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Minnesota Football Recruiting: Breaking down the Gophers’ current recruiting class

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With a flurry of commitments over the weekend, Fleck and co.’s current recruiting class is beginning to take shape

Minnesota v Oregon State Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

After a weekend that saw head coach P.J. Fleck and his staff score five new verbal commitments — James Gordon, T.J. Robinson, Donald Willis, DeAngelo Griffin, and Solomon Brown — the Minnesota Golden Gophers’ current recruiting class stands at 16 commits. In terms of rankings, 247 Sports currently ranks the class 19th nationally and fourth in the Big Ten.

A lot can happen between now and the early signing period in December, but with the flurry of commitments on Sunday, I thought it might be worthwhile to assess the recruiting class in its current state and look ahead to how it might fill out over the next six months.

Quarterback

Current Commits (2): Jacob Clark and Cole Kramer

Outlook: Barring a decommitment from either Clark or Kramer (or both, God forbid), I don’t foresee the Gophers adding another quarterback to this recruiting class. The plan was always to bring in two quarterbacks, and even with the unexpected departure of Vic Viramontes, I don’t see Fleck and co. diverging from that plan.

Running Back

Current Commits (0): None

Outlook: Look for the Gophers to bring in at least one running back. The return of Shannon Brooks for next year will bolster a young and inexperienced running back corps, but the staff will need to continue to build depth here. Illinois prospect Jirehl Brock is the top target here, and he was on campus over the weekend, but the Hawkeyes seems to be in the driver’s seat for his services for the time being. He will be visiting Iowa and Iowa State later this month. Another name to watch: Las Vegas’ Cameron Wiley.

Wide Receiver

Current Commits (0): None

Outlook: With one upperclassman wide receiver on scholarship, expect Fleck and wide receivers coach Matt Simon to add at least two or three pass catchers here. The reason that it has been slow going up to this point is that Fleck likes to see their wide receiver recruits live and in person, so things will ramp up as camp season gets underway. For now, the most talked about target is Texas wideout Nnamdi Adim-Madumere, but Minnesota is competing with Alabama and Texas A&M for his services. I’m not certain that’s a battle they can win.

Michigan wide receiver Tre Mosley is also a name at the top of the pile, with the Gophers making the cut for his top seven. Expect him to take an official visit to Minneapolis this summer, but Michigan and Michigan State will both present stiff competition.

Tight End

Current Commits (0): None

Outlook: Not much smoke here at the moment, to be honest. The Gophers are well stocked at this position, with no seniors on the roster for the fall, so it is possible Fleck and co. have decided to focus their efforts elsewhere. There are offers out to almost a dozen tight end prospects, but don’t be surprised if none of them are part of this class when all is said and done. New Jersey prospect Dylan Deveney, who has scholarship offers from multiple Power 5 programs but strangely no rating yet on 247 Sports, will be on campus Tuesday for an official visit.

Offensive Line

Current Commits (1): J.J. Guedet

Outlook: The Gophers brought in six offensive linemen in their last recruiting class, so it should come as no surprise that this class will represent a step back in terms of numbers at that position group. I don’t know that we’ll see them bring in more than a pair. You’d like to think that Lakeville product Bryce Benhart — the second-ranked prospect in the state behind Notre Dame-bound Quinn Carroll — would represent the other shoe here, but Wisconsin continues to be the favorite for him. Illinois offensive tackle Joacheim Price was on campus over the weekend and reportedly has a good relationship already with Guedet.

Defensive Line

Current Commits (6): DE Jason Bargy, DE D’Vion Harris, DT Chris Daniels, DT DeAngelo Griffin, DT Logan Richter, and DT Keonte Schad

Outlook: I have to imagine the Gophers are close to being done here. Six defensive linemen in one recruiting class is a lot, but attrition has wreaked havoc at both defensive tackle and defensive end. The JUCO additions of Daniels and Schad will account for a recruiting gap at defensive tackle. And as a reminder, Richter counts towards this recruiting class after accepting a greyshirt. If Fleck and co. end up taking another defensive lineman, look for it to be a defensive tackle. New York product Jason Blissett was on campus over the weekend for an official visit.

Linebacker

Current Commits (2): James Gordon and Donald Willis

Outlook: I think the Gophers are done here after last weekend’s commitments from both Gordon and Willis. The last recruiting class brought in three linebackers, and with Jason Williamson as a possibility at linebacker, Minnesota seems to have this position group wrapped up.

Defensive Back

Current Commits (4): CB Solomon Brown, CB Tyler Nubin, safety T.J. Robinson, and safety Jason Williamson

Outlook: Once Jacob Huff graduates, the Gophers will have two scholarship safeties remaining on the roster — Antoine Winfield, Jr. and Josh Aune. They are in desperate need of warm bodies. Williamson has the ability to play on either side of the ball, but I think he ends up at safety when all is said and done. He and Robinson are a good pair, and Tyler Nubin is an impressive get at cornerback. Brown is versatile enough to play safety, cornerback, or nickel. I anticipate at least one more defensive back in this class. One name to watch for: La’Darius Henry.

Special Teams

Current Commits (1): LS Brady Weeks

Outlook: The Gophers seem keen on bringing in a kicker with this class, as Emmit Carpenter enters his senior season. Cade York made an unofficial visit to Minneapolis in April, but ultimately decided on LSU. Georgia kicker Michael Lantz and North Carolina kicker Camden Lewis are the only other specialists with a scholarship offer from the Gophers.