If you have a helicopter at your disposal you might as well use it, right?
That’s just what Gophers football coach P.J. Fleck did Friday night, when a helicopter arrived at the Gibson-Nagurski Football Complex, picked up Fleck and wide receivers coach Matt Simon and whisked them away to Eastview High School in Apple Valley. That’s where Edina's Quinn Carroll, a prized offensive tackle recruit was playing.
But Fleck wasn't done for the night. He then took the helicopter to Lakeville, where Lakeville North's Bryce Benhart, a junior offensive tackle and Gophers recruit, was playing against visiting Lakeville South.
The helicopter ride was just the start of Fleck’s plan to impress Carroll. Fleck wore a gold Gophers jersey with Carroll’s No. 75, while Simon sported a gold jersey with No. 83, which Jay Carroll, Quinn’s father, wore as a Gophers tight end from 1980 to ’83.
Quinn Carroll, a 6-6 and 290-pound junior, has scholarship offers from most major powers, including Alabama, Notre Dame and USC.
Benhart, 6-7, 285 pounds, also has offers from Wisconsin, UCLA, Northwestern and Iowa State. While in Lakeville, Fleck also had a chance to watch one of his 2018 commitments, Lakeville North center Nathan Boe.
With the Gophers on their bye week, Fleck and his assistants spent a lot of their time recruiting this week.
If Fleck’s grand entrances via helicopter seem familiar, they are. Former Gophers coach Tim Brewster flew by helicopter to three games in the metro area in 2009.