MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - It's unclear what college football will look like in 2020, but when the Minnesota Gophers take the field in 2021 they could be doing so with a ton of talent.
Five four-star recruits are committed to Minnesota, including the most recent addition: running back Mar’Keise Irving from Hillcrest High School outside of Chicago.
“They’ve been on me very hard, so it wasn’t really a hard decision,” Irving said of his recruiting process with the Gophers.
Irving’s commitment adds to a Gophers recruiting class that is shaping up to be one of the best in team history. 24/7 Sports currently has Minnesota’s group of 2021 recruits ranked 7th in the country.
The standout from Illinois chose the Gophers over nine other Big Ten schools. His final decision coming down to one major factor: relationships. He was able to build a bond with head coach P.J. Fleck early on in the recruitment process.
“Great person to be around, great energy,” Irving said of Fleck. “Just an all-around great guy.”
Irving originally planned to make his college commitment in August, but he says uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and the fall football season accelerated his decision.
Irving hopes to contribute for the Gophers in the future with a physical brand of football. He says he's willing to play whenever and wherever the team needs him.
“You could put me anywhere on the field,” Irving said. “I feel like toughness is a big part of my game.”
Irving is also excited to get to campus to team back up with a friend. He and fellow Gophers four-star commit Sam Jackson played Pop Warner football together.