Let's dig in.
***It's been a month now since Texas cornerback Antoine Winfield had his extended unofficial visit to Minnesota and it sounds like Gopher fans will have to wait a little longer than expected to hear about a decision. After speaking with Winfield last night, he tells GopherDigest that he's going to wait to take some official visits first, starting with Minnesota on October 17th when the Gophers take on the Huskers. Per sources close to the program, this fits on the new timeline as Winfield's parents want to come see campus and meet with the Gopher coaches before things move forward. I have heard that Minnesota head coach Jerry Kill and Winfield's father, Antoine Sr. (Ohio State and Vikings legend) spoke on the phone in the last 10 days about his son's recruitment and things went well there. Also, both mother and father will be with on Winfield's official visit in October, so until they see campus, things are in a little bit of a holding pattern. Minnesota still has a sizable lead here over the rest of the competition.
***As I shared over the weekend, look for in-state athlete Tyler Johnson to visit Minnesota sometime in the next few days. This will be Johnson's first visit since he camped at TCF Bank Stadium in June, and GopherDigest wouldn't be shocked at all to see Johnson pull the trigger during his visit. Since announcing via Twitter 10 days ago that he'll be playing football in college, Johnson messaged the Gopher staff and told them he wanted to visit soon and that's why he'll be coming to see a practice this week. Minnesota is looking at Johnson as more of a wide receiver than defensive back right now, so if Johnson pulls the trigger this week, that would definitely close the door for any other receivers. GopherDigest will be keeping a close eye on Johnson's visit this week.
***For those wondering if Minnesota's going to take a running back in this 2016 class, it's an easy yes. The top target on the list is Michigan's Martell Pettaway who scheduled an official visit to Minnesota immediately after receiving an offer. Pettaway's father and Gopher freshman corner Ray Buford's father have spoke on the phone about the Gophers as well, so Minnesota is looking primed for a flip right now for the West Virginia commit. I will say this, the Gophers staff has been talking with another RB committed to a power five school whose cousin is on the team and things could get interesting there this week. Stay tuned.
***With the Gophers looking for help at tight end and defensive end position for the 2016 class, keep an eye on Opelika (Ala.) teammates Zo Bridges and Kyle Fourtenbary. Both received written offers from the Golden Gophers and both are very interested in Minnesota. Bridges had this to say about his recruiting recently," "I'm committed to Troy, but I'm still trying to get to Minnesota on a visit. They're just something I want to see and I want to learn more about the Gophers. Coach Sawvel and I have been working on setting up a visit and he's been telling me for months that he likes the way I play the game. He likes how I play fast and how I'm physical." Fourtenbary is also considering a Minnesota official visit as he likes the way Minnesota uses their tight ends, so be on the look out for those two to schedule official visits.
***Keep Mississippi quarterback Keon Howard on the back burner still. Even though Howard committed to Memphis, sources have told GopherDigest that Howard is still in play and is arguably the top option if the Gophers decide to take an another quarterback. Howard tells GopherDigest that he's trying to take an official visit to Minnesota this fall, so it'll be interesting to watch going into the fall.
***Defensive backs Coney Durr, Simeon Smiley and Kiondre Thomas are all familiar names to GopherDigest readers with Durr and Smiley scheduled to visit on Halloween for the Michigan game, and Thomas close to setting an official visit. Three other names to keep an eye on are Florida's Brandon Drayton and Romeo Finley, plus Utah's Max Tooley. All three have heard from Minnesota of late and could show up on campus this fall.
Ryan's Recruiting Roundup: 8/17
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