Keep Minnesota Standout Athletes IN Minnesota and Watch the Gophers Win Titles

It’s coming up again today because PJ Fleck talked about it after a blowout victory in Nebraska on Saturday. His 2018 recruiting class is already set, for the most part, so he wasn’t talking about them. He is looking at 2019 and beyond. He is calling us all out. He wants Minnesota athletes to stay in Minnesota. He wants us to make sure Minnesota kids know WE ALL want them to stay in Minnesota.

Why does he want top Minnesota kids to stay here? Why is he pointing it out in a post-game press conference, after a blowout victory over Nebraska? Because he knows what we know. Minnesota is special. We have a state with a special community. We fare better than most other states around the country in a lot of areas. People are moving to Minnesota because of everything it has going for it. But we aren’t just here for the good education system and higher paying jobs. We aren’t just here for the beautiful lakes and wilderness that surrounds the state.

Nope. Everyone around the country is starting to figure out that we breed top-end athletes in Minnesota too. Every major sport is picking off talent from Minnesota on a yearly basis. We have always been THE hotbed for hockey. We know that. But Minnesota is turning into a hotbed for the other major sports as-well, most notably, basketball and football.

We all know how many football and basketball players we have lost to Wisconsin, alone. It needs to stop. Now.

Currently, Minnesota holds two of the best offensive line recruits in the nation, for 2019. And Fleck wants them BADLY. Badly enough to fly a helicopter in to land on their high-school fields earlier this season. That bad. How bad did you want your prom date? How badly did you want your wife to marry you? I bet it wasn’t “land a helicopter in to see them, and ask them” bad…

But, Fleck knows. He knows he NEEDS those types of athletes to stay in-state if he is going to play for a Big Ten Title and a chance at a National Championship.

As for basketball, Duke University has built its most recent NCAA Championship Teams on Minnesotans. And Coach K isn’t stopping, if he can help it. Tyus Jones, of Apple Valley went to Duke for just one season before jumping to the NBA… but not before winning Coach K another title. Who is Duke’s best player this season? It’s another Freshman. And, he’s from Minnesota. Gary Trent Jr. is another guard out of Apple Valley. He put up 17 points in his first game this season as a Blue Devil. Next year, you ask? Well, Tyus’ brother, Tre Jones, has already booked his flight to North Carolina to run the court his brother did.

It’s time for that to end. The process has started on the basketball court. First, it was Amir Coffey, in 2016. In 2018, Pitino wasn’t able to grab Tre Jones but he was able to grab the next best 3 for his 2018 class. Daniel Oturu, Jarvis Omersa (Thomas), and Gabe Kalscheur will all be joining the Maroon and Gold next season. Oturu is a 4-star top-50ish recruit by most. Gabe and Jarvis aren’t far behind. All of them were HUGE grabs for Pitino and will likely pay off immediately.

On the basketball court, Pitino really only has ONE JOB for 2019. If he can complete the job successfully, it likely marks his success as a coach in Minnesota and, possibly his career. That job is stationed in Rochester, MN. His name is Matthew Hurt. His brother, Michael Hurt, already plays for the Gophers as a Sophomore forward, off the bench. Matthew  is currently a high-school junior and a consensus top-5 recruit IN THE NATION. He is being courted by the best, including the blue-bloods in Duke, North Carolina, and Louisville. If Pitino can reel in the younger Hurt brother, he will be a legend in Minnesota FOREVER and it could very-well come with a National Championship banner.

Eric Strack
Minnesota Sports Fan @RealMNSportsFan

Sources: 247Sports

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