Offensive Line Pickups Sunday Round Out Star-Studded 2021 Gopher Football Class Perfectly
In the span of one Sunday, the 2021 star-studded boat of Gopher football commits now has an anchor. To steal the words of MSF founder Eric Strack, “When you’re hot, you’re hot… and PJ Fleck is SMOLDERING…” – 5/9/20
Through Saturday, May 23, the Gophers had picked up 16 commitments for the 2021 class but were noticeably missing one key position: the offensive line. Aside from Logan Purcell, the Gophers had yet to pick up any other offensive lineman. That changed on Sunday.
On Sunday afternoon, Cameron James of Simeon (IL) High School and Austin Barber of Trinity Christian Academy (FL) commited to Minnesota.
(Read more about their commitments from MSF here and here).
#Respectmydecision Thanks to all the coaches that reached out to me??? pic.twitter.com/NywyNskuv8— Cameron James (@Cameronjames87) May 24, 2020
RowTheBoat〽️? pic.twitter.com/CxuXSJfG28— Austin Barber (@AustinBarber) May 24, 2020
James and Barber are huge pickups for Fleck (figuratively and literally). Not only will they bring depth to the offensive line when they step foot on campus, but they will also be solid replacements for the current offensive lineman when they move on either through the draft or graduation.
Who knows why this is, but PJ has often gotten some of his best offensive line commitments toward the end of their classes. Two current staples on the line, Daniel Faalele and Curtis Dunlap were two of the final pickups of the 2018 class. PJ scooped those two up from IMG Academy after Minnesota transplant Zak Annexstad committed to come back home as a PWO.
Here’s what the 2021 class is looking like on the offensive side of the ball:
(*stars via 247sports.com)
2021 QB commit Athan Kaliakmanis seems to approve of the new additions to the offense:
YESSIRRR https://t.co/bViM65uN1W— Athan Kaliakmanis (@aajk_23) May 24, 2020
〽️〽️〽️〽️〽️ https://t.co/T6aVAXu5c7— Athan Kaliakmanis (@aajk_23) May 24, 2020
Daniel House of Gopherhole.com had this to say about James and Barber:
“James is an offensive tackle with excellent length and athleticism. Within his film clips, James uses above average movement skills to his advantage. When he was asked to pull in space for runs or screens, he frequently hit the second and third levels.”
“Barber, a 6-foot-7, 315-pound offensive tackle, brings power, physicality and a big frame to the Gophers’ offensive line room. On film, he drove through players in the second level and finished blocks consistently.”
With the additions of James and Barber, the Gophers’ 2021 class now sits at 9th in the country and 3rd in the Big Ten.
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Carson Ruen | Minnesota Sorts Fan