Junior college All-America safety Gervarrius Owens signed with the Gophers on Wednesday, giving coach P.J. Fleck a key addition to the Class of 2019 on national signing day.
The 6-1, 190-pound Owens was a standout for Northeastern Oklahoma A&M and will have a chance to compete for a starting job with the Gophers after arriving on campus this summer.
He had reported offers from Southern Miss and Texas Tech and visited Louisville before committing to the Gophers.
With Owens, the Gophers have 22 signed scholarship players.
As of Wednesday evening, Fleck’s class ranked 42nd in the nation and 10th in the Big Ten in the 247Sports composite rankings.
Jones tries comeback
Three years after leaving the Gophers football team, former Minneapolis Washburn standout Jeff Jones is attempting a comeback, this time at Waldorf University, an NAIA-level program in Forest City, Iowa.
Jones, 23, signed his national letter of intent Wednesday, and Waldorf announced the news on Twitter.
Jones was one of the highest-rated recruits in Gophers history when he signed with them after earning MVP honors at the Under Armour All-American Game in 2014.
He was academically ineligible that fall and wound up playing in just three games for Minnesota, all in 2015, before transferring to Iowa Western Community College.
In May 2016, Jones was charged with felony drug possession after being pulled over in Bloomington with a firearm in the vehicle.
Jones posted the Waldorf announcement on Twitter, adding, “Prayed for an opportunity and he delivered forever grateful.”
10 walk-ons added
The Gophers also announced the addition of 10 preferred walk-ons.
Seven are from metro area schools: Jimmy Buck (Orono), Caden Fey (Eden Prairie), Matt Guggemos (Benilde-St. Margaret’s), Nick Kallerup (Wayzata), Ben McNaboe (Rogers), Cody Smith (Eagan), and Larry Wright (Eastview). One is from greater Minnesota: Nick McCabe (Caledonia).
Two are from other states: Tom Foley (Peoria, Ill.) and Austin Winfield (The Woodlands, Texas).