Three former three-star recruits have transferred from the Gophers football program this month, all of them in search of more playing time.
Quarterback Dimonic Roden-McKinzy has landed at Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College, wide receiver Conner Krizancic is heading to Ohio University, and defensive tackle Demaris Peppers is heading to Jackson State.
January often brings a slew of transfers throughout college football, and Gophers officials were not surprised by these moves. They can use those scholarships for the 2015 recruiting class.
Roden-McKinzy had reported offers from Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas coming out of Wyandotte High School in Kansas City, Kan. The dual-threat quarterback graduated from high school early and enrolled at the university last January so he could go through spring practice with the Gophers.
But Jacques Perra arrived last summer as a walk-on from Roseville and beat out Roden-McKinzy for the No. 3 quarterback job behind Mitch Leidner and Chris Streveler. Roden-McKinzy ran the scout team offense leading up to the Citrus Bowl, but he'll have a better chance to see game action this fall at Hutchinson.
Roden-McKinzy couldn't be reached for comment, but a Hutchinson official confirmed he was enrolled Wednesday.
Krizancic announced on Twitter that he is transferring "to fulfill my dream of being a Division I quarterback at Ohio University."
He switched from wide receiver to quarterback as a senior at Mentor (Ohio) High School and led the team to a 13-2 record and a spot in the Division I state title game. He had reported offers from Cincinnati, Ohio, and Toledo but signed on to play receiver for the Gophers. He redshirted last season after injuring a hamstring before training camp.
Without Krizancic, the Gophers still have three wide receiver recruits from the 2014 class that they are extremely high on: Isaiah Gentry, Desmond Gant and Melvin Holland Jr. Jerry Gibson is another dynamic receiver from that class who could switch to tight end to help fill the void with Maxx Williams leaving early for the NFL.
Peppers had reported offers from Houston, Memphis and Western Kentucky coming out of Fairley High School in Memphis. He redshirted in 2013 and played in only one game this year. Jackson State is an FCS school in Mississippi.
Peppers has promise but saw little action this year, even as the Gophers played four true freshmen on the defensive line: Steven Richardson, Gaelin Elmore, Andrew Stelter and Gary Moore.