Gophers football coach P.J. Fleck signed 21 recruits in December during the early signing period, ensuring things would be fairly quiet on college football’s traditional national signing day.
Minnesota plans to announce the signing of 10 walk-on players Wednesday. A few remaining top recruits are expected to make their decisions, which will alter the national rankings.
The Gophers received a verbal commitment Tuesday from Gervarrius Owens, an All-American junior college safety from Northeast Oklahoma A&M. Once signed, he’ll have a chance to start right away this fall.
As of Tuesday night, this Gophers class ranked No. 42 nationally in the 247Sports composite of the major recruiting services. Minnesota was at No. 34 back on Dec. 19, when the early signing window opened. This is similar to last year, when the Gophers fell from 30th to 38th between the two signing days.
The highest-rated players in Minnesota’s class are all consensus three-star recruits: quarterback Jacob Clark (Rockwall, Texas), defensive tackle Rashad Cheney (Ellenwood, Ga.) and defensive tackle Keonte Shad (Ellsworth Community College in Iowa).
The Gophers signed three in-state recruits: running back Jason Williamson (Owatonna), lineman Logan Richter (Perham) and quarterback Cole Kramer (Eden Prairie).
Other roster moves
After signing 25 players from last year’s class when that early signing window opened, Fleck said he wanted to save a few scholarship spots this time for potential transfers. Last month, the Gophers landed defensive tackle Micah Dew-Treadway, a graduate transfer from Notre Dame who is eligible to play immediately, and wide receiver Randal Grimes, an undergraduate transfer from Southern California who can play for Minnesota in 2020 after sitting out one season.
Last year’s Gophers class ranked eighth in the Big Ten; this one ranks 10th. Purdue has been the surprise, climbing to fifth in the Big Ten, behind Michigan, Penn State, Ohio State and Nebraska. The Boilermakers have commitments from four consensus four-star players.