Fleck has preached the importance of recruiting Minnesota and a “six- to eight-hour radius around the Twin Cities” since his arrival Jan. 6.
This week, in a session with Star Tribune reporters, Fleck made it clear his stance hasn’t changed.
“We have a huge junior day coming up this weekend, and there will be an enormous amount of Minnesota high school athletes here,” Fleck said. “I think you might see more [offers to Minnesota players] after this weekend.”
Meanwhile, Fleck has been targeting players from recruiting hotbeds such as Florida, Texas, Ohio and Georgia, along with Missouri, Illinois and other states. Fleck hasn’t shied away from top prospects, even when they have offers from some of the biggest programs in the country. Alabama, Florida State and other schools can only sign so many players, so Fleck wants to be there early for players who might be looking to go elsewhere later in the recruiting cycle.
Some highlights among the 134 (and counting) offers:
• Fleck has offered five-star prospect BJ Foster of Angleton, Texas, a 6-1 safety ranked as the 11th-best high school player in the country. Foster is expected to sign with Texas. The Gophers have never signed a five-star recruit in the modern star-ranking era (since 2000).
• Westerville, Ohio, running back Jaelen Gill, 247sports’ 30th best overall player, has an offer from Fleck, among his 28 possibilities so far.
• Two of the nation’s top offensive tackles — Richard Gouraige (fourth-highest OT) of Tampa, Fla., and Ryan Hayes (13th) of Traverse City, Mich. — have Minnesota in their proverbial piles.
• Kimberly, Wis., defensive end Boyd Dietzen — the best prospect in Wisconsin — visited Minnesota in February and has the Gophers on his list, according to 247sports.
Fleck isn’t the only coach who’s made 125-plus offers. Wisconsin’s Paul Chryst has made 128 offers for next year’s class, Maryland’s J.D. Durkin 160 and Michigan’s Jim Harbaugh 172.