New Minnesota head coach P.J. Fleck has wasted no time improving his program since being hired away from Western Michigan this week. Thanks to some hard work on the phones Friday night, he’s flipped six recruits from the Broncos to join his Golden Gophers for the 2017 season.
“In the hours since those phone calls, a number of Western Michigan recruits have already flipped their commitment to Minnesota, with more likely to follow,” writes Dane Mizutani of Twin Cities Pioneer Press. “That list, according to Rivals, includes three-star wide receiver Christopher Bell, three-star linebacker Trenton Guthrie, three-star quarterback Tanner Morgan, three-star offensive lineman John Michael Schmitz, two-star defensive end Noah Hickcox, and two-star defensive end Esezi Otomewo.”
The most telling part here is the “more likely to follow” statement. Clearly, the highly-recruited players that committed to Fleck at Western Michigan were there because of him, not because they were devoted to the Broncos.
Fleck is in perfect position right now to make a strong power move in the B1G. Because Minnesota is in the B1G West, he only needs to get past Nebraska and Wisconsin to pull off a move similar to what James Franklin has accomplished in the East at Penn State.
Clearly, recruiting is one of Fleck’s strong suits. Now at a school with a bit more clout, his ability to bring in high-value talent and then maximize said talent should help the Golden Gophers surge in the next couple of years. These first moves to bring his players from Western Michigan to Minnesota are just the first of many that should transform the program into one that challenges the best teams in the B1G.