Gophers: P.J. Fleck’s tidbits from his 2024 recruiting class

Last week marked the early period of National Signing Day for high senior football players and transfers, and P.J. Fleck added 26 players to the 2024 roster.

The Gophers’ recruiting class features state champions, multi-sport athletes and a quarterback who’s a finalist for the FCS version of the Heisman trophy. Fleck talked about his entire recruiting class and took questions in a 54-minute news conference on Signing Day. Here’s a few of the best stories and tidbits from some of the signees.

  • Sieh Bangura – A transfer running back out of Ohio University, was the Freshman of the Year in the MAC who ran for 1,982 yards and 22 touchdowns over the last two seasons. Fleck went to his grandma’s house for a recruiting visit, so what did she make him? Rice and oxtail. "When you leave, she’s got a to-go bag too," Fleck said.
  • Max Brosmer – The transfer quarterback out of New Hampshire led FCS in passing this season and had 29 touchdowns. He wants to be a heart surgeon, his parents like drinking wine and his brother, Fish, is a trumpeteer. Fleck solidified Brosmer’s commitment over a lobster roll at the River House Restaurant in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
  • Harrison Brun – The defensive back out of Rockford, just west of the Twin Cities, is a preferred walk-on who had a rushing touchdown, receiving touchdown, punt return score and a pick-6 in one game last season.
  • Mason Carrier – One of the better athletes you’ll see come out of Detroit Lakes, Mason Carrier posted a rather popular video last winter on social media. He was shirtless building a snowman on a winter Minnesota day, only to give it a blindside tackle. He was also Fleck’s first 2024 commit. "Nothing says Minnesota football and Minnesota linebacker more than that," Fleck said.
  • Fame Ijeboi – The running back out of Pennsylvania has a brother who plays semi-pro soccer. He committed to Fleck during a recruiting dinner at Fogo de Chao in Minneapolis, a popular all-you-can-eat steak restaurant. Fleck told him to turn his disc green, meaning more food, to make his college choice. It was also solidified by the restaurant’s milk/juice/strawberry beverage.
  • Drake Lindsey – The incoming freshman out of Arkansas has a family that bleeds Razorbacks. His sister plays basketball there. How’s this for a Minnesota connection? Lindsey’s grandfather played for former Vikings’ legend Bud Grant. On a recruiting call with Drake’s dad, Fleck couldn’t help but notice his Razorbacks’ shirt. Fleck had him change clothing, via his wife. Lindsey had 91 touchdowns and seven interceptions the last two seasons. He threw for more than 4,000 yards this season.
  • Koi Perich – The top prize of Minnesota’s recruiting class, he’s the No. 1 in-state prospect, No. 3 safety in the country and No. 53-ranked player overall. Fleck went to a game where the Esko star returned at least two interceptions for touchdowns. On one of them, Perich pointed to Fleck as he ran in for a score. He accounted for 27 total touchdowns this season, and kept his pledge to the Gophers despite a late push from Ryan Day and Ohio State. Fleck also had to get access to Perich through the "Bad Moms" club in Esko. "One of the best players I’ve ever watched live."

We’ll get our first look at some of the new players in spring football. Of the 26 new players, 15 are early enrollees.

The Gophers are now in Detroit for the Quick Lane Bowl at Ford Field on Tuesday. Fleck can improve to 5-0 in bowl games at Minnesota with a victory.