The Gophers had some big recruiting success in Georgia under Jerry Kill and Tracy Claeys, landing such players as Rodney Smith, Shannon Brooks, Jalen Myrick and Jonathan Celestin.
But new coach P.J. Fleck’s staff is showing an ability to pull recruits out of the Peach State, too.
As I wrote here, five of the 17 players committed to the Gophers hail from Minnesota. Four others are from Georgia: CB Terrell Smith, RB Nolan Edmonds, DE Abi Okonji and WR Rashod Bateman.
All are ranked as three-star recruits and it’s interesting looking at some of their other scholarship offers – Smith (Florida, Michigan State, Ole Miss), Edmonds (Louisville, Illinois and Cal), Okonji (Mississippi State, Michigan State, Kansas State).
Then there’s Bateman. He’s an outstanding basketball player, good enough to get hoops offers from Virginia Tech and Penn State. But the 6-1 receiver from Tifton, Ga., made a decision that he wants to play college football.
Bateman, who has speed to stretch the field, had a standout performance June 12 at the satellite camp that Fleck’s staff worked outside Atlanta in Carrollton, Ga. The Gophers offered, and he was ready to commit, knowing the track record Fleck and wide receivers coach Matt Simon have developing such players as former Western Michigan star Corey Davis.
Ohio also key for Fleck
Fleck’s staff is at another satellite camp Tuesday, this time in Canton, Ohio. The Gophers already have three commitments out of Ohio – QB Brennan Armstrong, WR Jornell Manns and OL Austin Beier – and they’re looking for more.
Armstrong and Manns are close friends who can’t wait to connect on some passes for the Gophers. At the satellite camp, Armstrong should get a chance to work with another Gophers recruiting target – Meechi Harris.
The 6-2 Harris, from Xenia, Ohio, already has offers from Wisconsin, Iowa and Michigan State. If Fleck lands him, that would be another big get from the Buckeye State.