is full.