Thursday, February 4, 2010
Minnesota recruiting analysis
By ESPN.com staff
Minnesota Golden Gophers
Recruits: 25 (20 high school seniors, four junior college players, one prep school player)
Top prospects: Jimmy Gjere might be the best offensive lineman from the state of Minnesota not named Seantrel Henderson. Running backs Lamonte Edwards, Donnell Kirkwood and Devon Wright should bolster the Big Ten's worst rushing attack.
Sleepers: Offensive lineman Johnathan Ragoo is a big body with some athleticism. Brewster also likes linebackers Dwayne Mitchell and Willie Tatum.
Needs met: Minnesota still hasn't found an answer at running back, and this class addresses the position with three players. The offensive line needs to be upgraded, and Gjere should help there.
Analysis: Minnesota's 2008 recruiting class generated national headlines, but Brewster believes this class is better top to bottom. The Gophers missed out on several big names, most notably Henderson, but they added depth along the offensive line and signed several skill players who can contribute early. It's imperative that Minnesota finds a capable running back this fall, and Edwards, Kirkwood or Wright could be the answer.
Scouts Inc. grade: C
What Tim Brewster said:
- "Jimmy Gjere is one of the top offensive linemen in the country. He's extremely athletic, and that's what we were really looking for in this class, length. We wanted taller, longer guys, athletic guys. He's a spectacular player."
- "Lamonte's exactly what we want there. He's got the size, he's a very explosive runner, physical runner. He's going to grow into an outstanding tailback. If Lamonte Edwards was in Texas or Florida, he'd have had 100 offers. As it was, he was a four-star kid who's probably the best-kept secret in the country because he committed to us so long ago."
- "In the offensive line, we wanted to go out and sign a group of guys who would be the foundation of our team as we move forward. This is a heck of a group of offensive linemen."