Checking in on Gophers’ 2023 recruiting class

Oct. 5, 2022: The 2022 high school football season is in full swing, and with no Gophers game this week, I thought there was no better time to check in on their 2023 recruiting class’s seasons.

–> Follow @Tony Liebert on Twitter

  • RB Darius Taylor
    • Walled Lake Western High School (Walled Lake, Mich.)
    • OVR National Rank: 471
    • Position Rank: 34

Darius Taylor had a truly unbelievable start to the 2022 season, with 1,472 rushing yards (294.4 per game), 22 TDs and 121 receiving yards through five games. In a massive week-five tilt between unbeaten teams, Walled Lake Western struggled against Davison on Bally Sports North Michigan, falling 52-14 and accumulating six total rushing yards as a team. Nevertheless, Taylor has a bright future with the Maroon & Gold.

  • IOL Jerome Williams
    • Osseo High School (Osseo, Minn.)
    • OVR National Rank: 385
    • Position Rank: 21

Williams is the only 4-star prospect in the Gophers’ 2023 class according to 247sports. He has shown that so far this season, dominating the Land of 10,000 Lakes’ high school football scene. Osseo sports a 2-3 record as a team, but Williams still projects as a big-time commitment for the Gophers.

  • RB Marquese Williams
    • Bishop McDevitt High School (Harrisburg, Penn.)
    • OVR National Rank: 556
    • Position Rank: 38

Not to be overshadowed by Taylor, Marquese Williams is an ELITE running back prospect in his own right. Playing for northeast powerhouse Bishop McDevitt he has totaled 58 carries for 607 yards and 12 touchdowns through five games this season, leading his team to a 4-1 record. Listed at 5-foot-10, Williams and Taylor are making the Gophers RB-room’s future look very bright.

  • CB Za’Quan Bryan
    • Benedictine Military School (Savannah, GA)
    • OVR National Rank: 644
    • Position Rank: 63

Za’Quan Bryan might be the most underrated play in the Gophers’ class. Playing both cornerback and wide receiver, he has so much Justin Walley in his game. Battling some minor injuries this season, he has 215 receiving yards with three receiving touchdowns, 13 tackles and an interception in two games for (3-2) Benedictine Military School. He will make plays for the Maroon & Gold.

**no updated film available**

  • WR Donielle “Nuke” Hayes
    • Pine Forest High School (Pensacola, Fla.)
    • OVR National Rank: 737
    • Position Rank: 98

Listed at 6-foot, 180 pounds, Nuke Hayes has been an electric playmaker for (6-0) Pine Forest High School this fall. He has totaled 28 catches, for 481 yards and 7 touchdowns through the air on top of a terrific 45-yard TD-run. There is no reason why his dynamic play style cannot translate to the Big Ten.

  • Kerry Brown
    • Naples High School (Naples, Fla.)
    • OVR National Rank: 856
    • Position Rank: 69

Kerry Brown has been a very effective player in the secondary for (4-1) Naples High School, recording 24 total tackles and 3 TFLs this season. He has also shown his versatility returning a few punts and kicks.

  • OL Greg Johnson
    • Prior Lake High School (Prior Lake, Minn.)
    • OVR National Rank: 882
    • Position Rank: 72

As one half of the Prior Lake’s (4-1) future Gophers duo, Johnson seems like one of the most improved players on this list from last season. Listed at 6-foot-5, 280 pounds, he seems like he might be playing bigger than that. Dominating some of the best competition Minnesota has to offer is intriguing for his collegiate future.

  • DT Martin Owusu
    • Prior Lake High School (Prior Lake, Minn.)
    • OVR National Rank: 934
    • Positional Rank: 103

Much like his teammate Greg Johnson, Martin Owusu has been imposing his will on opposing MN high school defenders this season. He has totaled 20 total tackles, 3 sacks and 3 TFLs through five games.

  • QB Drew Viotto
    • Walled Lake Western High School (Walled Lake, Mich.)
    • OVR National Rank: 1,067
    • Positional Rank: 53

As teammates with Darius Taylor, Drew Viotto has also had a solid start to 2022. Completing 70% of his passes for 1,125 yards and 7 TDs, the 6-foot-4 senior will add depth to the Gophers’ young QB room next season.

  • LB Latraveon “Tre Tre” McCutchin
    • Lyndon B. Johnson (LBJ) High School (Austin, Tex.)
    • OVR National Rank: 1,018
    • Position Rank: 72

Latreveon McCucthin has been making plays all season for 3-2 LBJ High School in Austin, Texas. He is continuing to prove that he has the skills to be a productive linebacker in the Big Ten.

  • OT Reese Tripp
    • Kasson-Mantorville High School (Kasson, MN)
    • OVR National Rank: 1,000
    • Position Rank: 86

Reese Tripp is the largest human on this list. At 6-foot-7, 310 pounds he has dominated the opposition for (4-1) Kasson-Mantorville High School. He is proving to have a very high potential ceiling with the Gophers.

  • TE Sam Peters
    • Maple Grove High School (Maple Grove, Minn.)
    • OVR National Rank: 1,000
    • Position Rank: 50

As one of two committed tight ends to the Gophers’ 2022 recruiting class, Sam Peters flashed his potential with a beautiful 40-yard TD reception you can watch below. He has battled some minor injuries this season for (5-0) Maple Grove, but he could be one of many steals in this class.

  • WR Tyler Brown
    • Greenville High School (Greenville, South Carolina)
    • OVR National Rank: 1,186
    • Position Rank: 118

Tyler Brown has flashed his playmaking ability for (3-3) Greenville High School this season. With 24 catches for 390 yards and 4 TDs, he has shown that has the potential to contribute at the Big Ten level.

  • TE Pierce Walsh
    • Benet Academy (Lisle, Ill.)
    • OVR National Rank: 1,232
    • Position Rank: 58

Benet Academy has struggled this season with a 2-4 record thus far, but Pierce Walsh has still been impressive looking the part of a Big Ten tight end totaling 21 catches for 269 yards and one TD through four weeks.

  • OT De’Eric Mister
    • West Side High School (Gary, Ind.)
    • OVR National Rank: 1,440
    • Position Rank: 118

De’Eric Mister is another underrated, high-upside prospect and he has continued to show that this season for (5-2) Gary West Side High School.

  • DE Karter Menz
    • West Fargo Sheyenne High School (Fargo, N.D.)
    • OVR National Rank: 961
    • Position Rank: 84

Karter Menz continues to look like a possible diamond in the rough type of prospect, as he continues to flash his potential for (3-3) West Fargo Sheyenne High School thus far in 2022.

**no updated film available**

  • LB Alex Elliot
    • Hutchinson High School (Hutchinson, Minn.)
    • OVR National Rank: 1,366
    • Position Rank: 114

In five games this season for (4-1) Hutchinson, Elliot has 47 total tackles, 2.5 sacks, 1 TFL and 1 INT, while adding nine carries for 48 yards and 1 TD on the offensive side of the ball. His ranking might not show it, but Elliot is a complete football player.

  • ATH Garrison Monroe
    • Shakopee High School (Shakopee, Minn.)
    • OVR National Rank: 1,505
    • Position Rank: 136

Much like Elliot, Monroe has been one of the best playmakers in Minnesota High School football this season, with 20 tackles, 1 INT, 5 PBUs
18 carries, 226 rushing yards, 5 TDs, 2 receptions and 52 receiving yards midway through the season at SS and RB for Shakopee.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *