Gophers recruiting class still strong despite changes

Published 9:23 am Thursday, January 14, 2016

By Joe Christensen

Minneapolis Star Tribune

MINNEAPOLIS — Nine recruits have decommitted from the Gophers since Jerry Kill retired in late October, but new coach Tracy Claeys has added several key commitments, too.

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Less than three weeks from national signing day, Claeys’ staff is pushing for a strong finish with 18 players committed and a goal of filling up to 10 more spots.

“For people feeling a little unrest over some of these decommitments, keep in mind, this would still be the best class the Gophers have had since Jerry Kill and Tracy Claeys got there,” said Ryan Burns, who runs, a division of

As of Wednesday, the Gophers were at No. 42 in the national recruiting rankings, No. 41 on and No. 40 in the composite rankings.

But three defensive backs decommitted from the Gophers last weekend. And Dredrick Snelson, a four-star wide receiver from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., who committed to Minnesota in August, is widely expected to flip to Miami (Fla.) or Maryland.

Jay Johnson, the Gophers’ new offensive coordinator, and wide receivers coach Brian Anderson, plan to visit Snelson on Thursday, as soon as college football’s one-month recruiting dead period ends.

“I don’t think Dredrick Snelson signs with Minnesota come signing day [Feb. 3],” Burns said. “But the staff’s going to give him their best shot.”

Snelson is friends with Elijah and Elisha Daniels, twin brothers from a rival Fort Lauderdale high school. The twins had committed to play defensive back for the Gophers before decommitting Saturday. Burns thinks the Daniels brothers will end up at Maryland. They are scheduled to visit College Park, Md., along with Snelson, on Jan. 22.