PJ Fleck’s Top 2021 Commit May Not be Committed to a Position…

Omaha Westside's Avante Dickerson carries the ball against Bellevue West during Class A football championship game on Nov. 26. Dickerson committed to Minnesota on Friday. (PHOTO: JUSTIN WAN, JOURNAL STAR)

The Minnesota Gopher football 2021 recruiting class is shaping up to be one of the best, if not the best overall class in our lifetimes. The class is currently ranked 2nd in the Big Ten and 8th in the nation according to 247 sports. Thankfully P.J. Fleck has brought great hope and optimism to a fan base that desperately needed it. 

The recruiting class for 2021 currently features five 4-star athletes and eleven 3-stars. For perspective, the 2017 recruiting class (Fleck’s first year as head coach), failed to feature one 4-star athlete. 

The top recruit for the aforementioned 2021 class is CB Avante Dickerson. Avante is a 5’11 CB out of Omaha, Nebraska which means P.J. Fleck is stealing recruits from Scott Frost’s own backyard without any remorse.

Dickerson is rated the 6th-best CB and the 56th best player overall in the nation, via 247 Sports. Avante received many offers from top tier schools such as Georgia, LSU, and Ohio State just to name a few. Dickerson committed to play for the Maroon and Gold and should bolster the secondary immediately upon arrival… or will he?

Yesterday Dickerson sent out this very interesting tweet. It not only features CB Deion Sanders and RB Eric Dickerson, but it has Avante listed as an ATH or athlete. This tweet, although subtle, should be very exciting for Gopher fans. It could mean he moves to a different position, other than CB… BUT… it could also mean we see him many different places throughout his college career.

If Dickerson were to play more than one position, or maybe even both sides of the ball as the picture suggests, it would not be something that is unheard of. The most recent and most popular example of this would be Isaiah Simmons out of Clemson, who recently got drafted 8th overall by the Arizona Cardinals. Simmons played anywhere from a slot corner to an edge rusher. Isaiah’s position was most often listed simply as “defense”. 

A name Minnesota fans are familiar with, that managed to play both sides of the ball in college, would be Anthony Barr. While Barr played at UCLA, his primary position was linebacker, the same spot he plays now. He also sprinkled in some snaps at Running Back and Wide Receiver. Barr as a running back is certainly a terrifying thought.

Obviously there is no guarantee that Dickerson will play more than just Cornerback for the Gophers, but if he ends up making plays from various different positions I have a feeling opposing offensive coordinators are going to be losing sleep over Dickerson. Either way the future for Gopher Football looks very promising and should bring tons of excitement to a desperate market. 

Cameron Thompson | Minnesota Sports Fan

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