Since Minnesota Golden Gophers head coach P.J. Fleck and co. signed almost their entire 2019 recruiting class back during the early signing period in December — with the exception of JUCO defensive back Gervarrius Owens — we’re taking today’s National Signing Day as an opportunity to highlight the incoming class of preferred walk-ons.
Considering Fleck has installed a “Walk-Ons Wall” in the football facility to recognize the walk-ons who have earned scholarships during his tenure, I’d say these players will have an opportunity to do something special in their careers at Minnesota.
So without further ado:
Buck, who has been playing football since fourth grade, started his career as a quarterback before switching to wide receiver as a sophomore at Orono High School. He broke the school’s all-time receiving record midway through his senior season, recording more than 1,000 receiving yards on 56 receptions and hauling in 11 receiving touchdowns. Buck was selected to participate in the 2018 Minnesota High School All-Star Game back in December.
Fey was a member of the Eden Prairie squad that made their second consecutive trip to the Class 6A State Football Championship last fall, ultimately losing to Lakeville North. He was a starter on defense for the Eagles, and even made a game-saving interception in the final seconds of the season opener, before sustaining a knee injury at the end of September.
He is 6’5’’ and punts. What more do you need to know? Foley caught the eye of the Gophers’ special teams coach Rob Wenger at a satellite camp in St. Louis over the summer and accepted a preferred walk-on after a weekend visit to campus.
Guggemos is also a multi-sport athlete, competing in high school football and track.
Kallerup took over as starting tight end for Wayzata as a senior and never looked back. He has dependable hands and above average speed to go along with his 6’5’’, 240-lb. frame. Kallerup ended his senior season with 34 receptions for 363 yards and eight touchdowns.
As a senior, McCabe led Caledonia to their fourth straight Class 2A State Football Championship. He played on both sides of the ball for Caledonia, rushing for 1,384 yards and scoring 22 total touchdowns on offense and recording 74 tackles and four sacks on defense. McCabe is another multi-sport athlete, lettering in football, wrestling, and track and field.
Fun Fact: He is the cousin of former Gophers wide receiver Isaac Fruechte.
McNaboe is another athlete who played on both sides of the ball at the high school level, alternating between running back and defensive end for Rogers High School. Depending on how his body develops, McNaboe could end up at either defensive end or outside linebacker at Minnesota. He is also a multi-sport athlete, lettering in four different sports throughout high school.
The Eagan offensive lineman shows a lot of potential on film. Smith is quick off the ball, capable of delivering a blow at the line of scrimmage, and can get to the second level. There is plenty for Minnesota offensive line coach Brian Callahan to work with here.
Yes, from that Winfield family. Austin finished the season with 113 tackles — which, in a fun coincidence, is the same number of tackles Antoine recorded as a high school senior — but from what I’ve heard, his listed height of 5’7’’ is generous. So the fact that he is undersized is likely why he has been lightly recruited out of high school. But if he is anything like his older brother, he’ll be contributing at some point in his career at Minnesota.
As a senior at Eastview, Wright finished the season with 38 receptions for 626 receiving yards and five touchdowns. With his size, he could end up at tight end or wide receiver.