Everything you need to know and what actually matters about the 2019 Minnesota Golden Gophers recruiting class.
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The recruiting classes for Minnesota have improved under PJ Fleck, but they’re hardly anything special. He might have kickstarted something great over the second half of last season, but in a division with Wisconsin, Iowa, Northwestern, an improving Nebraska, and with Purdue’s strong class, the bar has been raised.
Even so, it’s one of Minnesota’s better classes in a long time. There might not be massive leaps and bounds in talent level overall, but the classes are improving under Fleck.
The defensive linemen are on their way. The ends are going to be stronger with Rashad Cheney and D’Vion Harris two good-looking pass rushers, but the tackles are the potential stars. DeAngelo Carter and Keonte Schad were great gets.
Last year’s class was light on the defensive backs. This year’s haul should change help the cause, starting with Tyler Nubin – who might turn out to be too good an option for the offensive side – and with a few from the JUCO ranks to throw into the mix early on.
Back to those defensive linemen, there are several good ones to choose from in terms of who the star is. It could be Cheney, a 6-3, 265-pound pass rusher who might just be good enough and versatile enough to move around to fit in where needed. The Georgia native was wanted by the Bulldogs, Alabama, and other big names, but Fleck got him.
Can Jacob Clark play a role right away? The 6-4 quarterback prospect out of Texas is coming into an already crowded position, but he’s one of the stronger pro-passing prospects the school has landed in a while.
Watch out for Michael Lantz, a kicking prospect out of Georgia. Emmitt Carpenter hit 17-of-23 field goals last year, and now it’ll be an open casting call for the job. Lantz might just be the team’s biggest instant impact player.
JUCO transfer Kelvin Clemmons needs to be a part of the depth chart early on. The defensive back has experience, size, and pop, and the Gophers could use a few more safety options.
There’s a lot to like. Recruiting rankings … pfffft. Whatever. Minnesota got about as much talent and should be ranked about where Wisconsin usually is. Fleck is putting something interesting together, and this group should – to go cliché – fit the type. Fast.