GopherDigest answers your questions in this week's recruiting mailbag...
wonge02 asks: Fourtenbary committing after the BBQ?
Well it doesn't look likely now as he won't be at the BBQ any longer. Fourtenbary told GopherDigest this morning he's going to take a vacation with his family now instead of attending the BBQ, but he's been in touch with Minnesota a lot lately and plans to take an official visit this fall.
ragnardinho asks: With Bryant off the board, does it look like the Gophers will offer another RB? Anyone else who might attend the BBQ that hasn't RSVP'ed yet?
Something to definitely watch here. Minnesota did offer Houston running back Rakeem Boyd late last week and he immediately moves to the top guy to watch here. He's not doing any interviews with the media at this time, but Michigan was a place he was leaning toward and they have a couple running backs committed already, so that option is probably out. Houston, Missouri and Arizona State are some schools to watch there, but I think the Gophers can definitely compete there. One other name to watch is Texas running back Kene Nwangwu. Sources have told GopherDigest that running backs coach Pat Poore really liked him in the spring and could be the next to receive an offer.
And it's been pretty quiet lately on that BBQ front of late. All the coaches are on vacation until the end of the week, so maybe another name or two will surface soon, but wouldn't expect another flood of guys confirming their attendance.
LimegroverLeague4Life asks: What's been the biggest change/challenge for you switching to Scout? Do you plan on bringing any other reporters on staff?
Actual real-life question from the Milaca master? Wow. I'm impressed.
The biggest challenge I'd say is just learning the new system behind the scenes and transitioning during the slow time in college football. Both items have their different challenges, but it's gone a lot better than expected. I'm very excited for the season to start so my actual coverage can start to roll here. Only so many times you can preview the positions without new material.
As far as other reporters, absolutely. The reason I haven't done anything yet as I'm in a holding period waiting for one guy who could be joining me a lot sooner than I expected, so we'll see how that plays out. It could be as soon as August or a few months after, so waiting on him first. If that doesn't fall into place, I will be hiring a basketball writer in the near future, but waiting to see how things play out that are out of my control first.
gophmeister asks: How does recruiting play out from here? Do we wait or do we take the commitments as they come? What does the DE recruitng look like? How many and who?
This 2016 recruiting class is much farther along than a typical Jerry Kill class as Minnesota currently sits in double digits commits in July, which is really unheard of for this Gopher staff. They've benefited from the strongest in-state class in a decade and some out of state targets visiting during the spring, so things have gone very well thus far. I think the next step here is seeing what happens after the BBQ next weekend and then it'll be probably be slow for awhile until official visit happen during the early part of the season. I'd expect the staff to take commitments if their from recruits that are top targets. What I'm trying to say is that Minnesota won't turn down a commitment because they're not used filling up so early.
Defensive end recruiting is a spot I think will continue to evolve with targets. Terrance Corbett was supposed to attend the BBQ next weekend, but he's no longer expected as money issues have come up and he'll have to wait until the fall to visit. Zo Bridges isn't expected to attend the BBQ with Fourtenbary not coming either. JUCO DE Tralund Webber is in a holding pattern until he visits other schools, so I think some new defensive end offers will be going out soon. Terrell Lucas is a guy to watch as Minnesota has shown a lot of interest lately and they'll have to battle Michigan for his services. I say that Minnesota probably signs three or four defensive ends including a JUCO, so this is a position of need to watch for the rest of the class.
skiugophs asks: Who is the most likely candidate to receive offer and break the ice on the 2017 class? Seems like Limegrover has been getting ahead of OL recruiting the past few years, so an in-state OL? Rousemiller?
With no in-state offers out at this point, all of this talk is purely speculative, so bare with me. I'd have to say it'll either be Lakeville OL Eric Rousemiller or Eden Prairie defensive end Jermaine Johnson. Rousemiller is an ideal interior lineman at this state of the game and I think he's a prime candidate to get an offer following camp next weekend. Johnson already camped at Minnesota last month and really impressed with his physical tools. It's very hard to find good defensive lineman in the Midwest, so if you have one in-state if you're Minnesota, I think you have to offer early on.
billymarekguy asks: Does the 2017 kid Blomberg have any ties to the U? Seems like he is camping nationally looking for out-state offers.
To my knowledge, there is no connection to Minnesota. From having first-hand knowledge of the situation, Blomberg and his father are just trying to get his recruiting going so they've attended a plethora of camps so far, but they're expected to be at Minnesota next weekend at the Junior Elite camp, so I'm very anxious to get an evaluation on him.
Recruiting Mailbag 7/8
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