Gophers football coach P.J. Fleck lost a recent recruiting battle with Notre Dame, but he responded by beating the Fighting Irish and other top schools for four-star Illinois junior defensive end Jason Bargy.

Bargy announced his commitment Wednesday night to play for Minnesota over programs such as Notre Dame, Wisconsin, Iowa and Michigan State. The 6-4, 255-pound Momence High School standout is the No. 2 ranked junior in Illinois and No. 99 in the Class of 2019 by

Fleck wasn’t able to land Edina four-star junior offensive tackle Quinn Carroll, who picked Notre Dame last week. But the Gophers responded with Bargy, the highest rated recruit to commit to the U since Eden Prairie’s Carter Coughlin in 2015.

Another commitment came Thursday when Hutchinson (Kan.) junior college linebacker Ahmad McCullough announced on Twitter he was joining the Gophers 2019 recruiting class. An hour after announcing his decision, McCullough, a 6-foot-2, 210-pound Baltimore native, tweeted he had received an offer from Rutgers. Minnesota may have to fight off some programs for McCullough before signing day in December.

Minnesota’s 2019 recruiting class currently ranks No. 25 in the nation and fifth in the Big Ten, per