2021 Minnesota High School Football Signees

tjgopher

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He should. Who is next after Bateman?

What? To go to the NFL? Lots of guys have a shot.

St. Juste
Faalele
Dunlap
Schmitz
Autman-Bell
Ibrahim
Mafe
Morgan

And who knows who else? Plenty of potential in the younger classes, but too early to have a firm grip on it.

Poking the Fleckies. Weird hobby to enjoy.
 

btowngopher

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What? To go to the NFL? Lots of guys have a shot.

St. Juste
Faalele
Dunlap
Schmitz
Autman-Bell
Ibrahim
Mafe
Morgan

And who knows who else? Plenty of potential in the younger classes, but too early to have a firm grip on it.

Poking the Fleckies. Weird hobby to enjoy.
Id be surprised if St Juste isn’t drafted based on his size and senior bowl performance.
 

hungan1

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Wasn't Dave Winfield drafted in football, basketball, and baseball? Saint Paul has produced some phenomenal athletes. Winfield, Jack Morris, Paul Monitor, Joe Mauer, and Paul Holmgren. I am sure there are many more...
 

MNVCGUY

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What? To go to the NFL? Lots of guys have a shot.

St. Juste
Faalele
Dunlap
Schmitz
Autman-Bell
Ibrahim
Mafe
Morgan

And who knows who else? Plenty of potential in the younger classes, but too early to have a firm grip on it.

Poking the Fleckies. Weird hobby to enjoy.

You missed Andries from the 2017 class. And agree there will be others.

Interesting question, in the case of a coaching change who should get credit for a guy making the NFL? Should it be the coach that recruited them or the one that developed them? Especially in the case where they were only with their original coach for one season.

The general consensus around here has been that the 2016 players are Claeys guys, but who really deserves credit for them getting to the NFL?

TJ caught all of 14 passes and 1 TD under Claeys. Then went on to become one of the best receivers ever at the University under Fleck. Said it in another post, I truly don't believe he becomes the player he has if the coaching change doesn't happen.

Coughlin and Martin logged 30 plus games for Fleck and under 10 for Claeys. If you asked them who their college coach was I bet they would pick Fleck.

Winfield has fewer games played than the other guys but also spent 3 of his 4 years with Fleck and had to be actively recruited by Fleck to keep him from leaving.

Durr, Schlueter, and Olson all have a shot at ending up on NFL rosters after the 2021 season. They were all part of that 2016 class but by the time they will be done they will have logged a grand total of 1 season under Claeys and 5 under Fleck. Claeys deserves credit for getting them to the U but he didn't develop them into the players they became over their college careers.

I honestly don't know if there is a "right" answer to this question, just something I was thinking about in regards to the guys we have put in the NFL so far the the ones that will go there in the next year or so.

The only thing that seems pretty certain at this point is that the number of former Gophers in the NFL is likely to grow quite a bit going forward.
 

Bob_Loblaw

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You missed Andries from the 2017 class. And agree there will be others.

Interesting question, in the case of a coaching change who should get credit for a guy making the NFL? Should it be the coach that recruited them or the one that developed them? Especially in the case where they were only with their original coach for one season.

The general consensus around here has been that the 2016 players are Claeys guys, but who really deserves credit for them getting to the NFL?

TJ caught all of 14 passes and 1 TD under Claeys. Then went on to become one of the best receivers ever at the University under Fleck. Said it in another post, I truly don't believe he becomes the player he has if the coaching change doesn't happen.

Coughlin and Martin logged 30 plus games for Fleck and under 10 for Claeys. If you asked them who their college coach was I bet they would pick Fleck.

Winfield has fewer games played than the other guys but also spent 3 of his 4 years with Fleck and had to be actively recruited by Fleck to keep him from leaving.

Durr, Schlueter, and Olson all have a shot at ending up on NFL rosters after the 2021 season. They were all part of that 2016 class but by the time they will be done they will have logged a grand total of 1 season under Claeys and 5 under Fleck. Claeys deserves credit for getting them to the U but he didn't develop them into the players they became over their college careers.

I honestly don't know if there is a "right" answer to this question, just something I was thinking about in regards to the guys we have put in the NFL so far the the ones that will go there in the next year or so.

The only thing that seems pretty certain at this point is that the number of former Gophers in the NFL is likely to grow quite a bit going forward.

Winfield was special before Fleck ever stepped foot on campus. Every one who watched TJ as a freshman knew we had something special there. Durr was fantastic in that bowl game.

The only people worried about this distinction - who gets the credit for these players - are people in these types of arguments. It's essentially nature (they were good) vs. nurture (they were developed). The truth is likely somewhere in the middle and different for different players. It's also completely irrelevant to anything. Both coaches deserve credit, I don't really get the motivation to parse that credit between regimes.

As to your point about who deserves credit for getting these guys to the NFL. It all depends upon the guy. Some guys are just going to be NFL players regardless. Eric Decker was an NFL player - I don't necessarily think it was because of Brew. I think Decker ends up in the NFL if he goes to any program in the country. The same can be said about Winfield.
 

tjgopher

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I think Decker ends up in the NFL if he goes to any program in the country.

Of course, the great irony is that Decker was almost certain to not go to any D-I program, until Mason offered late in the process. He was likely headed to Saint John's. Could he have made the NFL from there? I suppose, but it would have been much more difficult.
 

MNVCGUY

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Winfield was special before Fleck ever stepped foot on campus. Every one who watched TJ as a freshman knew we had something special there. Durr was fantastic in that bowl game.

The only people worried about this distinction - who gets the credit for these players - are people in these types of arguments. It's essentially nature (they were good) vs. nurture (they were developed). The truth is likely somewhere in the middle and different for different players. It's also completely irrelevant to anything. Both coaches deserve credit, I don't really get the motivation to parse that credit between regimes.

As to your point about who deserves credit for getting these guys to the NFL. It all depends upon the guy. Some guys are just going to be NFL players regardless. Eric Decker was an NFL player - I don't necessarily think it was because of Brew. I think Decker ends up in the NFL if he goes to any program in the country. The same can be said about Winfield.

To be clear, I really don't care what coach gets credit for a guy making the NFL, the only part that really matters is the Gophers part. This all came about though because 60s decided to take a swipe at Fleck for not having more guys in the NFL right now.

I do think it makes for an interesting discussion though. I agree that a guy like Decker was bound for the NFL eventually no matter what. Same could be said about Winfield. I disagree about TJ though. It was obvious that he was a great athlete from day 1 but the jury was out on whether or not he would develop into a great WR. Had he spent his entire career in the Kill/Claeys passing game with their position coaches I'm not sure things work out the same way for him. He is one who really benefitted from the coaching change.

I'm also kind of curious about teams being able to claim players in the NFL. For example, if Pinckney goes pro after 2021 I am guessing his college will be listed as Minnesota even though he spent the bulk of his career at Clemson. On the flip side a guy like Streveler is credited to South Dakota.

None of it truly matters, just fun stuff to debate in the off season while we all wait for football to come back.
 

tjgopher

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You missed Andries from the 2017 class. And agree there will be others.

I didn't count Andries because he was a Claeys recruit. Schlueter and Olson may have a shot, too. But, based on the bizarre discussion topic, I excluded them.
 

MNVCGUY

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I didn't count Andries because he was a Claeys recruit. Schlueter and Olson may have a shot, too. But, based on the bizarre discussion topic, I excluded them.

He may have committed to Claeys but when it was time to sign the coach was Fleck. I don't think you can really split that 2017 class into Claeys guys and Flecks guys. In the end if Fleck decided to honor the commitment then they become one of his recruits.

That 2017 class was a transition year class but in the end it is viewed as Fleck's first class here regardless of who the players in it may or may not have given their verbal to.
 

tjgopher

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Every one who watched TJ as a freshman knew we had something special there.

Everyone except for Claeys and staff, apparently. They chose to play Rashad Still (who couldn't catch), Eric Carter, and walk-on Brian Smith over TJ.
 

tjgopher

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He may have committed to Claeys but when it was time to sign the coach was Fleck. I don't think you can really split that 2017 class into Claeys guys and Flecks guys. In the end if Fleck decided to honor the commitment then they become one of his recruits.

That 2017 class was a transition year class but in the end it is viewed as Fleck's first class here regardless of who the players in it may or may not have given their verbal to.

I agree, not to mention, Blaise re-opened and re-committed to Fleck, so I personally count him as a Fleck. I just left him out to not create a side argument, but I ended up creating one anyway.

Just as I count Winfield as a Fleck recruit, since he was not only leaving school, his family was suing the school. Fleck got him to stay.
 

MNVCGUY

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I agree, not to mention, Blaise re-opened and re-committed to Fleck, so I personally count him as a Fleck. I just left him out to not create a side argument, but I ended up creating one anyway.

Just as I count Winfield as a Fleck recruit, since he was not only leaving school, his family was suing the school. Fleck got him to stay.

I wouldn't call it an argument....more of a mild disagreement :).

Winfield is a little trickier. Fleck definitely had to work to get him to stay but he was still part of that 2016 class. On a side note, it is crazy to think of how Winfield's entire career was almost derailed by the allegations. At this point he doesn't seem to be associated with that whole mess at all which is awesome. Easy to forget that he and Seth Green were both lumped into all that.
 

TurfGopher

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Wasn't Dave Winfield drafted in football, basketball, and baseball? Saint Paul has produced some phenomenal athletes. Winfield, Jack Morris, Paul Monitor, Joe Mauer, and Paul Holmgren. I am sure there are many more...
Noel Jenke who died last year
 

hungan1

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Chris Weinke, Seantrel Henderson, Michael Floyd, Matt Birk, Jim Carter, Jim, Phil Housley, Kyle Okposo, Craig Johnson, Scott Bugstad, Ron McClanahan, Dave Langevin, ...
 
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short ornery norwegian

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the conventional wisdom for years has been that you can find D1 caliber OL and sometimes DL in MN, along with the occasional RB or DB.

But, there is simply not enough D1-level talent in MN to fill out a roster.

The Gophers are always going to get a significant % of players from out of state.

as far as the in-state recruiting, what it really comes down to is being able to land at least some of the top-end recruits in the state.

if there are - let's say - 10 or fewer recruits in MN who really have a chance to be D1 impact players, then for competitive reasons and reasons of perception, you would like MN to land at least 3 or 4 of those top 10 players.
 

MaxyJR1

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the conventional wisdom for years has been that you can find D1 caliber OL and sometimes DL in MN, along with the occasional RB or DB.

But, there is simply not enough D1-level talent in MN to fill out a roster.

The Gophers are always going to get a significant % of players from out of state.

as far as the in-state recruiting, what it really comes down to is being able to land at least some of the top-end recruits in the state.

if there are - let's say - 10 or fewer recruits in MN who really have a chance to be D1 impact players, then for competitive reasons and reasons of perception, you would like MN to land at least 3 or 4 of those top 10 players.
Wisconsin has 50 from WI on their roster and 4 from MN
Minnesota has 33 from MN and 9 from WI and 0 from Iowa
Iowa has 38 from IA and 2 from MN
 

Some guy

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Wisconsin has 50 from WI on their roster and 4 from MN
Minnesota has 33 from MN and 9 from WI and 0 from Iowa
Iowa has 38 from IA and 2 from MN
Yeah. Going back even to Alvarez Wisconsin gets more bang for their buck on instate players than maybe any other team in the country.

there are some who get more production from in state. But none who get More from instate that are in middling talent producing states
 

MNVCGUY

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Yeah. Going back even to Alvarez Wisconsin gets more bang for their buck on instate players than maybe any other team in the country.

there are some who get more production from in state. But none who get More from instate that are in middling talent producing states

I noticed that as well that Wisconsin seems to be disproportionally heavy on in-state guys compared to most of the schools in the Big Ten. The tough part is really knowing how many of those in-state guys are regulars in the rotation.
 

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Iowa also has a bunch of local guys. Iowa and Wisconsin make it a priority. The same player will get lower ratings in Minnesota on the most part. Example, Singer was not getting much love in state, he moved and now is signed with Texas, if he stayed in state, he would have been on the NDSU team. The Gophers know that in state guys will not be recruited as much. The linebacker from St. Thomas Academy, signed with Wisconsin. The QB going to ND is six foot tall and only started one year, last year as a starter, the number #1 QB on 247 for our state is 6'2-3, over 215 17 year old. he was working out with Lance and had longer arms, very accurate. He is going to St. Thomas. In any other football state he would be added to the roster. There are a lot of guys in these states like that.
 

Bob_Loblaw

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Everyone except for Claeys and staff, apparently. They chose to play Rashad Still (who couldn't catch), Eric Carter, and walk-on Brian Smith over TJ.

It's almost like it's not super easy for true freshman to get a ton of PT in the Big 10. I can't believe PJ and his staff think Preston Jelen is a better RB than Ky Thomas.
 

btowngopher

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Iowa also has a bunch of local guys. Iowa and Wisconsin make it a priority. The same player will get lower ratings in Minnesota on the most part. Example, Singer was not getting much love in state, he moved and now is signed with Texas, if he stayed in state, he would have been on the NDSU team. The Gophers know that in state guys will not be recruited as much. The linebacker from St. Thomas Academy, signed with Wisconsin. The QB going to ND is six foot tall and only started one year, last year as a starter, the number #1 QB on 247 for our state is 6'2-3, over 215 17 year old. he was working out with Lance and had longer arms, very accurate. He is going to St. Thomas. In any other football state he would be added to the roster. There are a lot of guys in these states like that.
Singer didn’t sign anywhere as far as I can tell. And stop with the Kowalaski would’ve been added to any other team if he was in a different state. What kept these teams from other states from coming and offering him?
 

50PoundHead

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Another factor - maybe - is places like Mpls and Chicago have a lot of transplants. Kids grow up in households rooting for other programs from their parents "back home". Of course, it may have to do with lack of Gophers and Illini success as well.

I think that's a really good point that gets overlooked. I would guess that there a number of highly-recruited kids in the Minnesota suburbs whose parents are from somewhere else and don't have a deep loyalty to the U, which likely trickles down to the kids.

It's going to take a few years for Fleck to break through that.
 

WAGopher

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Chris Weinke, Seantrel Henderson, Michael Floyd, Matt Birk, Jim Carter, Jim, Phil Housley, Kyle Okposo, Craig Johnson, Scott Bugstad, Ron McClanahan, Dave Langevin, ...

Elmer Bailey
 

Tommyboy

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Singer didn’t sign anywhere as far as I can tell. And stop with the Kowalaski would’ve been added to any other team if he was in a different state. What kept these teams from other states from coming and offering him?
I believe Singer signed with a Texas team. Many of the larger programs do not even recruit up in this area, because there are larger populations elsewhere. Kowalski did have other teams reaching out. But this 2021 class kind of got screwed over. No camps or contact. You could be the best QB in the world, but if your team is throwing the ball like 10 times a game and your receivers are back up BB players you will not get numbers. A QB needs to throw for 3-4,000 yards per year, to compete with the southern QB's. Look at Anasax, he had to transfer from Mankato to IMG and probably pay 30,000 per year to get noticed. He only got a walk on with the Gophers.
 
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MNVCGUY

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I believe Singer signed with a Texas team. Many of the larger programs do not even recruit up in this area, because there are larger populations elsewhere. Kowalski did have other teams reaching out. But this 2021 class kind of got screwed over. No camps or contact. You could be the best QB in the world, but if your team is throwing the ball like 10 times a game and your receivers are back up BB players you will not get numbers. A QB needs to throw for 3-4,000 yards per year, to compete with the southern QB's. Look at Anasax, he had to transfer from Mankato to IMG and probably pay 30,000 per year to get noticed. He only got a walk on with the Gophers.

It isn't physically possible for a team to heavily recruit every area of the country. So yeah, there are going to be some teams that don't do a lot of recruiting in this area.

And I agree that this 2021 cycle is going to be especially tough on fringe guys who didn't get the opportunities they might have had in the past to try and prove themselves. There will probably be more overlooked guys this year than there are in a typical season.

If Kowalski goes to St. Thomas and tears it up he will have opportunities to transfer to a better school and you can come tell us how wrong we were to doubt him.
 

tjgopher

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It's almost like it's not super easy for true freshman to get a ton of PT in the Big 10. I can't believe PJ and his staff think Preston Jelen is a better RB than Ky Thomas.

If Ky Thomas hadn't had season ending surgery before the start of the season, I'm 100% positive he would have gotten playing time ahead of Preston Jelen, but believe what you want.

And Fleck has shown he isn't afraid to play true freshmen at WR over players already on roster (Bateman, Douglas, Jackson, etc.)
 
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