Minnesota’s recruiting ranking skyrockets one day after P.J. Fleck’s arrival
When P.J. Fleck was hired by Minnesota on Friday, you knew it was only a matter of if — not when — his recruiting presence would be felt at his new school. No one knows how quickly the wins will come for Fleck in the Big Ten, but as one of the most dogged recruiters in the sport (one who brought some of the best recruiting classes in MAC history to Western Michigan) he will bring talent to the Twin Cities.
But while everyone knew the recruiting boom was coming, no one knew it would be this fast.
Less than 24 hours after agreeing to become the school’s new head coach, six players – six – have already decided to switch their commitments from Western Michigan to Minnesota, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
A handful shared their decisions via social media, including three-star linebacker prospect Trenton Guthrie and quarterback Tanner Morgan.
— Trenton Guthrie (@T_Guthrie5) January 7, 2017
— Tanner Morgan (@Tanner_Morg12) January 7, 2017
Later in the day, others confirmed their decisions as well.
— Chris J.Autman-Bell (@ChrisJAutmanB) January 7, 2017
The Pioneer-Press caught up with a few of the players, and not surprisingly they all said that the decision came down to one, simple variable: Fleck.
“I’m very fortunate with the way things turned out,” Morgan told the Pioneer-Press. “I know coach Fleck is going to do elite things with the Gophers. So when I had the opportunity to follow him, I knew it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.”
Morgan said Fleck reached out to him Friday afternoon and gave him a chance to mull over the offer.
“He gave me a chance to think about it,” Morgan said. “He wasn’t saying, ‘Tanner. You need to come with me.’ … I know some coaches would’ve tried to pressure me. Not coach Fleck. That isn’t him.”
And with the addition of the six new players, an otherwise forgettable group at Minnesota is starting to look like, well, an actual Big Ten recruiting class. According to the Pioneer-Press, the Golden Gophers class that was 79th coming into Friday (well behind Western Michigan’s) is up to 49th nationally with the additions of the six players.
Say what you want about Fleck, but he certainly has brought excitement to the Minnesota program.