MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - Wednesday marked National Signing Day for 2024 high school football recruits and transfers, the first day athletes can sign National Letters of intent in the early period.
It’s a big day for P.J. Fleck and the University of Minnesota football team, and they celebrated the 2024 class bright and early with an event for staff, boosters and alumni at Huntington Bank Stadium. The Gophers added 26 players to the program, and maybe most notably kept the top in-state player home.
Esko safety Koi Perich honored his verbal commitment and signed with the Gophers Wednesday morning. Perich is the No. 53-ranked player in the country, the third-highest ranked recruit in program history and the highest-ranked player Fleck has signed in seven years. The No. 3-ranked safety in the country stayed home despite a late push from Ohio State.
Perich took an official visit to the Buckeyes in recent weeks, and even had the coaching staff reportedly come in for a final visit before Signing Day. Fleck and the Gophers also did their part, and Perich is staying home. He had scholarship offers from all over the country.
Fleck detailed watching one of his high school games this past season, and said Perich pointed at him down the sideline as he returned an interception for a touchdown. Perich accounted for 27 total touchdowns this past season with Esko. Fleck waited anxiously for his signed letter anxiously Wednesday, knowing Ohio State wanted him.
"That was pretty cool, that was unique. If you’re going to point at me, I’ll take it, especially if you’re going to stay committed to us. That even made it better. This was very real, and it came down to the last minute with this young man," Fleck said. "He wants to make a massive impact here in the state of Minnesota, at the University of Minnesota. We needed that one since we’ve been here to get this going to where we need it to be. You talk about one of the most competitive high school football players I’ve ever watched live, one of the best high school players I’ve ever watched live who loves."
Among the other top high school players to sign with the Gophers are Arkansas quarterback Drake Lindsey, Wisconsin offensive lineman Nathan Roy and North Dakota defensive lineman Riley Sunram. Lindsey's grandfather played for legendary Vikings coach Bud Grant.
The Gophers also landed New Hampshire graduate transfer quarterback Max Brosmer. He led the FCS with 3,449 passing yards this season and was second with 29 touchdowns. Brosmer is expected to be on campus this week and will travel with Minnesota to the Quick Lane Bowl.
Minnesota also signed Fresno State transfer quarterback Logan Fife, but Brosmer is the favorite to be the starter for the 2024 season. The Gophers will have 15 early enrollees when off-season workouts start in January.
Minnesota added 20 incoming freshmen, and five transfers. Seven are local recruits.
Fleck also said Wednesday he hopes to have a defensive coordinator hired in early January after Joe Rossi departed for Michigan State. His focus has been on finishing National Signing Day, preparing for the Quiick Lane Bowl and pushing fundraising for Dinkytown Athletes, Minnesota's NIL collective.