RB Jaydon Wright and LB Brady Pretzlaff start building Gophers’ 2024 class

Feb. 28, 2023: Coach Fleck and the Gophers are adding the first pieces to their 2024 recruiting class, led by RB Jaydon Wright and LB Brady Pretzlaff

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Amidst the heart of the football offseason, the Gophers have started to build their 2024 recruiting class. Kankakee, Illinois running back Jaydon Wright committed to Minnesota Sunday, joining Michigan linebacker Brady Pretzlaff from earlier this year. Wright, listed at 5-foot-10, 220 pounds is a very interesting long-term prospect that chose Minnesota over top offers from West Virginia, Syracuse and FAU. Pretzlaff is a raw linebacker with good size at 6-foot-3, 215 pounds. He chose the Maroon & Gold over offers from Illinois and Central Michigan.

Who is Jaydon Wright?:

Jaydon Wright is a three-sport junior student-athlete at Bishop McNamara Catholic School in Kankakee, Illinois. Competing in Track & Field and basketball on top of being a premier football prospect Wright is a terrific athlete. He had a tremendous junior football season for the Fighting Irish, totaling 1,224 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns. Most of his offers came before the season including the Gophers (July 27), Syracuse and FAU, while schools like West Virginia and Troy offered him in January. According to On3sporsts, Wright is the 1,037th-best player in the country and the 91st-best running back.

  • Scouting Report:

Listed at 5-foot-11, 220 pounds, Wright has a prototypical size for a Big Ten running back. Although he has run as well as 11.64 in the 100m dash, speed is not Wright’s strength. He is a power-back that wins with vision and balance. He has great patience for someone his age. He has a very similar physical profile to Mohamed Ibrahim. That is obviously very lofty expectations, but his running style reminds me a lot of the Gophers’ all-time leading rusher. As a prospect, he’s not on the same level as Darius Taylor or Marquesse Williams from 2023 (yet), but he has a great chance to increase his rankings this offseason heading into his senior year. He will be a fun prospect for new RB coach Nic McKissic-Luke to develop.

**High School Football Hudl Highlights: 

Who is Brady Pretzlaff?:

Brady Pretzlaff is another great high school athlete that shines on both the hardwood and gridiron. Attending Gaylord High School (enrollment 1,025) in Gaylord, Michigan he shined in his junior season of prep-level football, totaling 115 tackles, five sacks and two interceptions. After picking up offers from Central Michigan and Illinois, Pretzlaff committed to Minnesota on the same day he was offered January 19, following his Junior Day visit.

  • Scouting Report:

Listed at 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, Pretzlaff has an impressive frame for a Big Ten linebacker. He has room to grow in strength, but something that is expected of a player at his level and age. As a junior, he showed impressive range and feel from the middle linebacker position. I don’t have a measurement, but it seems like he has an impressive wingspan, as his range consistently shows up. He is on the outside looking in when it comes to being highly touted on recruiting sites, but he is another guy who could quickly rise this offseason. He has exciting potential at the next level.

**High School Football Hudl Highlights: 

Instant Reaction:

Neither Jaydon Wright nor Brady Pretzlaff is a class-defining commitment, but they’re the type of players that I would want on my football team. They likely won’t finish on top of the Gophers’ recruiting class and they certainly won’t finish at the bottom. Both guys are the type of recruits that P.J. Fleck and the Gophers’ staff have proven to be able to develop. I believe both guys have serious potential to be starters at the Big Ten level.

It is obviously still very early in the 2024 recruiting class process, but getting commitments from guys this early can help attract more recruits. There is obviously always the chance of de-commits, but Pretzlaff and Wright to previously committed in-state LB Mason Carrier is a good base for the class, with still plenty to add on.

What is next?:

Spring is typically when the recruiting cycle begins to seriously heat up. With plenty of camps, visit events and school ending, you can expect to hear plenty more noise over the coming months when it comes to Gophers football recruiting. It is far too soon to get a real feel for how this class will turn out, but Pretzlaff, Wright and Carrier are a good start.

Full 2024 class:

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