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The Gophers clearly had a mission this offseason; adding some pass-catching weapons for Athan Kaliakmanis. Only a week after Western Michigan wide receiver Corey Crooms Jr. committed to Minnesota, Charlotte transfer wide receiver Elijah Spencer did the same. On3 sports ranks Spencer as the No. 17 wide receiver in the portal. The former 2021 C-USA freshman of the year was one of the better options in the portal and will now have at least three years of eligibility with the Maroon & Gold.
— Elijah Spencer (@EhSpence1) December 18, 2022
Who is Elijah Spencer?:
Hailing from Dutch Fork high school in Irmo, South Carolina Spencer was under-recruited out of high school as the No. 1,653 best prospect in the 2021 class according to 247sports. He had top offers from Coastal Carolina, Kent State and Georgia Southern before settling on Charlotte. He quickly showed that he was levels above typical C-USA talent. After reeling in 28 catches for 381 yards and six TDs, he earned C-USA freshman of the year. He backed that up with 57 catches for 943 yards and nine TDs last season before entering the transfer portal.
- Scouting Report:
Listed at 6-foot-2, 190 pounds, Spencer has the build of a traditional X wide receiver. He is a very good deep-threat option with the ability to move the chains on any reception. There is an argument to be made that Spencer is the most talented receiver on the Gophers’ roster. With all of the traits you want from an outside receiver, Elijah Spencer has a chance to make some serious noise in Dinkytown next season.
AGAIN! Reynolds to Spencer!
That's the third hookup today between those two as we open the second half with a five-play, 60-yard drive in just under TWO minutes!
Q3 | 12:57 pic.twitter.com/z8rATj3Tny
— 𝗖𝗛𝗔𝗥𝗟𝗢𝗧𝗧𝗘 𝗙𝗢𝗢𝗧𝗕𝗔𝗟𝗟 (@CharlotteFTBL) October 29, 2022
This is a HUGE pickup from the transfer portal. Spencer did not publicize his offers, but I guarantee multiple big-time power five programs were interested in his services. He has every single trait that you want from an elite outside receiver. With at least three years of eligibility remaining, Spencer has the potential to build some serious rapport with Athan Kaliakmanis.
I believe that adding both Crooms and Spencer from the portal says a couple of things about how the Gophers viewed their WR room. There is no arguing that 2022 was an underwhelming year for the position, so Coach Fleck clearly wanted to improve the group and at this point, I would imagine that they have added some insurance in case they lose Dylan Wright or Michael Brown-Stephens to the portal. Overall, having a surplus of talent at the wide receiver position is a good problem to have.
What is next?:
With CrAB and Daniel Jackson returning as established outside receivers, I believe Spencer will likely begin the season as a depth piece, but he is too talented of a player to not find the field. Overall if Dylan Wright returns and Le’Meke Brockington continues to emerge, the Gophers have a surplus of talent at the position. As of now, I would say that WR will be the No. 1 position to watch in the spring; to see who emerges and the chance of a player entering the portal post-spring game i.e. Bucky Irving last season.
- WRx: Chris Autman-Bell
- WRy: Daniel Jackson
- Slot: Corey Crooms Jr.
- Elijah Spencer
- Dylan Wright
- Le’Meke Brockington
- Michael Brown-Stephens
Early national signing day is only three days away and the transfer portal is only continuing to heat up. Spencer is far from the Gophers’ last big splash of the offseason, so be sure to keep an eye out for much more Minnesota football roster news.