Brennan Armstrong (Brian King / Scout)

GI Projected Class: With the summer and camp season approaching, GI takes our best guess at Minnesota's 2018 recruiting class on offense

With the summer and camp season approaching, GI takes our best guess at Minnesota's 2018 recruiting class on the offensive side of the ball.

Quarterback

Already committed

http://www.scout.com/player/209895-brennan-armstrong?s=176

Projected

http://www.scout.com/player/209895-brennan-armstrong?s=176

Other candidates

None

Reasoning

Minnesota's quarterback recruiting for the 2018 class has been pretty cut and dry since coach P.J. Fleck and OC Kirk Ciarrocca took over, and that priority was Ohio signal caller Brennan Armstrong. Gophers worked hard to get Armstrong and family on campus in February and they got it done on February 18th with a commitment. Minnesota will only take one quarterback in their 2018 class and Armstrong is the one coach Fleck wants to hand the keys to. 

Running back

Already committed:

http://www.scout.com/player/199120-nolan-edmonds?s=176

Projected

http://www.scout.com/player/199120-nolan-edmonds?s=176

http://www.scout.com/player/217395-bryce-williams?s=176

Other candidates

http://www.scout.com/player/214338-trent-pennix?s=176

http://www.scout.com/player/207840-brock-sturges?s=176

Reasoning

With Kobe McCrary graduating in 2017 and the real possibility that Rodney Smith or Shannon Brooks could go pro after their junior seasons, Minnesota's looking to grab two running backs in 2018.

They already have one committed in Georgia three-down back Nolan Edmonds who chose Minnesota over California, Boston College, Illinois and Purdue among others. Edmonds is the three-down running back that the Gophers were looking for in this class and he'll have a chance to earn reps soon after Smith and Brooks move on. 

The name to watch currently for Minnesota fans is Florida running back Bryce Williams who picked up an offer from the Gophers last week, and sources tell GI that he'll visit the Twin Cities next weekend. Williams has early offers aside from Minnesota of Iowa State and South Florida among others, but Minnesota has definite interest in pairing Williams with Edmonds in this 2018 class. 

Two other names to keep an eye on for Gopher fans are North Carolina's Trent Pennix and Texas' Brock Sturges. The Minnesota staff has been in constant communication with Pennix in recent weeks in hopes of getting him up to the Twin Cities this summer, but no visit is currently set. Sturges just visited Minnesota this week with his father, but wants to take some trips to Pac-12 schools in early June before making any kind of decision. 

Tight End

Projected signees:

http://www.scout.com/player/208049-brevyn-spann-ford/recruiting?year=201...

Other candidates

http://www.scout.com/player/206759-ben-van-sumeren?s=176

http://www.scout.com/player/206728-ben-bresnahan?s=176

Reasoning:

This tight end position for Minnesota, may be the trickiest one on offense to try and project at the moment. The Gophers staff has a handful of offers out there, but the two (potentially three) names to watch closely in the next few weeks are St. Cloud's Brevyn Spann-Ford and Michigan SPARQ star Ben Van Sumeren.

Spann-Ford has offers from Iowa State, Missouri and West Virginia, but there's no Gopher offer yet. That'll have a chance to change next Friday night when Spann-Ford camps with Minnesota and the Gopher coaches can work with him and see what his skill set is. If an offer comes, I expect a commitment to come shortly after. 

Van Sumeren took a recent visit to Minnesota in May that resulted in a Gopher offer, and it's still up for debate on what position he could actually be as wide receiver, tight end, linebacker and rush-defensive end are all real possibilities. Van Sumeren does want to attend some camps in early June before a decision comes. I'm not very optimistic in the Gophers landing Georgia tight end Ben Bresnahan, but he's told GI that he has interest in a potential Minnesota visit this summer. We'll see if it happens.

Wide Receiver

Already committed:

http://www.scout.com/player/213857-erik-gibson?s=176

http://www.scout.com/player/201855-jornell-manns?s=176

Projected signees:

http://www.scout.com/player/213857-erik-gibson?s=176

http://www.scout.com/player/201855-jornell-manns?s=176

http://www.scout.com/player/203732-meechi-harris?s=176

Other candidates

http://www.scout.com/player/212713-bryson-jackson?s=176

Reasoning:

Minnesota needs to continue to add talent to a position that needs an influx, and they have two top priorities on the board in Michigan's Erik Gibson and Ohio's Jornell Manns. Both took visits in the spring and Minnesota was able to land commitments from both. Manns fills the need of a slot receiver on the outside at the X position. 

Truthfully, Minnesota's still adjusting their wide receiver board after getting off the road this week and will re-adjust things throughout the camp season of June, but the two names that absolute takes for coach Fleck and staff are Texas' Bryson Jackson and Ohio's Meechi Harris. Both have heard from Minnesota consistently for many weeks now and the Gophers staff is working on getting both up for visit this summer. Harris is likely the more attainable of the two and Minnesota has him atop the board.

We'll follow what other names emerge throughout June.

Offensive Line

Already committed: 

http://www.scout.com/player/211090-austin-beier?s=176

Projected signees:

http://www.scout.com/player/211090-austin-beier?s=176

http://www.scout.com/player/215933-oyenmwen-uzebu?s=176

http://www.scout.com/player/215007-cody-ince?s=176

http://www.scout.com/player/198620-ronnie-audette?s=176

Other candidates

http://www.scout.com/player/203388-jacob-isaia?s=176

http://www.scout.com/player/205276-malik-besseck?s=176

http://www.scout.com/player/213667-jack-plumb?s=176

http://www.scout.com/player/217112-nick-williams?s=176

Reasoning:

There's a lot of moving parts at offensive line for Minnesota currently with one commit in Ohio's Austin Beier, who projects at the center or guard position. 

The first time you'll notice is recent de-commit Oyenmwen Uzebu, as I do expect him to be a part of Minnesota's 2018 class again before his senior year. The Gophers staff will be down at satellite camp in Georgia in the next few weeks and Uzebu is expected to attend, so the Gophers will get to see and work with Uzebu again. 

The two local (ish) names to watch are Balsam Lake (Wis.) tackle Cody Ince and Elk River's Ronnie Audette. Ince recently picked up offers from Iowa and Minnesota, but with no Badger offer yet, I feel good about the Gophers chances considering his hometown is only 80 minutes from Minnesota's campus. He's already visited twice this spring and will be back at Minnesota soon. Audette may be a newer name to Gophers fans, but he's going to be camping at Minnesota next Friday. Audette is recovering from off-season shoulder surgery, but Minnesota is high on Audette after watching him workout this past week. 

I also can see Minnesota taking a fifth offensive linemen that could be Nick WilliamsJacob IsaiaMalik Besseck or Jack Plumb.

Isaia is high up on the Gophers board and plans on visiting Minnesota this summer. Besseck played high school football locally at Robbinsdale Cooper and Plumb now holds a Gopher, Badger and Hawkeye offer. All three I'll be following closely.

Total number for 2018 on offense: 11


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