GopherDigest's Ryan Burns gives his best shot at what the 2016 class will look like for Minnesota

With Minnesota approaching their biggest recruiting weekend of the year so far, GopherDigest takes it's best shot at projecting what the class may look like come the first Wednesday in February.

Quarterback: (Two projected, one committed)

Tony Poljan: No concern here as Poljan has been committed to the Gophers since late May and will be back in the Twin Cities this weekend for his official visit. 

I do believe that Minnesota will take another quarterback this class with Chris Streveler's move to wide receiver, leaving the Gophers with only two quarterbacks on scholarship. I'm very tempted to put Seth Green in here, but until something concrete about Green's status with Minnesota, I have to leave him out. He is the front runner still for me though.

Running back: (One projected, zero committed)

Arkeem Byrd will be taking his official visit to Minnesota this weekend and he's absolutely on commitment watch for me. Byrd has a lot of position versatility, so he could be a defensive back among other things, but he's someone that the Gophers want. Ever since Minnesota offered, the Gophers have been the top school on Byrd's list and he told GopherDigest then that a decision could come soon after the visit, so we'll have to see here shortly.

Tre Bryant is definitely another name to keep an eye on, but I don't foresee a decision shortly after his Minnesota official visit this weekend, especially after Nebraska offered last night. Bryant is currently committed to Kansas State, but is very open to looking around and is supremely interested in the Gophers because of their commitment to the running game. The coaching staff will do everything they can to impress Bryant and his parents this weekend.

Wide receiver: (Four projected, four committed)

Phillip Howard has been committed to the Gophers since March and I have zero concerns about him not signing with Minnesota . A more explosive KJ Maye.

Drew Hmielewski is another Minnesota recruit who's deciding to stay home. Could play defensive back, but I'd definitely consider him a wide receiver at this time. 

Tyler Johnson chose the Gophers over Wisconsin and Iowa and can't wait to stay home in Minnesota. Johnson is committed as a "true athlete" in the eyes of the coaching staff at this time, but for now, I'll put him with the wide receivers.

Dredrick Snelson will be visiting Minnesota for the first time this weekend with his mother for his official visit and Snelson has remained firm to the Gophers despite some other interest elsewhere. I'm considering him a part of the class obviously until I hear else wise. 

Tight end: (Two projected, zero committed)

Ko Kieft is currently committed to NDSU as a tight end, but Minnesota likes him as a tight end / h-back and he'll be taking an unofficial visit this weekend. The Gophers have been showing a lot of interest in Kieft in the last few weeks and I wouldn't be surprised to see Kieft walk away with an offer in the near future. He camped at Minnesota this past summer and has shown out on his senior film, and if an offer comes, I anticipate Kieft flipped to the Gophers. 

There will be another tight end in this class, but I don't feel comfortable projecting who that is as there isn't another tight end receiving the amount of attention that Kieft is. Stay tuned to GopherDigest as things develop.

Offensive line: (Five projected, five committed)

Vincent Calhoun is expected to come in and play right away next year at the guard position for Minnesota. Calhoun has been solid to Minnesota since his commitment.

Sean Foster will be taking another unofficial visit to Minnesota this weekend and has been solid to the Gophers despite calls from SEC schools.

Matt Kegel chose the Gophers over Oklahoma State back in May and hasn't wavered since.

Conner Olson was a camp standout back when he was a junior and earned a scholarship after filling out his frame. Has a lot of potential.

Sam Schlueter chose Minnesota over Michigan State and Wisconsin and remains dedicated to the Gophers.

Defensive line: (Four projected, two committed)

JoJo Garcia was Minnesota's first commitment for the 2016 class and I don't anticipate him signing with another FBS school. Has something things to clean on with his academics before that happens though.

Tralund Webber committed to Minnesota shortly after his official visit this past summer. He picked up an Oklahoma State offer recently and was thinking about visiting, but sounds like that won't be the case any more and he'll stay firm to the Gophers.

Terrance Corbett is currently committed to Troy, but will take an official visit to the Twin Cities this weekend with his parents. DL coach Jeff Phelps saw Corbett practice this past week and there's a lot of mutual interest between the two. The Gophers will hope to get Corbett flipped shortly after the weekend. 

Will Evans is a defensive end currently committed to Ohio and doesn't have a Gopher offer or official visit set up, but was seen by DL coach Phelps last week. I wouldn't be surprised to hear more going on with Evans sooner rather than later. 

Linebacker: (Four projected, four committed)

Thomas Barber is the youngest in a long line of successful Barber's at Minnesota and will enroll in January.

Carter Coughlin is the highest rated commit in the 2016 class as he's within Scout top 100.

Kamal Martin could play either outside linebacker or defensive end for Minnesota among other things as he's one of the most athletic guys in the class.

Andre Polk will enroll in mid-January as well for the Gophers and has a great frame to build off.

Yes, Minnesota has another linebacker taking an official visit this weekend that's committed to another power five school. That's nothing new as I've been talking about it since July. I'll finally get to reveal his name once he gets on campus on Friday, or if he chooses to reveal it earlier. He's the only other addition I can see for this linebacker class. 

Defensive back: (Four projected, two committed)

Elijah Daniels committed to the Gophers in early June and I have no concerns about either he or his brother going anywhere else at this time.

Elisha Daniels

Kiondre Thomas is currently committed to Louisiana Tech, but will take an official visit this weekend to Minnesota. DB coach Jay Sawvel went and saw Thomas practice last week and I'd believe that he's near the top, if not at the top for Sawvel's wishlist. Thomas will be on commitment watch following the visit.

Coney Durr was a teammate of current Gopher Alonzo Craighton last year and Sawvel is hoping to dip back into the Dutchtown well for Durr. Sawvel went and saw Durr last week and the Louisiana corner currently has Minnesota and Kansas State at the top and wants to make a decision shortly after his official visit to the Twin Cities this weekend. I'm feeling confident about Minnesota's chances if Durr has a great visit.


My projections has Minnesota signing 26 guys for their 2016 class, even though they only have 18 (ish) scholarships to give. That means there's going to be transfers or early graduations from some redshirt juniors. Something to watch with only 13 weeks or so until signing day. 

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