Max Brosmer ready for challenge as Gophers new QB

Max Brosmer threw his first pass with the University of Minnesota football team at spring practice on Thursday, but he had won over P.J. Fleck and his teammates long before that.

Fleck and the Gophers learned shortly after their loss to Wisconsin to end the regular season 5-7 that they would need a new quarterback. Athan Kaliakmanis announced he was entering the transfer portal after an inconsistent season, averaging 153 yards per game while throwing for 14 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

He ended up at Rutgers. Fleck turned to the portal himself, and found Brosmer. The New Hampshire grad transfer was a finalist for the Walter Payton Award last season, the Heisman Trophy of FCS. He threw for 3,449 yards and 29 touchdowns last season. He had 8,000 yards in 31 career games. Once he got in the portal, Minnesota showed immediate interest.

"I’ll just say the transfer portal is a wild new world. I was kind of warned going into the portal about how crazy it gets, and I don’t think I really understood the true depth of it until I got in," Brosmer said. "You’ve got to figure out who actually wants you and who doesn’t. You want to go to a school that wants you the same way that you want to go to that program as well. We aligned pretty well pretty quickly, that had a lot of weight for me. I wanted to get in an out of the portal as quickly as I could, as long as I was going to the school that fit me the best. Minnesota ended up being that school for me."

Fleck knew after his first conversation with Brosmer he wanted him at Minnesota.

"You start with the intangibles, they’re through the roof. That’s the first thing you see when you meet him. You feel like he’s already been here for 30 years, I’ve never seen a person walk into a situation, maybe more uncomfortable of a situation because you’re the new guy, and connect as many people as quickly as he has," Fleck said. "He’s on a mission, he knows what he wants in coming here. You can tell in 2.5 short months this team is completely connected to him."

Part of that process of connecting to his new team involved some spring break training sessions. Normally a time to get away, rest and maybe have a few beverages on the beach, the Georgia native sought out receivers Kenric Lanier, Le’Meke Brockington and Elijah Spencer. Brosmer put together a four-day itinerary of workouts and getting to know his new teammates. He said he has plans for a bigger group after spring football is over.

"I was going home to train anyway and a couple guys are from Georgia. We got to go back and train for the week, it was a blast," Brosmer said.

"That’s leadership," Fleck said.

Daniel Jackson is Minnesota’s top returning receiver. He was asked Wednesday how he would describe Brosmer.

"The one word I’ll describe him as is a general. He takes over the offense, he constructs the offense and brings his own little flare to it," Jackson said. "He commands the offense. It’s something that we’ve never seen before."

Brosmer has put up gaudy numbers, albeit at a lower level. He now comes to an offense that emphasizes running the football and being physical up front. Can Fleck’s offense be more explosive with a veteran quarterback? Will Brosmer’s game translate to the Big Ten?

"Playing quarterback is playing quarterback. If someone can play quarterback at a high level anywhere, they can play at just the same level at a different school. It’s the work ethic, the preparation piece that allows someone to be successful at a bigger university," Brosmer said. "One of the things that I’ll learn at Minnesota this year is that difference in scale, and I’m super excited for that challenge."