P.J. Fleck is known as a recruiter. He made clear during his press conference that recruiting was the #1 most important part of changing the culture at Minnesota. And last night Coach Fleck put those words into action, flipping 6 Western Michigan recruits in the span of just a few hours.
I can confirm the #Gophers have flipped Western Michigan quarterback commit @Tanner_Morg12. He'll enroll at Minnesota next week. pic.twitter.com/zjTUKmp6wm— Ryan Burns (@RyanBurnsMN) January 7, 2017
I can confirm that #Gophers have also flipped former Western Michigan LB commit @T_Guthrie5. Top 75 LB. Two in one night for @Coach_Fleck! pic.twitter.com/i3F2SifGMw— Ryan Burns (@RyanBurnsMN) January 7, 2017
Commit #3 of the night for @Coach_Fleck! #Gophers get a commit from top 85 WR Chris Bell. https://t.co/Bh3XAgTTEb @AllenTrieu https://t.co/32swAk1x9R— Ryan Burns (@RyanBurnsMN) January 7, 2017
What an ELITE night. #Gophers grab their FOURTH commit of the night from @BenDavisFB DE @EseziOtomewo. https://t.co/NrcaYuSTfo @AllenTrieu— Ryan Burns (@RyanBurnsMN) January 7, 2017
COMMIT NUMBER FIVE. #Gophers head coach @Coach_Fleck flips another WMU commit in DE Noah Hickcox https://t.co/hfLoZ8GKpo @AllenTrieu https://t.co/TMN1BWd5yU— Ryan Burns (@RyanBurnsMN) January 7, 2017
Commit. Number. Six.— Ryan Burns (@RyanBurnsMN) January 7, 2017
I can confirm 2017 top 55 OG @jmschmitz1999 has flipped from Western Michigan to Minnesota. https://t.co/OkqCY48ExX
Coach Fleck moves quick. For some of these guys that was an absolute must (QB Tanner Morgan for example was about to start classes at WMU on Monday so the change had to happen now) but if you were wondering whether Fleck meant what he said about recruiting, you should wonder no longer.
Early enrollment means minions. In case you’re wondering, that means Tanner Morgan is now enrolling at Minnesota on Monday so that he can participate in spring practices. Another QB on the depth chart? ALERT THE MINIONS!
MAC level recruiting. You might be thinking to yourself, “Why do we care about poaching WMU recruits? MAC recruits can’t be any good!” And this is where you’d be wrong. First off, look at the following image:
Chris Bell and Tanner Morgan are now the 5th and 6th best recruits we have committed right now according to the 247 composite rankings. MAC recruits does not immediately mean bad when you’re poaching from the top ranked MAC recruiting class.
Additionally, several of these guys have P5 offers that are worth noting:
- Tanner Morgan: Louisville and Wake Forrest (plus a strong G5 offer from Cincinnati)
- John Schmitz: Louisville
- Esezi Otomewo: Illinois, Iowa State, Purdue, Syracuse
The Louisville offer is notable for Morgan given their offense’s success with the position and Esezi Otomewo was the lowest rated of the six (and is now our lowest rated commit in total) yet still holds offers from four P5 schools including two Big Ten West opponents. Not bad for the first night.
No longer the worst. Coming into last night Minnesota had the #67 ranked recruiting class in the country according to the 247 team composite rankings. This was (not surprisingly) only good enough for last in the Big Ten. What did last night’s flips mean? Minnesota has now jumped 11 spots to 56th and now has the 12th ranked class in the B1G.
I’m certainly not a “stars are everything” guy, as I think the rankings tend to matter less when you’re talking about 3 star guys. But an 11 point jump on the first day gets a buzz going and that’s never a bad thing.
What does this mean for current commits. We’ve been talking about this as a staff. We’ll be shocked if any Minnesota recruits have their offers pulled, but it’s certainly possible that some of the lower rated recruits from other states might be encouraged to seek other opportunities (or that they may choose to do so on their own because Fleck isn’t their style). Time will tell.
My elite summary
Coach Fleck cares a ton about recruiting and is proving that quickly. We flipped 6 Western Michigan recruits in one night. And Minnesota no longer has the worst recruiting class in the B1G. This is a happy Saturday indeed.