GopherDigest answers your questions in this week's recruiting mailbag...
Paulaner asks: Would love to hear the latest on Keon Howard and if we're still pursuing a 2nd QB for this class.
Minnesota is still recruiting Howard hard and the latest I've heard is that the staff is still deciding what to do at quarterback. Quarterbacks coach Jim Zebrowski and Howard spoke on the phone again yesterday and Howard is in kind of holding pattern until the staff decides what they want to do here. The reason the Gophers are looking to potentially take another quarterback is because they only three on scholarship right now and it wouldn't be surprising if sophomore Chris Streveler potentially moves to another position such as H-back or wide receiver as he is one of the best athletes on the team and the staff knows he could definitely help out elsewhere. I don't see Streveler switching positions at this time as he is the backup quarterback and with a ton on inexperienced young guys behind him, I don't know that the Gophers can afford to do so if Leidner goes down with a serious injury. Another reason moving Streveler is even a thought is I had one source explain it as it's the same thing Northwestern does with their quarterbacks. Their backup quarterback is usually one of the best athletes on the team, so they move him to wide receiver to give him a chance to play until the starter leaves. We'll see how things play out though.
Also, I'm sure this question would have come up down the line, but if Seth Green does move back to Minnesota for whatever reason, would the Gophers still be interested. I'd say that'd be a firm yes and Minnesota would find room for him if he wanted to come. Probably a scenario that's very far from happening, but crazier things have unfolded in the nature of recruiting.
LakeIdaGopher asks: Will Antoine Winfield Jr get a Gophers offer?
Winfield is a very interesting case. He spent most of his childhood here in Minnesota with his father playing for the Vikings from 2004-2012 before heading down to Texas for high school. He actually grew up in Eden Prairie and is friends with Gopher OLB commit Carter Coughlin and WR target J.D. Spielman, so there is a definite familiarity with the state. As far as an offer, the staff definitely starting taking notice in Winfield after his performance at the Ohio State camp where he ran multiple 4.3's, so they're still doing their research from what I've heard. One source told me that the Gopher defensive coaches like Winfield, but again, they're still learning about him and that he's expected to be at the BBQ in July. While Winfield hasn't confirmed this GopherDigest yet, it'll be interesting to see if he is in town that weekend. I'll also be curious to see if Winfield would camp at Minnesota that same day to try and earn an offer. If he repeated his camp performance at Ohio State, I'd have a hard time thinking Sawvel could walk away without offering.
DuluthGopher asks: Which recruit that committed elsewhere do you think the staff regrets the most of not getting? Besides the easy answer Nate Andrews.
Very good question.
Another easy answer would probably be Khari Blasingame as he'd have been a safety that would have been slated in line to start next year, but he spurned the Gophers for Vanderbilt at the last minute. My personal answer would be even tough I believe Minnesota is pretty set at linebacker for the future here, I would have loved to have Duke Riley or Jonathan Walton. Both are going to be true juniors at LSU and South Carolina respectively, but Minnesota finished very close second in both races. Sawvel kept the Gophers in it until the end, but late SEC offers changed the game back in 2014.
SkiUGophs asks: What is your over/under on commits from now until say one week post-bbq? Who are most likely to be the commits in that group?
Well if we look at the history of this event, aka only one year, Minnesota ended up with three commits within 72 hours of the event and another a couple weeks later in Quinn Oseland.
Looking at whose confirmed to be here as of today, there are four guys in DeAndre Huff, Kyle Fourtenbary, Albert Okwuegbunam and Terrance Corbett with offers as of right now. That list is certainly going to change as the date gets closer, but I'd put the over under at 2.5. The most likely candidates to me are Okwuegbunam or Huff to me at this point as I know that both are very high on the Gophers and want to make decisions by the end of the summer. I'll also say I'd be surprised if Minnesota didn't offer any in-state recruits at their Junior Elite camp the next day and if a guy like Eric Rousemiller, offensive lineman from Lakeville South received an offer, I could see him jumping on it immediately.
ragnardinho asks: If the Gophers were to land another four star recruit where would that commitment likely come from?
I'd say at this point it'd be from Desmond Fitzgerald or Jeremiah Moon. The Gophers offered Fitzgerald earlier this week and word is that he could be visiting Minnesota early in the season with his father, but nothing has been set yet. He's currently committed to Louisville, but it's a soft commitment at this point. Moon put the Gophers in the group of schools recruiting him the hardest, but I believe he'll eventually head to SEC country in Auburn or South Carolina.
benthere2 asks: How hard do the Gophers recruit in California and where are some of Kills/Gophers former players coaching HS's and what are the main pipelines?
Minnesota doesn't recruit California nearly as hard as they used to in recent years as the only California on the team of late is walk-on wide receiver Adam Mayer, and his connection is his father played running back for Minnesota from 1967-1970. The time and resources needed to create a presence would mean Sawvel leaving the southeast for a week or two and with the Gophers success down there, I just don't believe the staff thinks it worth it at this time.
As far as former players and where they're coaching, there's no specific one that Kill has really developed a pipeline to. I can tell you that the reason Minnesota found out about Rashad Still last class was because one of Kill's former players down in Texas tipped the staff off about him and things developed from there, so Kill has connections all over America. As far as main pipelines, there aren't many that Minnesota goes back to each year that the staff ends up offering someone from, but places like Murphy high school in Mobile, Alabama have been good to the Gophers over the years with K.J. Maye, Gary Moore and now Mose Hall in maroon and gold.
Recruiting Mailbag 6/30
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