Fleck begins coaching stint by flipping 6 Western Michigan recruits to Minnesota
MINNEAPOLIS -- As soon as the dust settled following P.J. Fleck's rah-rah introductory press conference, the new University of Minnesota football coach got to work. He spent a good chunk of Friday night on the phone with some of his Western Michi...
MINNEAPOLIS - As soon as the dust settled following P.J. Fleck's rah-rah introductory press conference, the new University of Minnesota football coach got to work. He spent a good chunk of Friday night on the phone with some of his Western Michigan recruits, gauging their interest in following him to Minnesota.
In the hours since, six Western Michigan recruits have flipped their commitments to Minnesota, with more likely to follow. That list, according to Rivals, includes three-star wide receiver Christopher Bell, three-star linebacker Trenton Guthrie, three-star quarterback Tanner Morgan, three-star offensive lineman John Michael Schmitz, two-star defensive end Noah Hickcox and two-star defensive end Esezi Otomewo.
As a result, the Gophers' recruiting class, which ranked 77th in the nation before Fleck's hiring, has surged to 49th.
Morgan told the Pioneer Press that after discussion with his family, the decision to come to Minnesota was a no-brainer.
"I'm very fortunate with the way things turned out," Morgan said. "I know coach Fleck is going to do elite things with the Gophers. So when I had the opportunity to follow him, I knew it was an opportunity I couldn't pass up."
Morgan said Fleck reached out to him Friday afternoon and gave him a chance to mull the offer.
"He gave me a chance to think about it," Morgan said. "He wasn't saying, 'Tanner. You need to come with me.' ... I know some coaches would've tried to pressure me. Not coach Fleck. That isn't him."
Morgan has graduated and plans to enroll in college early. He plans to be on campus when school restarts in less than two weeks.
Guthrie, meanwhile, told the Pioneer Press he has similar plans and that he and Morgan plan to room together.
Guthrie said Fleck reached out to him Friday night. He said he was "nervous" before hearing from Fleck, though once he finally got the call, he wasn't in need of a sales pitch.
"I talked it over with my family; I knew it was the right decision for me," Guthrie said. "I had known about coach Fleck's culture, and that was something I wanted to be a part of no matter where he went."
Aside from Morgan and Guthrie, other players have taken to Twitter to confirm their decision. There likely will be more players who follow Fleck in the coming days, according to both Morgan and Guthrie.
"I expect that if he reaches out to somebody, they will change their mind," Morgan said. "I haven't talked to coach Fleck about it too much, and I'm not sure what his plan is. I would expect a lot guys to follow him."
"Coach Fleck is a very dynamic recruiter," Guthrie added. "And he expects his recruits to also recruit. I'll be calling around. And I definitely expect a few more guys to flip."