It could have been nothing but smiles and joy for Jerry Kill and Gopher fans this week, but unfortunately, the week wasn’t quite that sweet.
The Gophers landed a 4-star receiver out of Virginia, Melvin Holland Jr., which came as a surprise to many. It would have been icing on top of the cake for Kill if in-state recruit, Frank Ragnow, from Chanhassen would have signed his letter of intent as well, but that didn’t happen, Ragnow chose Arkansas and can be added to the list of star Minnesota recruits that bail on their home state to play elsewhere.
It’s frustrating to say the least. The only positive from this is that Ragnow chose against playing for Wisconsin. That would have been a real slap in the face to the Gophers.
Every recruit that leaves Minnesota has nothing but praise for coach Kill, so one has to wonder if the root of this problem digs deeper.
The program is not yet prestigious and Kill is still fairly new to the Big 10. Most great high school players want to go somewhere that they’ll get a chance to play for a great coach and get to the NFL.
The problem with Minnesota is that the football team has never gotten to the next level. The Gophers never reached a BCS bowl game and they have had three different coaches in the past decade. It has been a mess and things may just be starting to turn around, but it’s not enough for major recruits to commit to their home state yet.
2014 has to be the Gophers year to shine and reach the FBS playoffs and win there. If that happens, star players will want to join the system.
Right now, Kill has the ability to get the team into the playoffs and win . The team showed signs of being great last year, whipping up on Nebraska and competing in almost every Big 10 game.
If Minnesota continues to just be an average team in the Big 10, they’ll attract average talent. Stars want to join a winning atmosphere because that’s where they came from in high school.
I’m calling out Jerry Kill to get his team to the next level. It’s the only way to keep the star Minnesota kids at home. Gopher fans have had enough of mediocrity over the past decade.