Derek Young

Ryan's Recruiting Roundup 8/27

In this edition of Ryan's Recruiting Roundup, GopherDigest goes in-depth on a bunch of new targets that Minnesota is looking at on the recruiting board.

Who could be the next commit for the Gophers?

Many fans are antsy to know when the next football commit is coming as the Gophers haven't had one in a few weeks. Well it could come as soon as tonight with in-state wide receiver Tyler Johnson visiting campus and practice on an unofficial visit. Johnson has held offers from Wisconsin and Iowa for many months know and with spots starting to fill up at all three Big Ten schools, it wouldn't be a surprise for me to see Johnson come to a decision soon, possbilly even tonight. It's all on a gut feeling here, but expect the Gopher staff to really roll out the red carpet tonight and see if Johnson pulls the trigger. If Johnson does commit here soon, expect Minnesota to be done at wide receiver with four commits.

New Running Back targets? 

GopherDigest heard from sources this week that it sounds like a definite yes now that Minnesota will be taking a stud running back this class. Not really new news as Minnesota has been offering a few this summer, but with Texas running back Rakeem Boyd picking up an offer from Texas A&M, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Gophers move on another running back here soon. Two guys that I've been told to keep an eye on are Topeka (Kan.)'s Mike McCoy and Oklahoma running back Jeremy Lewis as it wouldn't be a surprise to see Minnesota move on either in the next few weeks. Both have really just started to hear from Minnesota as the Gophers asked for their transcripts this past week, but two guys to keep an eye on going forward.

Offered targets in a holding pattern?

I've been in touch with all of Minnesota's top targets in the last 48 hours from guys such as Albert Okwuegbunam, Kyle Fourtenbary, Vincent Calhoun, Kiondre Thomas and Simeon Smiley just to name a few, and there's not a ton going on right now, which is to be expected. Both the players and coaches are all focused on getting ready for their first few games, so it's not a big surprise. Not official visits have been scheduled with any of these guys in the last few weeks, and until they all set up official visits, there's not much to report. Gophers are still very interested in all of these recruits, but once Minnesota can start calling recruits here in a few days, expect things to pick up. 

What's the plan at tight end and defensive end?

The arguably two biggest position needs left in the 2016 class at tight end and defensive end and with the Gophers have a couple spots still open at each spot heading into the season, many fans may be asking who should we be keeping an eye on? At tight end, obviously guys such as Albert Okwuegbunam and Kyle Fourtenbary will be worked hard to try and get official visits from. Also wouldn't be surprised to see a guy like Robert Tucker, Georgia tight end who holds a Minnesota offer, visit this fall. A few new names to keep an eye on that Minnesota has started to investigate more of late are Maryland tight end Hamilton Day and Ohio's Brandon Chapman. No offers or official visits being talked about right now, but don't be surprised to see something happen down the line. At defensive end, names such as Zo Bridges, Terrell Lucas, Terrance Corbett are all ones to know heading into this fall as Minnesota will more than likely get official visits from all three. A few names that the Gophers have began to look into in the last week or so are Georgia's Will Evans and Jacoby Hill, Missouri's Jerrion Nelson, Chicago's Amir Watts and San Antonio's Elijah Garcia. Obviously the Gophers are looking at a lot of options at each position, so I expect recruiting here to be very fluid going forward.

Are the Gophers done at linebacker? 

With the Gophers already having three linebacker commits in Carter Coughlin, Thomas Barber and Kamal Martin, IF Minnesota does decide to take another, he's going to have to be special and there's two guys at the top from what sources have told me. One being Florida's Andre Polk whom the Gophers have offered and are working deligently to get on an official visit in September. Last I heard, the plan was to get Polk to Minnesota for the homecoming game. The other player shall remain nameless for the time being as he's committed to another FBS school currently, plus the Gophers haven't offered yet. Minnesota is still extremely interested in this high school linebacker and Coach Sherels and staff are working hard to get him on an official visit for the Michigan game on Halloween. There are other guys Minnesota is looking at, but these two are clearly at the top.

Will Minnesota offer a punter?

With the loss of all-Big Ten punter Peter Mortell on the horizon after next season, the question on everyone's mind including mine is who will replace him. It could come internally as sophomore Ryan Santoso could step in and fill his shoes as he already has a bigger leg, but not a ton of experience there yet. Walk-on Jacob Herbers will also be in contention next season, but there are a couple guys that Minnesota wants badly and they've scheduled unofficial visits for this fall. Punters Brandon Nickle and Derek Adams both tell GopherDigest that they'll be visiting in October. Nickle will be visiting for the Nebraska game and Adams for the Michigan game. These two are near the top of the Gophers wish list, if not at the top after camping at Minnesota this summer. The issue is Minnesota will more than likely not decide what they're going to do at Punter until after the season, so if Minnesota does decide to go after a 2016 punter, look for them to take an official visit in January.  

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