Inside Minnesota's massive week on the recruiting trail

BleedGopher

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 11, 2008
Messages
50,833
Reaction score
1,157
Points
113
per Steve:

Minnesota’s summer splash recruiting week was more like a tidal wave as P.J. Fleck and his Gophers staff landed 11 commits over six days, growing this 2020 class from eight to 19, rising all the way to No. 22 in the 247Sports Composite Team Recruiting Rankings.

And if the Gophers continue to take the steps forward that Fleck and company have planned, this week is going to go a long way towards that success.

Offensive tackles Aireontae Ersery and Martes Lewis, safety Michael Dixon, athlete Dylan McGill, defensive end Claude Larkins, cornerback Benjamin Onwuzo, defensive end Gage Keys, defensive tackle Ali Saad, cornerbacks Jalen Glaze and Victor Pless and defensive end Melle Kreuder all said yes, with all but McGill being in town on their official visit - which included hanging out at Fleck’s lake house. Truly a national recruiting effort as Minnesota combed Missouri, Indiana, Georgia, Florida, Texas, Ohio, Michigan and even Germany for this crop. This is a class that also has commitments from Kansas, Wisconsin, New York, Tennessee, the Netherlands and of course Minnesota.

These two offensive tackles Minnesota got this week in the 6-foot-5, 273-pound Ersery and the 6-foot-7, 320-Lewis could be special. Ersery has the balance, body control, quickness and explosive strength traits to him, he’s raw as an o-lineman but there is a lot to like regarding the Kansas City (Mo.) Ruskin standout. Lewis is explosive and very strong, a finisher up front and a freight train when he pulls. Both are over 50-foot shot put throwers too.

This is a strong group in the secondary as well. The 6-foot-1, 186-pound Dixon was the staff’s top safety target, a player that is plug and play as a true freshman. He has 4.5 laser-timed speed in the 40-yard dash (The Opening Regional) a 36-inch vertical and he’s instinctive and seems to relish laying the wood. Pless was the top cornerback on the board, a smooth, fluid athlete with length that as he adds strength will certainly add speed. Speaking of speed, the 5-foot-11, 185-pound Onwuzo will arrive on campus ready to roll in that department, a 4.59 guy that can change direction and brings position flexibility to the back end. Injury kept him on the shelf most of his junior year at Hollywood (Fla.) Chaminade-Madonna Prep but a spring eval made him a coveted target for this staff. Glaze had six interceptions as a junior and also shows ability to make things happen on special teams.

https://247sports.com/Article/Inside-Minnesotas-massive-week-on-the-recruiting-trail-133048017/

Go Gophers!!
 

Jeshurun

King of the Too's
Joined
Dec 10, 2008
Messages
4,065
Reaction score
529
Points
113
This is a strong group in the secondary as well. The 6-foot-1, 186-pound Dixon was the staff’s top safety target, a player that is plug and play as a true freshman. He has 4.5 laser-timed speed in the 40-yard dash (The Opening Regional) a 36-inch vertical and he’s instinctive and seems to relish laying the wood. Pless was the top cornerback on the board, a smooth, fluid athlete with length that as he adds strength will certainly add speed. Speaking of speed, the 5-foot-11, 185-pound Onwuzo will arrive on campus ready to roll in that department, a 4.59 guy that can change direction and brings position flexibility to the back end. Injury kept him on the shelf most of his junior year at Hollywood (Fla.) Chaminade-Madonna Prep but a spring eval made him a coveted target for this staff. Glaze had six interceptions as a junior and also shows ability to make things happen on special teams.

https://247sports.com/Article/Inside-Minnesotas-massive-week-on-the-recruiting-trail-133048017/

Go Gophers!!
Oh no, not again...
 

caliGopher

Active member
Joined
Nov 22, 2008
Messages
2,443
Reaction score
8
Points
38
per Steve:

Minnesota’s summer splash recruiting week was more like a tidal wave as P.J. Fleck and his Gophers staff landed 11 commits over six days, growing this 2020 class from eight to 19, rising all the way to No. 22 in the 247Sports Composite Team Recruiting Rankings.

And if the Gophers continue to take the steps forward that Fleck and company have planned, this week is going to go a long way towards that success.

Offensive tackles Aireontae Ersery and Martes Lewis, safety Michael Dixon, athlete Dylan McGill, defensive end Claude Larkins, cornerback Benjamin Onwuzo, defensive end Gage Keys, defensive tackle Ali Saad, cornerbacks Jalen Glaze and Victor Pless and defensive end Melle Kreuder all said yes, with all but McGill being in town on their official visit - which included hanging out at Fleck’s lake house. Truly a national recruiting effort as Minnesota combed Missouri, Indiana, Georgia, Florida, Texas, Ohio, Michigan and even Germany for this crop. This is a class that also has commitments from Kansas, Wisconsin, New York, Tennessee, the Netherlands and of course Minnesota.

These two offensive tackles Minnesota got this week in the 6-foot-5, 273-pound Ersery and the 6-foot-7, 320-Lewis could be special. Ersery has the balance, body control, quickness and explosive strength traits to him, he’s raw as an o-lineman but there is a lot to like regarding the Kansas City (Mo.) Ruskin standout. Lewis is explosive and very strong, a finisher up front and a freight train when he pulls. Both are over 50-foot shot put throwers too.

This is a strong group in the secondary as well. The 6-foot-1, 186-pound Dixon was the staff’s top safety target, a player that is plug and play as a true freshman. He has 4.5 laser-timed speed in the 40-yard dash (The Opening Regional) a 36-inch vertical and he’s instinctive and seems to relish laying the wood. Pless was the top cornerback on the board, a smooth, fluid athlete with length that as he adds strength will certainly add speed. Speaking of speed, the 5-foot-11, 185-pound Onwuzo will arrive on campus ready to roll in that department, a 4.59 guy that can change direction and brings position flexibility to the back end. Injury kept him on the shelf most of his junior year at Hollywood (Fla.) Chaminade-Madonna Prep but a spring eval made him a coveted target for this staff. Glaze had six interceptions as a junior and also shows ability to make things happen on special teams.

https://247sports.com/Article/Inside-Minnesotas-massive-week-on-the-recruiting-trail-133048017/

Go Gophers!!
Quantity over quality.

Some decent players but a significant drop off in average rating so far. Currently 6th in big ten 3rd in the west. Average rating 13th in B1G. The 3rd highest rated recruit would have been 13th in last years class by rating. And that class was a step down from the previous year.

The trend continues to be going in the wrong direction while most of the rest of the conference is trending upward.

High rankings in June again, we’ll see where we end up.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

GopherNuts

Active member
Joined
Feb 9, 2017
Messages
630
Reaction score
118
Points
43
Quantity over quality.

Some decent players but a significant drop off in average rating so far. Currently 6th in big ten 3rd in the west. Average rating 13th in B1G. The 3rd highest rated recruit would have been 13th in last years class by rating. And that class was a step down from the previous year.

The trend continues to be going in the wrong direction while most of the rest of the conference is trending upward.

High rankings in June again, we’ll see where we end up.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I think a number of these guys have the potential to get rankings bumps after strong senior years like some in the previous classes. Bateman when he first committed was a lowly rated 3* from what I remember and by signing day was pretty much a consensus 4*. There’s obviously a lot of projecting with this class but the physical profile and athleticism coaches look for is there for a lot of these kids. This staff has given us reason to trust their eye test. Otherwise I think they’ll finish strong with the rest of the class from a rankings perspective. Seem to be in a good spot on a few high 3* and low 4* recruits.
 

short ornery norwegian

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 9, 2011
Messages
9,220
Reaction score
918
Points
113
In my more wackier moments, I envision this scenario:

a Gopher player is trying to tackle a player from Iowa. The Iowa player says "I was a 4* recruit with offers from 9 top-20 programs." The Gopher player says, "Well, that proves you must be better, so I have no chance of stopping you."

Point being - once they put on the uniforms and the ref blows the whistle, the only thing that matters is what happens on the field. Offers, stars, dots, ratings - all out the window.

I am not disputing that the ratings have some value - that offer sheets indicate how a player is viewed as a prospect - but if you drop a pass or miss a block, nobody cares about your offer sheet.

And, before someone brings it up - I follow the recruiting threads to learn about players who might become future Gophers. I can be interested in who they're recruiting, and still be a skeptic about how the players are evaluated. I believe strongly that coaching and player development will make or break the Gopher program. Recruiting is just the first step in the process. to use an analogy - recruiting is like planting the seed in the spring. it still takes a lot of work before you harvest the crop in the fall. and the final evaluation is in the quality of the crop and the number of bushels per acre.
 

hungan1

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 20, 2011
Messages
9,910
Reaction score
699
Points
113
It takes some proof pudding before some of the 4-Stars flock to the Gophers. Win and they will come. In the meantime, there is nothing wrong with doing due due diligence in player evals 4-Star or not. Potentially, there are under the radar players who will end their college careers as 4-Stars after going through the development program.
 

PMWinSTP

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 11, 2015
Messages
9,013
Reaction score
441
Points
83
I think a number of these guys have the potential to get rankings bumps after strong senior years like some in the previous classes. Bateman when he first committed was a lowly rated 3* from what I remember and by signing day was pretty much a consensus 4*. There’s obviously a lot of projecting with this class but the physical profile and athleticism coaches look for is there for a lot of these kids. This staff has given us reason to trust their eye test. Otherwise I think they’ll finish strong with the rest of the class from a rankings perspective. Seem to be in a good spot on a few high 3* and low 4* recruits.
Ratings go up and down. This applies to all prospects including those on other B1G teams.
 

btowngopher

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 23, 2008
Messages
3,592
Reaction score
227
Points
63
Ratings go up and down. This applies to all prospects including those on other B1G teams.
Yes but they don't go up and down for previous classes. So you have to wait for the dust to settle a little before comparing this class to previous ones.
 

John Galt

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 28, 2011
Messages
9,232
Reaction score
587
Points
113
Right now this class isn’t as good as 2019 or 2018.

Decisions in the next few weeks from Moore, Brown, Martinez, Jackson, Johnson and Rankins will go a long ways to determining how it ends up.
 

PMWinSTP

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 11, 2015
Messages
9,013
Reaction score
441
Points
83
Yes but they don't go up and down for previous classes. So you have to wait for the dust to settle a little before comparing this class to previous ones.
I put in bold what I was responding to.
 

GopherNuts

Active member
Joined
Feb 9, 2017
Messages
630
Reaction score
118
Points
43
I thought it was pretty clear. It's all relative. Not something exclusive to Gophs recruits.
Well yeah I guess, there’s a chance these commits raise their profile and up the average rating overall which was caligopher’s orginal issue with the takes in this class. They could outperform others in the conference, there’s no way of knowing. The part you put in bold is me being optimistic I guess. We’re all just projecting at this point. I think the general point I was trying to make in my comment is we should just let things play out. Whether it be letting senior seasons be played and seeing where they rank then or seeing what these 4* or fringe 4* recruits we seem to be in a good position with do. We could have a different view in a couple months.
 

Oregon Gopher

Guardian of the Western Front
Joined
Aug 20, 2013
Messages
3,297
Reaction score
113
Points
63
Right now this class isn’t as good as 2019 or 2018.

Decisions in the next few weeks from Moore, Brown, Martinez, Jackson, Johnson and Rankins will go a long ways to determining how it ends up.
I agree- but even if we get the top 3 of those to fill out our class of 22 (assuming the pundits are correct on the class size) the class average will be below 2019- not by any significant amount by any means.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

caliGopher

Active member
Joined
Nov 22, 2008
Messages
2,443
Reaction score
8
Points
38
Well yeah I guess, there’s a chance these commits raise their profile and up the average rating overall which was caligopher’s orginal issue with the takes in this class. They could outperform others in the conference, there’s no way of knowing. The part you put in bold is me being optimistic I guess. We’re all just projecting at this point. I think the general point I was trying to make in my comment is we should just let things play out. Whether it be letting senior seasons be played and seeing where they rank then or seeing what these 4* or fringe 4* recruits we seem to be in a good position with do. We could have a different view in a couple months.
Agreed. We don’t and won’t know about this class for a while.

Here’s my point. Fleck is supposedly a recruiting guru. He was hired in no small part because of that.

I don’t see it. Our classes have been higher ranked than previous efforts. The problem is so has the rest of the B1G. There’s all kinds of talk of “sleepers” and rising ratings later, and we won’t know until we see the kids on the field. All possible. But when you hired a guy to improve the recruiting relative to the competition and three years in we’re loaded with three star players and along with Rutger’s (a poster child for the we need success before better recruits come along argument that is gaining popularity with each season Fleck’s classes aren’t shaping up to actually be better than our rivals in the west) and Maryland (first year head coach - last year’s mess including the loss of life of one of their young players) the only programs without a four star recruit right now.

My understanding is we were supposed to get better relative to the competition. This class is shaping up like last years, but not quite as good. We’re now on a four year trajectory of year 1 - short timeframe good start. Year 2 - improvement, one of the best classes in the past 20 years (and not just on paper like Brewster’s classes were) - year three step back, year four incomplete but heading towards another step back.

Are we getting what we’re paying for in the recruiting trail?

For a guy who’s success was predicated on out recruiting everyone, and is touted routinely as a great recruiter, we’re not making good progress on that front.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Last edited:

btowngopher

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 23, 2008
Messages
3,592
Reaction score
227
Points
63
I agree- but even if we get the top 3 of those to fill out our class of 22 (assuming the pundits are correct on the class size) the class average will be below 2019- not by any significant amount by any means.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Well for one, does anyone really believe a class is worse simply because it has a 1 point worse average rating? Second, like I was saying we have to wait until the end of the year ratings to compare this years class rating on 247 to last years, there will almost certainly be upgrades to the ratings of players in this class. Third, the top three guys in this class are all 4 stars and would make a big difference in ratings. If I could pick three though one of them would be 3 star Martinez who is as good an offensive prospect as Fleck has landed, right up there with Bateman in my opinion.
 

btowngopher

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 23, 2008
Messages
3,592
Reaction score
227
Points
63
Agreed. We don’t and won’t know about this class for a while.

Here’s my point. Fleck is supposedly a recruiting guru. He was hired in no small part because of that.

I don’t see it. Our classes have been higher ranked than previous efforts. The problem is so has the rest of the B1G. There’s all kinds of talk of “sleepers” and rising ratings later, and we won’t know until we see the kids on the field. All possible. But when you hired a guy to improve the recruiting relative to the competition and three years in we’re loaded with three star players and along with Rutger’s (a poster child for the we need success before better recruits come along argument that is gaining popularity with each season Fleck’s classes aren’t shaping up to actually be better than our rivals in the west) and Maryland (first year head coach - last year’s mess including the loss of life of one of their young players) the only programs without a four star recruit right now.

My understanding is we were supposed to get better relative to the competition. This class is shaping up like last years, but not quite as good. We’re now on a four year trajectory of year 1 - short timeframe good start. Year 2 - improvement, one of the best classes in the past 20 years (and not just on paper like Brewster’s classes were) - year three step back, year four incomplete but heading towards another step back.

Are we getting what we’re paying for in the recruiting trail?

For a guy who’s success was predicated on out recruiting everyone, and is touted routinely as a great recruiter, we’re not making good progress on that front.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Fleck has improved recruiting by quite a bit, he can't control how other teams in the conference do, but compared to past gopher recruiting it has improved by a solid margin. Even if we are still getting beaten in the recruiting rankings at least he has greatly narrowed the margin. Also not everyone touted him an amazing recruiter. Many including myself from the start wondered how his recruiting in the MAC (which was great) would translate to the B1G. I expected somewhere between Kill and Brewster and that has been what we've gotten. Let's also not forget that the product on the field is more important than the recruiting ratings, and the on field product has been improving.
 

PMWinSTP

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 11, 2015
Messages
9,013
Reaction score
441
Points
83
Fleck has improved recruiting by quite a bit, he can't control how other teams in the conference do, but compared to past gopher recruiting it has improved by a solid margin. Even if we are still getting beaten in the recruiting rankings at least he has greatly narrowed the margin. Also not everyone touted him an amazing recruiter. Many including myself from the start wondered how his recruiting in the MAC (which was great) would translate to the B1G. I expected somewhere between Kill and Brewster and that has been what we've gotten. Let's also not forget that the product on the field is more important than the recruiting ratings, and the on field product has been improving.
I think caliGopher's point is did it actually improve that much, or is this more of a case of a rising tide?
 

Pompous Elitist

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 18, 2013
Messages
14,619
Reaction score
1,055
Points
113
Fleck has improved recruiting by quite a bit, he can't control how other teams in the conference do, but compared to past gopher recruiting it has improved by a solid margin. Even if we are still getting beaten in the recruiting rankings at least he has greatly narrowed the margin. Also not everyone touted him an amazing recruiter. Many including myself from the start wondered how his recruiting in the MAC (which was great) would translate to the B1G. I expected somewhere between Kill and Brewster and that has been what we've gotten. Let's also not forget that the product on the field is more important than the recruiting ratings, and the on field product has been improving.
The last 4 games were encouraging but 2019 has to show a continued upward trajectory to help bring in higher rated guys. Early hype after the hire gives way to on field results after a few years. There were times during last regimes where it seemed like the team was poised to take the next step and couldn’t quite get there, most recently in 2014 (team was very competitive) and at the end of 2015 (eg ML had a great bowl game vs CMU and a decent Jr year).

The athleticism of a lot of these recruits is in the top tier but that doesn’t always translate to a team effort if the coaching is sub par. Many, many past examples of teams with much better talent on paper than MN underperforming badly.

Most of us are expecting a nice year on the field - competitive games, good defense, top 25 type offense. From there luck plays a part in terms of wins and losses but with the schedule seems like a good opportunity to make a national news type splash and get in the conversation.
 

salzie

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 6, 2015
Messages
2,876
Reaction score
433
Points
83
I look at who else is interested in these guys, and while we have a few recruits our top competition is a MAC school, we're more often competing against other P5 schools


I expect 7-9 wins next year, anything less will be a major disappointment. 7 wins could be disappointing depending on circumstances
 

Word

Eats difficult conversations
Joined
Jun 7, 2009
Messages
6,068
Reaction score
737
Points
113
I look at who else is interested in these guys, and while we have a few recruits our top competition is a MAC school, we're more often competing against other P5 schools


I expect 7-9 wins next year, anything less will be a major disappointment. 7 wins could be disappointing depending on circumstances
We had 7 last year. 7 would be a big disappointment this year. 9+ is my expectation.

Sent from my phone using Tapatalk
 

salzie

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 6, 2015
Messages
2,876
Reaction score
433
Points
83
We had 7 last year. 7 would be a big disappointment this year. 9+ is my expectation.

Sent from my phone using Tapatalk
True, but lets say we have few tough injuries, we hang tough but lose few close one. We stay at 7 wins, but erase the embarrassing losses.

9+ would be great, but I have a hard time setting something we haven't done in a long time as expectation

I'll have to look up betting lines, good chance I'll bet the over
 

PMWinSTP

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 11, 2015
Messages
9,013
Reaction score
441
Points
83
True, but lets say we have few tough injuries, we hang tough but lose few close one. We stay at 7 wins, but erase the embarrassing losses.

9+ would be great, but I have a hard time setting something we haven't done in a long time as expectation

I'll have to look up betting lines, good chance I'll bet the over
A majority of GHers polled thought Gophs would have had at least two more wins last year but for the fired DC's defensive scheme.
 

salzie

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 6, 2015
Messages
2,876
Reaction score
433
Points
83
A majority of GHers polled thought Gophs would have had at least two more wins last year but for the fired DC's defensive scheme.
it's obvious Robb Smith needed to go

I'm trying to balance expectations with reality.

My expectation, Fleck gets us to B1G title game in next few years. This year, I view as a step getting there
 
Top Bottom