Thursday, February 3, 2011
Minnesota recruiting analysis
By Adam Rittenberg
MINNESOTA GOLDEN GOPHERS
Recruits: 22 (17 high school seniors, two junior college transfers, one FBS transfer, one prep school player; five players enrolled early)
Top prospects: The Gophers' offensive line gets a boost with four-star guard Tommy Olson and the McAvoy twins, Kyle and Luke, both of whom project at tackle. ESPN Recruiting ranks Olson as the nation's No. 14 guard. Wide receiver Quentin Gardener brings a good skill set to the Gophers' passing game, and Jephette Matilus adds depth at the linebacker position.
Needs met: The offensive line is the biggest key for Minnesota to become a consistent bowl team again, and new coach Jerry Kill addressed things by signing six O-linemen on Wednesday. Olson, like his older brother Ed, should be an early contributor for Minnesota. The Gophers also need pass rushers and brought in three defensive ends. The class lacks a running back, which could be an issue going forward.
Analysis: Kill and his staff faced a tough challenge with this class after arriving only in early December. The good news is they prevented many defections among the recruits who committed to Tim Brewster. The class lacks the wow factor, but Kill and his crew boast a long track record of player development. If some of these offensive linemen pan out, Minnesota should be in good shape in the future.
ESPN Recruiting grade: C