Ladies and gentlemen, can I please have your attention. I've just been handed an urgent and
horrifying wonderful news story. I need all of you to stop what you're doing and listen:
#Gophers recruiting class includes the nation's most athletic LB, a solid OL group & another steal at QB: http://t.co/nibE6s4hRy #Minnesota— Steve Wiltfong (@SWiltfong247) May 22, 2015
.@TPoljan_1's commitment gives the #Gophers the 23rd best class according to @Rivals https://t.co/ywsx7ztazk pic.twitter.com/fO10bBgZmD— Ryan Burns (@RyanBurnsGI) May 22, 2015
Tony Poljan's commitment was a big deal and not simply because he's 6'7" or because of his potential to be a very good QB for Minnesota. It also moved the Gophers into the #24 spot in the 247Sports Recruiting Rankings and the #23 spot in the Rivals Team Recruiting Rankings!
UPDATE: Scout changed Tony Poljan's ranking from a 2 star defensive end to a 3 star QB. This change also moved Minnesota up to #23 in the Scout Team Recruiting Rankings!
The Gophers recent run of recruiting commitments also caught the eye of Steve Wiltfong, 247 Sports' director of recruiting:
Up to nine commits in the 2016 class, Minnesota currently has the No. 5 class in the Big Ten. Top100 prospect Carter Coughlin is the jewel, as the U.S. Army All-American is the most athletic linebacker in the country, proving it at the recent Nike Football The Opening Regional in Chicago where he posted the best Nike Football Rating score in the country for his position, including a 4.53 second 40-yard dash, 4. 16 shuttle, 40-foot power ball toss and a 36-1 vertical leap.
With Poljan, Minnesota is putting together a nice offensive class with four-star offensive tackle Sean Foster leading the way along with fellow offensive tackles Sam Schlueter and Matt Kegel along with offensive guard Conner Olson.
What it means...
- Coach Kill is landing higher ranked players and he's landing them earlier in the cycle.
- Coach Kill is locking down the MN border like never before.
- The (usually) lazy knock against Coach Kill as a bad or underwhelming recruiter is being disproven in a more immediate/data driven way. In other words, #MACLevelRecruiting just become an even more sarcastic hashtag.
- This recruiting class has some serious momentum. That's important if the coaching staff wants to take the class from good/very good to great. A move like that is not a given, but coming into the summer with a Top 25 ranking is the best recruiting position Kill has ever had at Minnesota.
- The Gophers are positioning themselves to maintain and expand upon the level of success Kill & Co. have already delivered. The players they're adding now have higher floors and ideally, higher ceilings, than many players in previous Minnesota classes.
What it does not mean...
- This will be a Top 25 class in February. There is a lot of time between now and signing day and there are plenty of chances for other schools to solidify their classes and move ahead of Minnesota. Not saying it can't or won't happen, just that being Top 25 in May before summer camps isn't the same as being Top 25 going into the January dead period.
- The Gophers are about to start a bunch of freshman. There is talent and potential in this class, but don't expect most of these guys to be All-B1G right off the bat.
You'll note that the "things to be excited about" list is longer than the "things to be calm about" list. That's the big takeaway from what we're seeing here...this is a class worth being excited about! That's always great from a fan perspective (look at that shiny Top 25 ranking...don't you love the shiny Top 25 ranking?) but that's not the most important thing. Long term this looks like a class that could greatly improve how the Gophers perform on the field and how the program is viewed off of it when it comes to recruiting. That's what really matters and that's why the 2016 recruiting class is worthy of the praise that is already being heaped upon it.