College football’s three-day early signing period opened at 6 a.m. Wednesday morning, and by 9:15 a.m. the Gophers had assembled a class of 23 players, with a couple of surprises.
The first surprise: Coach P.J. Fleck and Co. received a signed letter of intent from junior college cornerback Kelvin Clemmons of Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College. Clemmons, 6-1 and 205 pounds, is the No. 9-ranked junior college cornerback by 247Sports and was expected to sign with Kentucky, according to Ryan Burns of recruiting-focused website GopherIllustrated.com. The Tampa, Fla., native and three-star recruit did not make an official visit to Minnesota and will be an early enrollee in January, making the move even more surprising.
A graduate of Alonso High School in Tampa, Fla., Clemmons had 34 tackles and 15 pass breakups for Hutchinson this season. He will have two years of eligibility remaining with the Gophers.
The second surprise: Four-star defensive tackle Kristian Williams of Memphis, who gave the Gophers a verbal commitment on Friday night, did not sign his letter of intent, as he indicated he would. Fleck is expected to continue to persuade the 6-3, 297-pounder to sign in the early period, which runs through Friday. After that, players can’t sign until the Feb. 6 traditional signing day.
Williams visited the Gophers on Dec. 1. He also had strong interest from Indiana, Kentucky, LSU and Louisville, among others.
Aside from the Clemmons and Williams developments, the Gophers’ signing day went as planned, with 21 scholarship players plus two “maroon shirts’’ who’ll begin as walk-ons for a year joining the Class of 2019. By 9:40 a.m., Minnesota’s class ranked No. 33 nationally and eighth in the Big Ten in the 247Sports.com composite of major national recruiting services.
It all began at 6:03 a.m. Central, when defensive tackle DeAngelo Carter of Lee County High School in Leesburg, Ga., was announced as the first signee. Fleck will speak about the class during a news conference Wednesday afternoon.
Here are the players who signed with the Gophers, in order of ranking by the 247Sports composite:
Rashad Cheney, DT, 6-2, 275 pounds, 4 stars
From Cedar Grove High School (Ellenwood, Ga.): Nation’s 26th-ranked DT recruit first gave verbal commitments to Georgia and Alabama before choosing the Gophers.
Tyler Nubin, CB, 6-2, 183, 3 stars
From St. Charles (Ill.) North: Led his prep team to state championship game. Big Ten offers included Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern and Purdue.
Keonte Schad, DT, 6-3, 275, 3 stars
From Ellsworth C.C. (Iowa Falls, Iowa): The Madison, Wis., native is the nation’s No. 2-ranked JUCO DT recruit. Schad also received offers from Oklahoma, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia Tech and West Virginia.
Jacob Clark, QB, 6-5, 210, 3 stars
From Rockwall, Texas: Ranked as the 19th-best pro-style QB in this class, Clark passed for 3,287 yards and 31 touchdowns and rushed for 10 TDs. Passed for 428 yards against reigning Texas big-school state champion Allen in a playoff loss. Cal, Purdue, Iowa and TCU were among 16 schools making offers.
Nnamdi Adim-Madumere, WR, 6-3, 226, 3 stars
From Fort Worth (Texas) Southwest: Big, physical receiver committed to Gophers in June during unofficial visit, after receiving offers from Alabama and Texas A&M, among 15 other schools.
JJ Guedet, OT, 6-7, 305, 3 stars
From Washington (Ill.) Community: Ranked 46th among offensive tackles nationally, Guedet has a big frame with room to fill out. Illinois, Indiana, Nebraska and Oklahoma were among 18 schools that extended offers.
James Gordon IV, OLB, 6-1, 214, 3 stars
From Plant City, Fla.: The 57th-ranked OLB received late November offers from Miami (Fla.) and Florida State. Had 126 tackles, 26 tackles for loss, eight sacks and five interceptions (three returned for TDs) this season.
Donald Willis, OLB, 6-1 1/2 , 202, 3 stars
From Garfield Heights, Ohio: Had 112 tackles, 29 tackles for loss and eight sacks this season. Also returned two fumbles and one interception for TDs. Ranked 58th at his position.
D’Vion Harris, DE, 6-3, 230, 3 stars
From St. Louis (Mo.) Lutheran North: Had 125 tackles, 29 tackles for loss and eight sacks this season. Michigan, Illinois, Florida and Kentucky were among 16 programs extending offers.
MJ Anderson, DE, 6-3, 270, 3 stars
From St. Louis Christian Brothers College H.S.: The 59th-ranked strong-side DE had an impressive list of offers that included Notre Dame, Michigan State and Virginia. Decommitted from Gophers on Nov. 29 before recommitting on Dec. 12.
Jason Williamson, ATH, 6-1, 205, 3 stars
From Owatonna: Minnesota’s Mr. Football and two-time Gatorade Minnesota Player of the Year led the Huskies to back-to-back Class 5A state titles. As a running back, he rushed for 3,012 yards and 46 TDs, including 1,602 yards and 25 TDs in the playoffs. His position with the Gophers is to be determined.
Trey Potts, APB, 5-10, 182, 3 stars
From Williamsport (Pa.) Area: The all-purpose back, ranked 13th nationally, Potts accounted for 20 TDs for the Millionaires this season after missing 2017 because of a knee injury. He rushed for more than 2,000 yards and 34 TDs as a sophomore.
DeAngelo Carter, DT, 6-1, 300, 3 stars
From Lee County (Leesburg, Ga.): Another big body to help bolster the defensive line. Offers included Georgia Tech, Kentucky and Indiana.
Mike Brown-Stephens, WR, 5-10, 175, 3 stars
From Springfield, Ohio: Played receiver, defensive back and kick returner. Rushed for 268 yards and two TDs and caught 20 passes for 267 yards and two TDs in a run-heavy offense.
Solomon Brown, CB, 5-11, 170, 3 stars
From Largo, Fla.: Made 92 tackles, averaging 8.4 per game as a senior. Iowa, Indiana and Rutgers of the Big Ten extended offers.
Logan Richter, OG, 6-4, 291, 3 stars
From Perham, Minn.: Originally committed for the Class of 2018 as a defensive tackle, Richter instead “grayshirted,’’ meaning he will delay his enrollment until January. He’s likely to move to the offensive line, per GopherIllustrated.
Cameron Wiley, ATH, 6-2, 191, 3 stars
From Las Vegas (Nev.) Desert Pines: Wiley is the No. 92-ranked athlete nationally and played running back in high school. Offers included Arizona, Duke and TCU.
Cole Kramer, QB, 6-1, 188, 3 stars
From Eden Prairie: The latest in the Eden Prairie pipeline to the Gophers, Kramer is the No. 5 recruit in Minnesota and the No. 27 dual-threat QB nationally. Helped lead the Eagles to three consecutive Prep Bowl berths.
Kelvin Clemmons, CB, 6-1, 205, 3 stars
From Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College: Signing-day addition by the Gophers who appeared headed to Kentucky. Ranked No. 11 nationally among junior college cornerbacks.
Peter Udoibok, WR, 6-4, 205, 3 stars
From Cretin-Derham Hall: Caught 41 passes for 688 yards and eight TDs this season, then was named MVP of the Minnesota all-star game. Udoibok is a “maroon shirt’’ and will be a walk-on for a year.
Tyler Cooper, OT, 6-4, 310, 3 stars
From St. Croix Falls, Wis.: Cooper, who played both guard and tackle in high school, is another maroon shirt. He is the 10th-ranked recruit in Wisconsin.
Michael Lantz, K, 6-0, 178, 3 stars
From Starrs Mill (Fayetteville, Ga.): Made 13 of 18 field-goal attempts, including a long of 50 yards, as a senior. Ranked the 10th-best kicker nationally by Kohl’s Kicking Camps.
Brady Weeks, LS, 6-1, 225, 2 stars
From Fort Zumwalt West (O’Fallon, Mo.): Weeks is ranked the No. 1 long snapper nationally by Kohl’s Kicking Camps. Also received interest from Virginia.