QB Recruiting Under Fleck

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Now that we have six seasons (and seven recruiting classes) with Coach Fleck in the rearview, and with the QB recruit from his first class having used all his eligibility, I thought it would be interesting to revisit our QB recruiting over that time. I’ve compiled details of each class for the purpose of discussion and identifying any broader patterns. I decided to use information from 247 and, while I include star ratings for each player, the purpose is primarily to create context. I apologize for the length (but this was fun!) and any errors you may note.


2017 - Class One

QB Commits - 2+

Rey Estes - ATH
Estes was familiar to Fleck’s staff, having been a WMU commit prior to flipping to MIzzou and Fleck was able to flip him to Minnesota before signing day. Listed as an athlete on recruiting sites, there was some hope he would be part of the QB depth chart as a dual-threat QB. He became a CB instead and transferred out after the 2018 season, stopping at Riverside City College before finishing his collegiate career at Grambling State in 2022.

Neil McLaurin
McLaurin committed to Tracy Claeys and the previous Gopher staff. A three-star recruit from Southwest Mississippi C.C., McLaurin was the 9th rated dual threat QB in the class, and the Gophers were his only high-major offer. A spring enrollee, McLaurin transferred back to Southwest Mississippi C.C. at the end of spring practice despite the lack of a clear short or long-term QB solution on the roster. He would switch positions during his return and finished his career at Southern Miss as a WR, playing 23 games and catching 24 passes.

Tanner Morgan
Morgan was a three-star recruit who ranked 44th among pro-style QBs nationally. Originally a Fleck commitment at Western Michigan, Morgan also held offers from Wake Forest, Louisville, Cincinnati, and two MAC programs in addition to WMU. The non-MAC offers may not have been commitable in his senior year. Morgan was a starter for five seasons at Minnesota and finished his career with the most wins as a QB along with a host of other records.

Other Offers
Per 247, no other QB offers were made by the new staff.

Comments
It remains remarkable that Fleck found so much long-term success with recruits that had originally committed to Western Michigan. In hindsight, it seems that keeping Estes on defense and helping McLaurin find another path were leading indicators of the type of QB Fleck prefers.


2018 - Class Two

QB Commits - 2, 1 scholarship

Zack Annexstad
A legacy, three-star recruit, Annexstad ranked 45th among pro-style QBs nationally and walked on at Minnesota despite holding offers from five programs, including Illinois, Pitt, and Cincinnati. He won the starting QB job as a true freshman, starting the first seven games of the 2018 season and was awarded a scholarship entering the 2019 season. Replaced by Tanner Morgan, Annexstad only played in one more game at Minnesota before transferring to Illinois State. He started the first eight games of 2022 - throwing for nearly 1,700 yards, 11 TDs and 7 INTs before an injury caused him to miss the final three games. He has one year of eligibility remaining.

Victor Viramontes
The saga of Vic Viramontes is the stuff of college football recruiting lore. Originally a four-star ATH recruit, Viramontes held eight P5 scholarship offers and committed to Cal in a flip from Michigan. After a Cal coaching change, he elected to go the Juco route and played one season at Riverside City College where he racked up 3,200 yards from scrimmage and 43 TDs and became the #1 dual-threat QB recruit in the country. At Minnesota, Viramontes was a spring enrollee, but failed to climb above Morgan and Annexstad on the depth chart. As a result, he transferred back to RCC for the fall semester and switched positions, becoming a linebacker. When his recruitment as a LB opened, Viramontes once again had many options and committed to UNLV over offers from seven P5 programs. He featured in 15 games over two seasons and his eligibility expired in 2021.

Other Offers
Per 247, the Gophers offered scholarships to 11 other QBs in this cycle. I’m electing to share the details about the athletes that seemed most likely to come to Minnesota based on recruiting attention and response.

Brennan Armstrong
Armstrong was a three-star recruit and ranked 21st among dual-threat QBs in the class. Originally committed to Minnesota, Armstrong flipped to Virginia - a move that led to some finger pointing between the two parties - and also held offers from Rutgers, North Carolina, Cincinnati, and Iowa State as well as several MAC schools. He appeared in 38 games at UVA and was a starter for three seasons. Armstrong has entered the transfer portal with a season of eligibility remaining and will leave UVA with 15 single-game and career school records. Update: Armstrong has transferred to NC State.

Artur Sitkowski
Sitkowski attended IMG Academy and was a high three-star recruit, ranking 18th among pro-style QBs in the class. He made an initial commitment to Miami, but flipped to Rutgers after losing his starting job at IMG to Annexstad. Sitkowski won the QB job at Rutgers as a freshman and posted a bad statistical season on a 1-11 team. He would go on to play in seven games over the next two seasons before transferring to Illinois. At Illinois, Sitkowski backed up Tommy DeVito for two years and is planning to forgo his final year of eligibility to support the team in an off-field capacity.

Comments
Armstrong is the first “what if” QB of the Fleck era. Based on the trajectory of his career, it seems likely he would have been competing for the starting job as a freshman and could well have been a four+ year starter at Minnesota. Viramontes is the last QB that was more ATH than dual-threat QB to be signed by Fleck and his staff – another data point on the type of QB he prefers.


2019 - Class Three

Commits - 2

Jacob Clark
Clark was a high three-star recruit out of Texas, and the 16th rated pro-style QB in the class. He committed to Minnesota over offers from seven other P5 programs, including Iowa, Purdue, and TCU. After serving as a backup to Tanner Morgan for three seasons, Clark transferred to Missouri State where he played in one game in 2022 and has two years of eligibility remaining.

Cole Kramer
Kramer was a three-star recruit from Minnesota HS powerhouse Eden Prairie, and the 25th rated dual-threat QB in the class. He held no other scholarship offers, likely due in large part to a commitment made prior to 2018 signing day. Kramer has seen action in 19 games across three seasons and has two years of eligibility remaining.

Other Offers
Per 247, the Gophers offered scholarships to nine other QBs in this cycle. I’m electing to share the details about the athletes that seemed most likely to come to Minnesota based on recruiting attention and response.

Hank Bachmeier
Bachmeier was a four-star recruit and the 6th rated pro-style QB in the class. He committed to Boise State and held offers from 13 P5 schools along with 3 Ivy League schools. Bachmeier started 29 games over four seasons at Boise and threw for 3,000 yards and 20 TDs in 2021. However, he entered the transfer portal after four games this season and will have two seasons of eligibility remaining. Update: Bachmeier has transferred to Louisiana Tech.

Zach Calzada
Calzada was a three-star recruit and the 20th rated pro-style QB in the class. He committed to Texas A&M and held offers from 43(!) schools per 247. Calzada saw action in 2019 and started 10 of 12 games for the Aggies in 2021, including a win over Alabama. He transferred to Auburn, but was ruled out for the season in September due to a shoulder injury and has re-entered the portal this offseason as a grad transfer with two seasons of eligibility remaining. Update: Calzada has transferred to FCS Incarnate Word.

Max Duggan
Duggan was a four-star recruit and the 4th rated dual-threat QB in the class. He committed to TCU over 20 other P5 offers, including several helmet schools. Minnesota was the last visit he took prior to his commitment. He has had to defend the starting job at various points, but has started 43 games in four seasons and has led TCU to the CFP Championship Game while producing more than 13,000 yards from scrimmage and 100 TDs during his career. He has one year of eligibility remaining, but will presumably enter the draft after the CFP Championship Game.

Maverick McIvor
McIvor was a three-star recruit and the 19th rated dual-threat QB in the class. He committed to Texas Tech - after a brief decommitment - over eight other P5 offers. McIvor suffered a leg injury in preseason of his freshman campaign and never appeared in a game across three seasons with the Red Raiders. He transferred to Abilene Christian where he played in 11 games as the primary starting QB in 2022 and has two years of eligibility remaining.

Comments
Duggan is the second “what if” QB of the Fleck era. His blend of talent, toughness, and leadership would be welcome at QB1 for any program in the country. Kramer was a great early take by the staff given how badly they needed to land two QBs in this class.


2020 - Class Four

Commits - 0

Other Offers

Per 247, the Gophers offered scholarships to eight QBs in this cycle. There were no offers to any QBs that seemed particularly likely to become commitments. It seems the position was not a priority given the presence of Morgan, Annexstad, Clark, and Kramer, and their long-term eligibility.



2021 - Class Five

Commits - 1

Athan Kaliakmanis
Kaliakmanis was a four-star recruit and the 31st ranked QB in the class. He committed to Minnesota over seven other P5 offers, including Iowa, Iowa State, Purdue, and Tennessee. Kaliakmanis took a redshirt in 2021 and saw significant action in 2022, replacing an injured Morgan as the starter at Penn State and again at halftime against Nebraska; he would start the rest of the season. In all, he threw for just less than 1,000 yards along with 3 TDs and 4 INTs in 5+ games and he has three years of eligibility remaining.

Other Offers
Per 247, the Gophers offered scholarships to two other QBs in this cycle. I’m electing to share the details about the athlete that seemed most likely to come to Minnesota based on recruiting attention and response.

Sam Jackson
Jackson was a hotly-recruited four-star and the 32nd ranked QB in the class. He committed to Minnesota, decommitted, and then committed again. The second commitment lasted even less time than the first and resulted in a commitment to Purdue. Unfortunately for the Boilers, Jackson decommitted from them as well, ultimately enrolling at TCU over offers from 16 P5 schools, including the likes of Notre Dame and Oregon. Jackson has remained a QB at TCU - a topic that seemed to drive a lot of his recruiting indecision - but has thrown just six passes while rushing 15 times for 73 yards in seven career games as a backup. He has three years of eligibility remaining. Update: Jackson entered the transfer portal after the CFP Championship Game and has transferred to Cal.

Comments
While the Jackson decommitment was a disappointment, it is difficult to imagine both he and Kaliakmanis remaining on the same roster and at QB long term. Kaliakmanis is the clear current and future QB1 for Minnesota and it will be interesting to see if Jackson is given the chance to compete for the starting job at TCU with Duggan presumably entering the draft at season’s end. The Jackson recruitment does poke some holes in the idea that Fleck has a QB prototype in mind, but it also seems clear there was a willingness to move Jackson to WR if necessary.


2022 - Class Six

Commits - 1

Jacob Knuth
Knuth was a three-star recruit and the 52nd rated QB in the class. He committed to Minnesota over offers from Iowa and Kansas State as well as Air Force and Army. He did not appear in any games this season, meaning he has four years of eligibility remaining.

Other Offers
Per 247, the Gophers offered scholarships to four other QBs in this cycle. None of the other offers to QBs seemed particularly likely to become commitments. Given the additional year of eligibility granted to everyone on the 2020 roster, there was no need to pursue more than one QB in this class.

Comments
Given Knuth’s size and the fact that many of his other offers (Kansas State, service academies, FCS schools) ask the QB to run, it seems he could be a fit for a Wildcat QB package in the future should Minnesota want to run that as they did with Seth Green.


2023 - Class Seven

Commits - 2, 1 scholarship


Max Shikenjanski
Shikenjanski is a PWO commit and the son of Gopher basketball alum, Jim Shikenjanski. He was a two-star recruit and the 206th ranked QB in the class. Shikenjanski held no other FBS offers to play football, but committed as a walk-on after originally accepting a scholarship to play basketball at The Citadel.

Drew Viotto
Viotto was a three-star recruit and the 57th ranked QB in the class. Maryland and Syracuse were his only other high-major offers. He will enter next season as one of four scholarship QBs on the roster (Kramer, Kaliakmanis, Knuth).

Other Offers
Per 247, the Gophers offered scholarships to six other QBs in this cycle. None of the other offers to QBs seemed particularly likely to become commitments.

Comments
Most of the other offers were to much more highly-rated players, creating the appearance that the staff was either going to add high-end talent or bring in depth that would be satisfied taking a redshirt.
 
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pharmacygopher

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Thanks for putting this together! Like most, I like watching random CFB and watching guys like Armstrong, Duggan, Bachmeier definitely did give some 'what if' thoughts.

For those of us who enjoy the recruiting 'saga', it's also interesting to see where some of these players we followed ultimately ended up.
 

roadrunner

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I'll drop a diamond on Gopher fans here. Am watching the San Antonio HS All Star game and Brennan's star QB Ashton Dubose. All this kid has done is break every area passing record, including those of Ty Detmer and Johnny Manziel, on a perennial power program. He's 6'2", 185, runs like a deer, and makes winning play after play. Far as I know UTSA is his best offer but he has more pure talent than anyone the Gophers have on roster.
Are you reading this PJ?
 

Full Speed Ahead

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Now that we have six seasons (and seven recruiting classes) with Coach Fleck in the rearview, and with the QB recruit from his first class having used all his eligibility, I thought it would be interesting to revisit our QB recruiting over that time. I’ve compiled details of each class for the purpose of discussion and identifying any broader patterns. I decided to use information from 247 and, while I include star ratings for each player, the purpose is primarily to create context. I apologize for the length (but this was fun!) and any errors you may note.


2017 - Class One

QB Commits - 2+

Rey Estes - ATH
Estes was familiar to Fleck’s staff, having been a WMU commit prior to flipping to MIzzou and Fleck was able to flip him to Minnesota before signing day. Listed as an athlete on recruiting sites, there was some hope he would be part of the QB depth chart as a dual-threat QB. He became a CB instead and transferred out after the 2018 season, stopping at Riverside City College before finishing his collegiate career at Grambling State in 2022.

Neil McLaurin
McLaurin committed to Tracy Claeys and the previous Gopher staff. A three-star recruit from Southwest Mississippi C.C., McLaurin was the 9th rated dual threat QB in the class, and the Gophers were his only high-major offer. A spring enrollee, McLaurin transferred back to Southwest Mississippi C.C. at the end of spring practice despite the lack of a clear short or long-term QB solution on the roster. He would switch positions during his return and finished his career at Southern Miss as a WR, playing 23 games and catching 24 passes.

Tanner Morgan
Morgan was a three-star recruit who ranked 44th among pro-style QBs nationally. Originally a Fleck commitment at Western Michigan, Morgan also held offers from Wake Forest, Louisville, Cincinnati, and two MAC programs in addition to WMU. The non-MAC offers may not have been commitable in his senior year. Morgan was a starter for five seasons at Minnesota and finished his career with the most wins as a QB along with a host of other records.

Other Offers
Per 247, no other QB offers were made by the new staff.

Comments
It remains remarkable that Fleck found so much long-term success with recruits that had originally committed to Western Michigan. In hindsight, it seems that keeping Estes on defense and helping McLaurin find another path were leading indicators of the type of QB Fleck prefers.


2018 - Class Two

QB Commits - 2, 1 scholarship

Zack Annexstad
A legacy, three-star recruit, Annexstad ranked 45th among pro-style QBs nationally and walked on at Minnesota despite holding offers from five programs, including Illinois, Pitt, and Cincinnati. He won the starting QB job as a true freshman, starting the first seven games of the 2018 season and was awarded a scholarship entering the 2019 season. Replaced by Tanner Morgan, Annexstad only played in one more game at Minnesota before transferring to Illinois State. He started the first eight games of 2022 - throwing for nearly 1,700 yards, 11 TDs and 7 INTs before an injury caused him to miss the final three games. He has one year of eligibility remaining.

Victor Viramontes
The saga of Vic Viramontes is the stuff of college football recruiting lore. Originally a four-star ATH recruit, Viramontes held eight P5 scholarship offers and committed to Cal in a flip from Michigan. After a Cal coaching change, he elected to go the Juco route and played one season at Riverside City College where he racked up 3,200 yards from scrimmage and 43 TDs and became the #1 dual-threat QB recruit in the country. At Minnesota, Viramontes was a spring enrollee, but failed to climb above Morgan and Annexstad on the depth chart. As a result, he transferred back to RCC for the fall semester and switched positions, becoming a linebacker. When his recruitment as a LB opened, Viramontes once again had many options and committed to UNLV over offers from seven P5 programs. He featured in 15 games over two seasons and his eligibility expired in 2021.

Other Offers
Per 247, the Gophers offered scholarships to 11 other QBs in this cycle. I’m electing to share the details about the athletes that seemed most likely to come to Minnesota based on recruiting attention and response.

Brennan Armstrong
Armstrong was a three-star recruit and ranked 21st among dual-threat QBs in the class. Originally committed to Minnesota, Armstrong flipped to Virginia - a move that led to some finger pointing between the two parties - and also held offers from Rutgers, North Carolina, Cincinnati, and Iowa State as well as several MAC schools. He appeared in 38 games at UVA and was a starter for three seasons. Armstrong has entered the transfer portal with a season of eligibility remaining and will leave UVA with 15 single-game and career school records.

Artur Sitkowski
Sitkowski attended IMG Academy and was a high three-star recruit, ranking 18th among pro-style QBs in the class. He made an initial commitment to Miami, but flipped to Rutgers after losing his starting job at IMG to Annexstad. Sitkowski won the QB job at Rutgers as a freshman and posted a bad statistical season on a 1-11 team. He would go on to play in seven games over the next two seasons before transferring to Illinois. At Illinois, Sitkowski backed up Tommy DeVito for two years and is planning to forgo his final year of eligibility to support the team in an off-field capacity.

Comments
Armstrong is the first “what if” QB of the Fleck era. Based on the trajectory of his career, it seems likely he would have been competing for the starting job as a freshman and could well have been a four+ year starter at Minnesota. Viramontes is the last QB that was more ATH than dual-threat QB to be signed by Fleck and his staff – another data point on the type of QB he prefers.


2019 - Class Three

Commits - 2

Jacob Clark
Clark was a high three-star recruit out of Texas, and the 16th rated pro-style QB in the class. He committed to Minnesota over offers from seven other P5 programs, including Iowa, Purdue, and TCU. After serving as a backup to Tanner Morgan for three seasons, Clark transferred to Missouri State where he played in one game in 2022 and has two years of eligibility remaining.

Cole Kramer
Kramer was a three-star recruit from Minnesota HS powerhouse Eden Prairie, and the 25th rated dual-threat QB in the class. He held no other scholarship offers, likely due in large part to a commitment made prior to 2018 signing day. Kramer has seen action in 19 games across three seasons and has two years of eligibility remaining.

Other Offers
Per 247, the Gophers offered scholarships to nine other QBs in this cycle. I’m electing to share the details about the athletes that seemed most likely to come to Minnesota based on recruiting attention and response.

Hank Bachmeier
Bachmeier was a four-star recruit and the 6th rated pro-style QB in the class. He committed to Boise State and held offers from 13 P5 schools along with 3 Ivy League schools. Bachmeier started 29 games over four seasons at Boise and threw for 3,000 yards and 20 TDs in 2021. However, he entered the transfer portal after four games this season and will have two seasons of eligibility remaining.

Zach Calzada
Calzada was a three-star recruit and the 20th rated pro-style QB in the class. He committed to Texas A&M and held offers from 43(!) schools per 247. Calzada saw action in 2019 and started 10 of 12 games for the Aggies in 2021, including a win over Alabama. He transferred to Auburn, but was ruled out for the season in September due to a shoulder injury and has re-entered the portal this offseason as a grad transfer with two seasons of eligibility remaining.

Max Duggan
Duggan was a four-star recruit and the 4th rated dual-threat QB in the class. He committed to TCU over 20 other P5 offers, including several helmet schools. Minnesota was the last visit he took prior to his commitment. He has had to defend the starting job at various points, but has started 43 games in four seasons and has led TCU to the CFP Championship Game while producing more than 13,000 yards from scrimmage and 100 TDs during his career. He has one year of eligibility remaining, but will presumably enter the draft after the CFP Championship Game.

Maverick McIvor
McIvor was a three-star recruit and the 19th rated dual-threat QB in the class. He committed to Texas Tech - after a brief decommitment - over eight other P5 offers. McIvor suffered a leg injury in preseason of his freshman campaign and never appeared in a game across three seasons with the Red Raiders. He transferred to Abilene Christian where he played in 11 games as the primary starting QB in 2022 and has two years of eligibility remaining.

Comments
Duggan is the second “what if” QB of the Fleck era. His blend of talent, toughness, and leadership would be welcome at QB1 for any program in the country. Kramer was a great early take by the staff given how badly they needed to land two QBs in this class.


2020 - Class Four

Commits - 0

Other Offers

Per 247, the Gophers offered scholarships to eight QBs in this cycle. There were no offers to any QBs that seemed particularly likely to become commitments. It seems the position was not a priority given the presence of Morgan, Annexstad, Clark, and Kramer, and their long-term eligibility.



2021 - Class Five

Commits - 1

Athan Kaliakmanis
Kaliakmanis was a four-star recruit and the 31st ranked QB in the class. He committed to Minnesota over seven other P5 offers, including Iowa, Iowa State, Purdue, and Tennessee. Kaliakmanis took a redshirt in 2021 and saw significant action in 2022, replacing an injured Morgan as the starter at Penn State and again at halftime against Nebraska; he would start the rest of the season. In all, he threw for just less than 1,000 yards along with 3 TDs and 4 INTs in 5+ games and he has three years of eligibility remaining.

Other Offers
Per 247, the Gophers offered scholarships to two other QBs in this cycle. I’m electing to share the details about the athlete that seemed most likely to come to Minnesota based on recruiting attention and response.

Sam Jackson
Jackson was a hotly-recruited four-star and the 32nd ranked QB in the class. He committed to Minnesota, decommitted, and then committed again. The second commitment lasted even less time than the first and resulted in a commitment to Purdue. Unfortunately for the Boilers, Jackson decommitted from them as well, ultimately enrolling at TCU over offers from 16 P5 schools, including the likes of Notre Dame and Oregon. Jackson has remained a QB at TCU - a topic that seemed to drive a lot of his recruiting indecision - but has thrown just six passes while rushing 15 times for 73 yards in seven career games as a backup. He has three years of eligibility remaining.

Comments
While the Jackson decommitment was a disappointment, it is difficult to imagine both he and Kaliakmanis remaining on the same roster and at QB long term. Kaliakmanis is the clear current and future QB1 for Minnesota and it will be interesting to see if Jackson is given the chance to compete for the starting job at TCU with Duggan presumably entering the draft at season’s end. The Jackson recruitment does poke some holes in the idea that Fleck has a QB prototype in mind, but it also seems clear there was a willingness to move Jackson to WR if necessary.


2022 - Class Six

Commits - 1

Jacob Knuth
Knuth was a three-star recruit and the 52nd rated QB in the class. He committed to Minnesota over offers from Iowa and Kansas State as well as Air Force and Army. He did not appear in any games this season, meaning he has four years of eligibility remaining.

Other Offers
Per 247, the Gophers offered scholarships to four other QBs in this cycle. None of the other offers to QBs seemed particularly likely to become commitments. Given the additional year of eligibility granted to everyone on the 2020 roster, there was no need to pursue more than one QB in this class.

Comments
Given Knuth’s size and the fact that many of his other offers (Kansas State, service academies, FCS schools) ask the QB to run, it seems he could be a fit for a Wildcat QB package in the future should Minnesota want to run that as they did with Seth Green.


2023 - Class Seven

Commits - 1

Drew Viotto
Viotto was a three-star recruit and the 57th ranked QB in the class. Maryland and Syracuse were his only other high-major offers. He will enter next season as one of four scholarship QBs on the roster (Kramer, Kaliakmanis, Knuth).

Other Offers
Per 247, the Gophers offered scholarships to six other QBs in this cycle. None of the other offers to QBs seemed particularly likely to become commitments.

Comments
Most of the other offers were to much more highly-rated players, creating the appearance that the staff was either going to add high-end talent or bring in depth that would be satisfied taking a redshirt. With Kramer’s expiring eligibility next season, we can expect a QB in the 2024 class.
Awesome right-up. Thanks. Somewhere I think we should mention the effort PJ made to land Graham Mertz, who of course ended up being a BADger, but couldn't make it there so he's apparently now headed to Florida? I can't seem him making the field as a Gator, but who knows...
 

MNVCGUY

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I'll drop a diamond on Gopher fans here. Am watching the San Antonio HS All Star game and Brennan's star QB Ashton Dubose. All this kid has done is break every area passing record, including those of Ty Detmer and Johnny Manziel, on a perennial power program. He's 6'2", 185, runs like a deer, and makes winning play after play. Far as I know UTSA is his best offer but he has more pure talent than anyone the Gophers have on roster.
Are you reading this PJ?
Know nothing about this kid but there must be a reason he isn't getting any attention from power 5 schools. Grades, something in his background.....something is keeping teams away. Doesn't even have a 247 ranking.

Why do you think nobody is after him?


To the OP, great writeup and interesting to see what happened to guys after we were done recruiting them. We have been in on some very interesting QB names that haven't panned out for one reason or another.
 


MaxyJR1

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Also has PWO Max Shikenjanski from Stillwater coming in.
 

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Awesome right-up. Thanks. Somewhere I think we should mention the effort PJ made to land Graham Mertz, who of course ended up being a BADger, but couldn't make it there so he's apparently now headed to Florida? I can't seem him making the field as a Gator, but who knows...
Thanks! Mertz had a Minnesota offer, but I didn't find much to indicate there was much traction. If you point me towards something that shows there was I'd update the OP.
 


Gopherchase

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The wildcat comment about Knuth seems condescending. He’s a legit QB who has a high ceiling. 8 runs just fine so how/where would a wildcat option come into play. 2 couldn’t run a lick; hence some wildcat. Otherwise, a good read.
 



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The wildcat comment about Knuth seems condescending. He’s a legit QB who has a high ceiling. 8 runs just fine so how/where would a wildcat option come into play. 2 couldn’t run a lick; hence some wildcat. Otherwise, a good read.
Definitely not my intent. Clearly speculation, and you're right that we don't really know how much Fleck and his staff will be willing to run their QB1 when he is a capable runner. If Fleck doesn't want to run his QB1 - particularly inside - Knuth is the biggest QB on the roster and his other offers indicate several coaches think he's a talented runner.
 

btowngopher

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I'll drop a diamond on Gopher fans here. Am watching the San Antonio HS All Star game and Brennan's star QB Ashton Dubose. All this kid has done is break every area passing record, including those of Ty Detmer and Johnny Manziel, on a perennial power program. He's 6'2", 185, runs like a deer, and makes winning play after play. Far as I know UTSA is his best offer but he has more pure talent than anyone the Gophers have on roster.
Are you reading this PJ?
So what’s the deal with him? Why no offers? Looks like he has the measurables and stats. Where are the offers?
 

GoGophersUMN

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Good write up. Duggan is the biggest what-if by far, we could have potentially had 3 straight 10+ or maybe even 11+ win seasons (only counting full seasons) with him here. At the same time, we could have just as easily started him before he was ready in 2019, had a much less impressive season than Morgan did, and had worse seasons in 2021 and 2022 from the chain reaction of events.

Interesting to see how players ended up compared to their recruiting ratings. Excluding the 2022 and 2023 guys Morgan was one of the worst of the listed recruits on paper but Duggan is the only one who has clearly been better than him and at least half of the list has clearly had worse careers than him.
 

FanSinceTheFifties

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1. Are colleges permitted to interview recruits who choose other school? 2. Do we do that? If so, do we find any consistent reason?
 



UpAndUnder43

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1. Are colleges permitted to interview recruits who choose other school? 2. Do we do that? If so, do we find any consistent reason?
Coaches can definitely ask questions. See what they are thinking and why they chose another school. Not sure what the recruits are willing to share though.
 

Polski

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The wildcat comment about Knuth seems condescending. He’s a legit QB who has a high ceiling. 8 runs just fine so how/where would a wildcat option come into play. 2 couldn’t run a lick; hence some wildcat. Otherwise, a good read.
Great read. It shouldn't be taken as condescending, for Knuth to run a wildcat package.

To create a package in short yardage situations for Knuth to see the field.

To give opposing defenses another thing to prepare for in a given week.

To keep AK healthy, if you want to limit his hits.
 

roadrunner

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Know nothing about this kid but there must be a reason he isn't getting any attention from power 5 schools. Grades, something in his background.....something is keeping teams away. Doesn't even have a 247 ranking.

Why do you think nobody is after him?


To the OP, great writeup and interesting to see what happened to guys after we were done recruiting them. We have been in on some very interesting QB names that haven't panned out for one reason or another.
You could have said the same thing about Darius Taylor 2 months ago. Some kids just slip through the cracks. I guarantee Dubose will be getting a lot more attention. Damn, he threw 4 touchdown passes in the first half of the All Star game! And San Antonio football is miles ahead of the Twin Cities in talent.
The Gophers should be offering this kid.
 
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MNVCGUY

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You could have said the same thing about Darius Taylor 2 months ago. Some kids just slip through the cracks. I guarantee Dubose will be getting a lot more attention. Damn, he threw 5 touchdown passes in the first half of the All Star game! And San Antonio football is miles ahead of the Twin Cities in talent.
He reminds me of a taller Frank Harris who had a bad bowl game but has been the main reason for UTSAs Top 25 success. Intuitive, elusive, smart thrower, makes winning plays. The Gophers should be offering this kid.
You are 100% right that guys slip through the cracks but a QB playing in Texas and good enough to make an all-star game would in theory not be likely to be someone that would just go unnoticed by the recruiting sites or teams. So something here still doesn't add up.

Every year in recruiting there are players with eye popping stats that don't get recruited. To me that says there is something about the player that is keeping teams away that isn't obvious on the surface based on their on the field success.
 

Gopherchase

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You could have said the same thing about Darius Taylor 2 months ago. Some kids just slip through the cracks. I guarantee Dubose will be getting a lot more attention. Damn, he threw 5 touchdown passes in the first half of the All Star game! And San Antonio football is miles ahead of the Twin Cities in talent.
He reminds me of a taller Frank Harris who had a bad bowl game but has been the main reason for UTSAs Top 25 success. Intuitive, elusive, smart thrower, makes winning plays. The Gophers should be offering this kid.
Could be as simple as grades or test score issues.
 

UpAndUnder43

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Only QBs on with hindsight that list I’d have been interested in are Duggan and Bachmeier. Seen enough of Armstrong to know I have no interest in him.
 

MNVCGUY

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Only QBs on with hindsight that list I’d have been interested in are Duggan and Bachmeier. Seen enough of Armstrong to know I have no interest in him.
Agree. It is also encouraging to see that we were in it late for some QBs that have gone on to have good careers. Means the staff is doing a good job identifying talented players even if they ultimately didn't end up getting them to commit.
 

Dupreefor3

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You could have said the same thing about Darius Taylor 2 months ago. Some kids just slip through the cracks. I guarantee Dubose will be getting a lot more attention. Damn, he threw 5 touchdown passes in the first half of the All Star game! And San Antonio football is miles ahead of the Twin Cities in talent.
He reminds me of a taller Frank Harris who had a bad bowl game but has been the main reason for UTSAs Top 25 success. Intuitive, elusive, smart thrower, makes winning plays. The Gophers should be offering this kid.
You said it yourself he's a state power for high school so it's not like he's lacking in exposure
 

GopherWeatherGuy

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You could have said the same thing about Darius Taylor 2 months ago. Some kids just slip through the cracks. I guarantee Dubose will be getting a lot more attention. Damn, he threw 5 touchdown passes in the first half of the All Star game! And San Antonio football is miles ahead of the Twin Cities in talent.
He reminds me of a taller Frank Harris who had a bad bowl game but has been the main reason for UTSAs Top 25 success. Intuitive, elusive, smart thrower, makes winning plays. The Gophers should be offering this kid.

Taylor had multiple P5 offers for over a year prior to signing day. He's not remotely comparable.
 

Word

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You could have said the same thing about Darius Taylor 2 months ago. Some kids just slip through the cracks. I guarantee Dubose will be getting a lot more attention. Damn, he threw 5 touchdown passes in the first half of the All Star game! And San Antonio football is miles ahead of the Twin Cities in talent.
He reminds me of a taller Frank Harris who had a bad bowl game but has been the main reason for UTSAs Top 25 success. Intuitive, elusive, smart thrower, makes winning plays. The Gophers should be offering this kid.
Contact the coaching staff.
 

roadrunner

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I have been watching QBs my whole life. This kid is going to start FCS somewhere. I would best describe his game like this...put an Alabama uniform on him and he'd look and play like a slightly taller version of Bryce Young.
Oh and like a lot of Texas kids, he's a Christian, which PJ seems to like.
Found these highlights.
 
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Classof 66

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Are you kidding me. Great arm strength. Fast and athletic. Good size. There are a lot worse QB prospects that are highly ranked. And prospects do slip through the cracks. Justin Jefferson for example was a two star at best or no star by some. Had an offer at Nicholls State. # 2164 recruit. His two older brothers played at LSU which helped him get there. Improbably had a 4.88 HS 40 but ran a 4.43 at the combine. Anyway let's take a flier on Ashton.
 

FanSinceTheFifties

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Coaches can definitely ask questions. See what they are thinking and why they chose another school. Not sure what the recruits are willing to share though.
Glad to see coaches can interview lost recruits. Do Gopher coaches do that? If so, what do they learn? Same for exiting transfer players.
 

UpAndUnder43

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Glad to see coaches can interview lost recruits. Do Gopher coaches do that? If so, what do they learn? Same for exiting transfer players.
Who knows? I’m sure some guys have feedback and some don’t. Lots of reasons to pick a school.
 

MNVCGUY

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Who knows? I’m sure some guys have feedback and some don’t. Lots of reasons to pick a school.
Yeah, also pretty sure the coaches will have a good idea why a player picked the school they picked in most cases since they are actively in communication with that player during the process.
 

Gophers_4life

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Any recruiter who ever put half-way decent effort into Duggan will question himself. Could I have done more to maybe get him to consider our school harder?

He's been the starter for a few years now. He was only a breakout Heisman candidate this year.
 

SonjayLarrick

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Any recruiter who ever put half-way decent effort into Duggan will question himself. Could I have done more to maybe get him to consider our school harder?

He's been the starter for a few years now. He was only a breakout Heisman candidate this year.
Duggan also lost the QB1 job early in the season and only got it back because of a season ending injury to Chandler Morris.
 




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