The work on the recruiting trail for 2016 is complete, so barring a few late tweaks or transfers, rosters across the Big Ten are pretty much set with national signing day in the books. The ESPN.com reporting crew is taking a look at what each team in the conference looks like with a new class on the way.
Next up: Minnesota
Team’s position of strength: Running back
New offensive coordinator Jay Johnson wants to put a heavy emphasis on the running game, and he's got a great foundation with two promising young tailbacks.
Shannon Brooks and Rodney Smith combined to run for 1,379 yards last season, which was even more impressive considering they were both in their first year of college competition (Brooks was a true freshman, while Smith came off a redshirt). Brooks showed an ability to break off the long run, while Smith has good power at 5-foot-11, 200 pounds.
The Golden Gophers should have even more depth in the backfield after bringing in junior college transfer Kobe McCrary on signing day. McCrary is a load at a listed 6-foot, 230 pounds and scored 22 touchdowns a season ago.
Team’s biggest need heading into signing day: Wide receivers
How Minnesota addressed the need: The worst news on signing day for the Gophers was Dredrick Snelson's flip to Central Florida. The ESPN 300 receiver had maintained he was committed to Minnesota until late in the process, and he could have helped at a position where the team needs playmakers, especially after KJ Maye graduated.
The Gophers did hold onto Drew Hmielewski, a 6-foot-2, 190-pounder projected to play receiver, plus some other athletes who could slide into the position. But the team will likely rely on some younger players already on campus stepping into larger roles, such as sophomores Rashad Still, Melvin Holland Jr. and Isaiah Gentry, as well as a possible return to health by senior Drew Wolitarsky.
Biggest need remaining: Cornerback
Losing both Eric Murray and Briean Boddy-Calhoun to the NFL draft is a tough proposition. Both guys were All-Big Ten performers who combined to form arguably the best cover duo in the league. Minnesota brought in some defensive backs in this class, including Kiondre Thomas, Coney Durr and Antoine Winfield. Jalen Myrick could also be primed for a big year as a senior. Still, they have some big shoes to fill.