There was an inescapable sadness in the air at the Gibson-Nagurski Football Complex this morning as news broke that a 17-year-old high school senior had decided to withdraw his commitment to attend the University of Minnesota, opting instead to re-open his recruitment and consider his scholarship offers from other football programs.
With less than two months until the early signing period in December, this is a crushing blow to a football program in desperate need of a savior. With a 247 Sports composite rating of .8616, this recruit was certain to return Minnesota to the glory days. Instead, his decommitment has left coaches and fans alike searching for answers.
Offensive line coach Ed Warinner, the prospect’s primary recruiter, was unavailable for comment, but was spotted earlier this morning staring at the recruit’s name on a white board in his office. Before long, he picked up an eraser and wiped the name away. There were other names on the board, but none held his gaze quite like this one.
Fans gathered outside of the football complex in the wake of the decommitment. Some were there to wallow in grief and despair. Others were there to voice their displeasure at the coaching staff for allowing this devastating setback to happen.
“P.J. Fleck is supposed to be this big hotshot recruiter. We know he can’t coach to save his life, that’s for dang sure,” said Bob Nelson, a lifelong Gopher fan who claims to have never Tweeted at a recruit, but refused to divulge his Twitter handle when asked. “But he can’t even be counted on to keep this kid committed? I mean, seriously, how often do these high school kids change their minds? Almost never. It’s unheard of.”
When reminded that there are 23 other commitments in this current recruiting class and that the coaching staff has until the February signing day to fill the final vacant spots, Nelson scoffed.
“We ain’t got that kind of time.”
Head coach P.J. Fleck held a press conference earlier this morning to talk about the team’s upcoming game against Michigan. It didn’t take long for members of the media to begin asking questions about the recent decommitment. But in a cruel twist of fate, the NCAA prohibits coaches from discussing specific recruits with the media.
All Fleck could offer was tortured silence in response. And a single tear.
This is satire and is not intended to be taken as fact. I don’t know if Ed Warinner has a white board in his office, and I can’t confirm if P.J. Fleck is one of those single tear people.