Top Five Recruiting Battles

Minnesota will not have a huge class for 2014, but they are in a tussle with a few of their top remaining targets left on the board and we examine the latest with those top five battles.

Minneapolis (MN.) Washburn running back Jeffrey Jones
Position Ranking: 12

Main Competition: Iowa State, Michigan State and Iowa

The Latest- Jones has been committed to Minnesota for awhile, but that hasn't steered away schools from trying to flip him. The 6-0, 190-pound talented back recently picked up an offer from Missouri and has been getting heavily pursued by many others. He plans on taking his official visits and said that those visits will ultimately determine where he ends up. I consider him a soft commit and it will be very tough to hold on to him, but the Gophers are the hometown team, which can be big.

Chanhassen (MN.) offensive guard Frank Ragnow
Position Ranking: 17

Main Competition: Arkansas and Florida State

The Latest- Arguably one of the top players in Minnesota this year, Ragnow has been experiencing a lot of attention on his recruitment. He been traveling around this summer recently going to Arkansas and is heading to Alabama and plans to stop at Florida and Florida State as well. There is southern interest with the 6-6, 285-pound lineman, but he has definitely been hearing from the Gophers and the commits especially when he attended their camp (didn't participate), but had a great time overall. I believe that distance could be a factor for him in the end, but we will have to wait and see.

Lombard (IL.) Montini Catholic defensive end Nile Sykes
Position Ranking: 49

Main Competition: Iowa State, Syracuse and Illinois

The Latest- Minnesota got the highly regarded Illinois native to come camp and really impressed him with the coaching chemistry and facilities. Still, there is a lot of work to be done with many rapidly chasing after him and now he is receiving new interest from Missouri, Mississippi State and Wisconsin. He is close friends with another Illinois native in safety Jamal Baggett and if the Gophers were to offer Baggett, then there could be a possibility that there could be a package deal done because it has already been talked about between the two. However, the Gophers will really have to work till the very end to secure his services, but they do got a shot.

Wichita (KS.) Northwest running back Deron Thompson
Position Ranking:

Main Competition: Kansas State and Colorado State

The Latest- The Gophers have a running back commit in Jeffrey Jones, but like noted above, he is nothing close to being solid. Thompson has expressed high interest in Minnesota and knows he is a wanted man with most of the Gopher class recruiting him to join. The 5-9, 175 speedster looks to take his visits in the fall and plans on heading back to Minnesota for a game, but he does have the in-state school of Kansas State very much on his mind.

New Market (AL.) Buckhorn safety Khari Blasingame
Position Ranking:

Main Competition: UAB

The Latest- The 6-1, 200-pound physical safety has a few offers, but maintains that no one is sticking out and that he doesn't have a top list. Minnesota does look to be good shape for Blasingame with his relationship to Coach Sawvel along with him not factoring in weather or distance when he makes his final decision. There is concern that he could receive a few more offers BCS level offers that could awe him, but as of right now, things look pretty good for the Gophers.

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