Gophers flip TWO (2) 2023 All-American WRs commitments

Dec. 19, 2022: Three-star Decator, Geo. WR Kenric Lanier and three-star Indianpolis, Ind. WR both committed to the Gophers Monday, bringing Minnesota’s 2023 recruiting class to 20 total players

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After adding two wide receivers from the transfer portal, the Gophers were not done. Wide receivers Kenric Lanier (Vanderbilt) and T.J. McWilliams (Purdue) flipped their commitments from Minnesota, only two days away from Early National Signing Day. Both Lanier and McWilliams have been invited to the All-American Bowl in early Jan., one of the premier high school All-America games.

Who are T.J. McWilliams and Kenric Lanier?:

McWilliams, a Indianapolis, Indiana native attends North Central High School; one of the biggest schools in the state with an enrollment of ~3,500 students. He quickly developed into one of the top wide receivers in the state, totaling 74 catches for 881 yards and 10 TDs over his final two prep seasons. He earned 14 FBS offers highlighted by West Virginia and Purdue, before committing to his home state Boilermakers on June 26th. He announced his intention to de-commit from West Lafayette Sunday and committed to the Gophers Monday. He will wrap up his high school career at the All-American Bowl in San Antonio as one of 15 wide receivers.

Listed at 6-foot-2, 180 pounds Kenric Lanier attends Decatur High School in Decatur, Georgia an Atlanta suburb with a population of ~25,000. Lanier was one of the premier prep talents in the Peach State, totaling 64 catches for 1,156 yards and 10 touchdowns as a senior in 2022. He totaled 11 FBS offers highlighted by Georgia Tech, Vanderbilt and Liberty before originally committing to the Commodores on June 28. Much like McWilliams, Lanier de-commited on the 19th and quickly joined the Maroon & Gold. He will also wrap up his high school career in San Antonio at the All-American Bowl.

  • Scouting Reports:

Listed at 6-foot-1, 170 pounds McWilliams has great size for a Big Ten wide receiver. He certainly has room to add some weight physically, but he has the base to become a weapon. His game is built around supreme route running he knows how to get open at a high level. He certainly has power-five athleticism, but his route running is where his bread is buttered.

Lanier, on the other hand, is an athletic freak that is an elite deep option. He was the Peach State Region 5-AAAAA champ in the long jump as an 11th grader and he clocked in at 11.36 in the 100-meter dash. His route running has room to grow, but he has the chance to be an elite all-around option. The Gophers have had success with WRs from the state of Georgia and there is no reason why Lanier cannot be next.

**High School Football Hudl Highlights: 

Instant Reaction:

The last week has shown that 2023 has a chance to be a complete identity shift for the Gophers’ offense. Adding four wide receivers, two from the portal and two incoming freshmen, show that Coach Fleck and his staff will do everything they can for Athan Kaliakmanis to succeed. Lanier and McWilliams took Minnesota’s 2023 class from 49th ranked in the country to 42nd. Both players are supreme talents and these are the type of prospects that fans should be excited for. These are the type of players that can have VERY VERY successful careers in a Gophers’ uniform.

What is next?:

Early National Signing Day will officially take place Dec. 21 on Wednesday. I would imagine that the Gophers still have plenty of options they’re looking at, but McWilliams and Lanier were getting the most buzz over the last few weeks. Now ranked as the 42nd-best class in the country, it will be interesting to see where the Gophers end up Wednesday afternoon.

Full 2023 class:

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