P.J. Fleck sways 9 Western Michigan recruits to flip to Minnesota

New Gophers football head coach P.J. Fleck has already swayed 10 recruits to follow him to Minnesota, but this could be just the start for Fleck as he builds his first recruiting class.

“Recruiting is the number one pipeline and lifeline to any program,” Fleck said at a press conference last week.

That recruiting pipeline opened at 9 p.m. on Friday, when the first Fleck recuit announced a commitment to the U of M. That first announcement started the trend – with a three-star quarterback, multiple offensive linemen and a talented defender flowed in.

Of the 10 recruits, nine of them flipped from Western Michigan University, where Fleck was previously the head coach.

But, the excitement created some concern too.

Woodbury’s Nate Bursch is one of five future Gophers from the state. After committing to Tracy Claeys, he watched the new recruits, Fleck’s original commits, come in. It was shocking at first, he said, but has since stabilized into a message.

“The more I looked at it…we have 25 open spots of scholarships. And the more young players, the better our class is going to be in the end and that’s how you compete for a national championship,” Bursch said. 

Bursch has only communicated with Fleck through Twitter as of Monday and has been assured he has a firm offer from the Gophers. The two haven’t met yet, but with Fleck at the helm, Bursch said he is ready to start rowing.

The Gophers did lose three committed recruits on Monday, which leaves their commitment list at 21 as it stands on Monday night.

The Gophers have signed 24 to 25 players on Signing Day in recent years. This year, Signing Day is on Feb. 1.