Minnesota's program appears on the upswing after Glen Mason's hasty firing shortly after the Insight Bowl and the mid-January hiring of Denver Broncos tight ends coach Tim Brewster.
With essentially two weeks to put together a recruiting class, Brewster turned on his considerable charm and lured five players in the 22-man group made public at February's signing day.
While most of the recruits (including five junior-college transfers already on campus) committed to Mason before his firing, the fistful that Brewster brought in showed he plans to take a back seat to no one in years to come.
For starters, Brewster stole a four-star quarterback from Illinois less than 72 hours before signing day. Yes, the quarterback happens to be his son, Clint, but the youngster said even after his father's hiring that he was 100 percent solid with Illinois.
Brewster also gave the Gophers' athleticism an upgrade when he brought in 5-foot-8 Harold Howell from Jacksonville, Fla. Howell can be a cornerback, slot receiver, kick receiver — or a combination of all three.
The spring focus is to generate a sense of continuity. Brewster's background should make the noted Gophers' running game a cinch to be a strong point. The defense, though, is another story.
Nine defensive starters are back, but the unit was mediocre. It's one of the places where the Gophers suffered all of last year — never more so than during Texas Tech's 31-point comeback in the Insight Bowl.
Program on the Upswing, Especially Recruiting
Scout Football Top Stories
South's Top 150 for 2017Signing day is just over a week away, so things are wrapping up for the class of 2017 prospects. After evaluating this class for a solid two-plus years, here is the South's Top 150…
Scout Football11:55 AM
SEC Facebook Live and Recruiting NotebookNews, notes and recruiting nuggets from around the SEC...
Scout Football8:44 AM
Scout's Top 25 Recruitng ClassesA look at Scout's top 25 classes with just over a week to go to Signing Day.
Scout Football8:00 AM
Big Commitments From the WeekendScout takes a look at some of the bigger commitments around the country on the second official visit weekend after the dead period...
Scout Football8:00 AM