Gophers 2022 Class Skyrockets Up National FBS Recruiting Rankings After Five Commitments on Sunday

AP Photo: John Autey


If you’re a Minnesota Gopher football fan struggling with the reality of yet another weekend ending way too fast, let’s put a Monday smile on your face, if only for a brief moment. If you blinked yesterday morning, you might have missed one heck of a Sunday in the 2022 recruiting world for PJ Fleck and his coaching staff, who hosted their second round of official visitors on the U of M campus this weekend, officially dubbed “Summer Splash II”.

The flood gates opened bright and early. At 8:18 AM, the Gophers received their first commitment of the day, which came via the Louisiana Bayou, in (CB) Tariq Watson. I wrote all about the 5’9″, 165 lb track star after he made his announcement via social media.

But by the time I finished a blog on Watson’s commitment, the Gophers already had two more guys jump in the boat and grab oars. Whatever PJ Fleck said to these kids last night, before they went to bed, clearly worked. Now, Minnesota has jumped from #30 up to #16 in the country (via 247Sports team rankings) for their 2022 recruiting class. It’s still early, though.




Rhyland Kelly (CB) – Clearwater, FL

The second 2022 commit on Sunday was another cornerback and it came one hour after the first. This time, it was Rhyland Kelly out of Clearwater Florida. At 6’2″,185 lbs, Kelly is an 85/100 (3-star) prospect (according to 247Sports) and the exact type of outside cornerback that PJ Fleck loves to have in his secondary.

Rhyland’s size and speed is impressive when you watch his highlight film. He’s definitely a bit handsy at the point of attack, but I’d rather have that than a dude who’s timid. It only takes a few snaps before you realize that Kelly likes to compete and has no problem laying the wood in the secondary, which was the same thing I noticed when watching Watson’s film.





Aiden Gousby (CB) – Lehigh Acres, FL

Aiden Gousby was the third cornerback who committed to the Minnesota Gophers on Sunday morning but he might be the most talented. Another Florida native, Gousby’s the only of the three CB’s who has a composite rating at 247Sports.com (.8466). That means ESPN and Rivals have him scouted, which isn’t a given after the pandemic. 247, which is always the most reliable, has Gousby as a 86/100 (3-star) prospect.

Aiden had legitimate offers as a wide receiver too, but committed to the Gophers as a CB. Speaking of offers, Gousby had a lot of power-5 schools vying for his services, including our eastern border rivals. Beyond the Badgers, Aiden’s choices included Miami, Nebraska, Penn State, Purdue, Iowa State and Louisville.

His highlights show a kid with speed, size and a TON of talent. Again, all three of these CB’s like to hit people.





Jack Pyburn (EDGE) – Jacksonville, FL

Jack Pyburn is a high school monster. This dude just finished his junior year and he currently weighs in at 6’3″, 254 lbs. And even with pads on, there’s no fat to be found on this young man when you watch his film. He’s just bigger, faster and stronger than everyone else on the football field with him.

247Sports rates Pyburn an 85/100 prospect and he does have a composite rating too (.8416). Again, ratings could be completely different by August/September, when scouts have a full summer of camps, workouts and even some early season games to judge these young 2022 footballers.

Jack’s offer list included Memphis, Georgia Tech, Wake Forest and both Army/Navy. Like most of the commits Minnesota has reeled in so far for 2022, Pyburn is a very successful multi-sport athlete at The Bolles School in Jacksonville (FL). Pyburn took 3rd in last year’s FL State Wrestling Tournament and projects #1 for his weight class going into 2021, according to Ryan Burns of 247Sports.

He played linebacker last fall but he’s committed as an EDGE rusher. Just watch his tape below. You’re gonna like this dude.





Legacy PWO – Cade Conzemius (WR)

The Minnesota Gophers did get one wide receiver commit yesterday too, when Cade Conzemius jumped in the boat as a preferred walk-on. Cade is the son of former Gopher linebacker (and captain) Justin Conzemius, who played from 1992-1995. Cade is not rated by 247Sports.

Normally, I wouldn’t focus much on a walk-on commitment but Cade intrigues me. At just 5’10”, 165 lbs, Conzemius has a lot of work to do on his body. But, he did have interest from smaller DI schools like St. Thomas Academy, where he would’ve gotten a much better chance at playing time.

You only take a PWO to Minnesota because you think you can swing with the big boys and others don’t see it. After watching some of the clips he posted to Twitter, from Gopher camp… I think he can swing with the P5 big boys too.

These are some of the cleaner routes you’ll see from a high school junior. Color me impressed.




Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan