Gophers Late to Party, But Make Cut List for Highly Touted 2021 4-Star D-Line Recruit
After a difficult month of June, P.J Fleck and staff have locked in on a new recruit for eager Minnesota Gophers football fans to keep their eyes on. Tuesday afternoon, 2021 (.9515 composite) 4-star recruit Kelvin Gilliam Jr. released a list of ten schools still in the running for his post-HS services. One of the teams he listed, is the University of Minnesota.
Gilliam Jr., who is from Highland Springs (VA) High School, is nationally ranked 106th in the 247Sports composite rankings. The 6’3″, 250 lb defensive end is also ranked as the 7th overall WDE in the nation, and the 4th overall player in the state of Virginia. Here’s what 247Sports national recruiting analyst Brian Dohn had to say about him:
Has the frame to play defensive end or inside in college. Carries 250 pounds easily. Long, athletic and quick. Can used speed off edge or bull rush. Good with hands. Able to press off block and re-direct down line of scrimmage. Has burst at snap. Possesses closing speed. Can manipulate body to squeeze through line of scrimmage. Ability to chase play down on back side. Patient and plays assignments well. Smart player with high motor. Has to continue to add upper body strength. Work on technique for varied move sets and combinations needed. Multi-year starter at Top 15 program. Day 3 NFL draft potential.247 Sports’ Brian Dohn
Gophers Have Competition
Gilliam Jr. also has Penn State, LSU, Oklahoma, and Florida in his list, all of whom finished top-10, along with the Gophers last year.
After offering less than two months ago (May), the Minnesota Gophers have made great progress with the soon-to-be high school senior. They beat out programs like Michigan, North Carolina and Tennessee, to be on his list. All three of those programs offered him months before PJ did.
The Highland Springs native discussed his prospective schools with 247 Sports on Tuesday, as well. Here’s what he had to say about the Gophers:
“Minnesota is an upcoming team. They had a great season last year at 11-2. I think they are an upcoming program that can do a lot of things. They already have a great recruiting class with the this ’21 class. They are bringing in more defensive linemen.”Kelvin Gilliam Jr. via 247Sports.com
Track Record of Top Recruits
Joe Rossi and Chad Wilt, Gilliam Jr.’s main recruiters, deserve credit for landing Minnesota in his top ten. For defensive coordinator Rossi, landing 4-stars is nothing new. Even with the recent string of decommitments, Rossi has helped reel in 4-stars Avante Dickerson, Itayvion Brown and Steven Ortiz in this 2021 class, alone.
Wilt, the defensive line coach, hasn’t had the same success during this cycle. However, he has still received commitments from 2021 3-star recruits Devon Williams and Austin Booker. If he can land Gilliam Jr., that would be great for not only himself, but for the 2021 class as well.
While the Minnesota Gophers are still ranked 15th in the 247Sports 2021 team rankings, they could use a commitment from someone as highly-rated as Gilliam Jr., to help raise their team ranking back toward the top of the country.
Carson Ruen | Minnesota Sports Fan