July Camp/BBQ Primer

With the busiest time of the month coming up this weekend for the Minnesota staff, GopherDigest previews the upcoming weekend full of camps and the annual recruiting BBQ.

Saturday's Senior one day camp

- Gopher quarterback commit Tony Poljan, wide receiver commit Phillip Howard, linebacker commit Carter Coughlin and safety Elijah Daniels

Very good sign to see both Howard and Coughlin back to camp at Minnesota again this summer. Both were at camps in June and are coming back again to complete. Howard will probably work more at wide receiver after spending most of his time at defensive back last camp, so it'll be a good match-up between him and Daniels during one on ones. Poljan arrived in Minnesota yesterday with his family and this will be the first time I'll see him live at quarterback and I've very interested to see how his mechanics and just overall athleticism come through at the position. Elijah and his brother Elisha Daniels will be on campus for the first time, but only Elijah will camp as Elisha is battling a hand injury.

- Eden Prairie WR J.D. Spielman, Texas ATH Tony Brown and Michigan ATH Nolan Meekhof The next tier of guys is headlined by Spielman who has a Gopher "offer" and will be camping at Minnesota so that the Gophers can decide at what position they think he'll play if he comes to Minnesota. At 5'8", I can't see Minnesota taking another defensive back there, so I'd be willing to bet he plays receiver for the Gophers if he comes. With other offers from Michigan, Iowa and Nebraska, so I'd guess he takes official visits before a decision. Brown is an athlete from Texas with numerous military offers. He plays primarily quarterback in high school, but expect the Gophers to move him around from defensive back to wide receiver to running back to try and find out his best fit. Meekhof is a very good athlete from Michigan who posted one of the top Nike SPARQ numbers from this past spring. If he can post numbers similar to what he did a few months, he'll make things very interesting for Mike Sherels and company.

- Cooper safety Moses Nyangacha, Wayzata DE/OLB Nick Kramer and Totino Grace DL Lewis Kidd The last tier of guys I'll talk about are headlined by Nyangacha, who holds numerous FCS offers. It's highly unlikely to GopherDigest at this time that he'll get an offer, but he displays good range from the safety spot and has the length you want at safety. It's very likely he heads to either Western Michigan or NDSU. Kramer is another guy that Minnesota has seen multiple times in the last few months and he's hoping to prove that he's gotten more explosive over the summer. Kidd is an interesting recruit to watch as the Gophers need defensive lineman this class.

BBQ visitors:

QB Tony Poljan
WR/ATH Phillip Howard
OL Sean Foster
OL Matt Kegel
OL Conner Olson
OL Sam Schlueter
DT Jojo Garcia
LB Thomas Barber
LB Carter Coughlin
CB Elisha Daniels
S Elijah Daniels

Top targets: Minnesota WR Drew Hmielewski

Texas CB Antoine Winfield Jr

As you can see the list is getting smaller the closer we get to the BBQ, but there are some key targets planning on being in attendance. All of Minnesota's 11 commits will be there, which is a great way for them to bond with each other and the freshmen and sophomore on the team, who will be their teammates soon enough. Hmielewski is one to really keep an eye on as it wouldn't be surprising if he received an offer. Winfield is the another one to watch. He's good friends with Carter Coughlin from his younger days when his dad played for the Vikings, so there is a connection there. He absolutely lit up the Ohio State camp running some 4.3's, so I'll be following this one closely.

Sunday's Junior elite one day camp

- Lakeville South offensive lineman Eric Rousemiller and Eden Prairie defensive end Jermaine Johnson These two recruits are my early picks to be the first in-state recruits to receive an offer for the 2017 class. Rousemiller has been on the Gophers radar since he camped at Minnesota last summer as a to-be sophomore and really held his own. He's had another year to mature and could be a good interior mauler for Limegrover's offense. Johnson emerged after camping last month and really showing he could be an edge rusher for Tracy Claeys and company. He's a little lean yet, but the explosive burst is there with his size, it should something to watch as good Midwest lineman are hard to find.

- Providence Academy offensive lineman Gavin Blomberg, Benilde-St. Margarets offensive lineman Eric Wilson, Delavan (Wis.) ATH Jake Benzing and 2018 Illinois offensive lineman Braden Foster (Sean Foster's younger brother)

These four guys are also ones I'll have a close on Sunday. Blomberg has really hit the camp circuit this summer and looks to be a guy with good strength and a mean streak that you want on the offensive line. Wilson picked up his first offer from Yale over the weekend and looks like he's not close to being done growing as he appears very young for his age. Benzing is a dark horse to me here as he posted very good numbers at the Chicago Nike combine and if he can duplicate those, I'd guarantee he catches the staff's attention. Braden Foster is also another to note as he's already 6'3" 285 lbs and he's going to be a sophomore in high school. Dad played at Iowa and his older brother Sean is committed to the Gophers, so he'll be one to watch down the line.

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