Gophers football 2023 recruiting class update

Minnesota currently sits in the top 20 nationally in 247’s latest rankings (6th in the Big Ten)

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Minnesota Daily File Photo

A Gophers football player watches from the sidelines during a game on Sept. 16, 2017.

by Matthew Kennedy

The Minnesota Gophers currently have 18 total commits for the 2023 football season, including one four-star and 17 three-stars.

The lone four-star recruit is OL Jerome Williams of Osseo, Minnesota. Williams selected his hometown team over Illinois, Iowa State, Kansas and West Virginia.

“My parents liked it. They don’t know much about football, they are kinda like me, newer to the sport,” Williams told CCX Media in February. “I love the program, the coaching staff has shown so much love and so much effort in building relationships.”

Williams joins three-stars Greg Johnson (Prior Lake, Minn.), Reese Tripp (Kasson, Minn.) and De’Eric Mister (Gary, Ind.) in the 2023 offensive lineman unit. On the defensive line, Minnesota signed Martin Owusu (Prior Lake, Minn.) and Karter Menz (West Fargo, N.D.). TE Sam Peters, who, like Williams, is from Osseo but played at Maple Grove, has also signed with Minnesota. Peters led Maple Grove to its first 6A State Championship appearance in 2021.

At the skill positions, RB Marquese Williams (Harrisburg, Pa.) leads the way choosing the Gophers out of a variety of schools that offered him, including powerhouses such as Michigan State, Notre Dame, Penn State and Texas A&M.

“I like their style of offense that they run,” Williams told Rivals.com during his official visit. “Their head coach has great energy and the running back coach and offensive coordinator are nice guys.”

During his junior season at Bishop McDevitt, Williams rushed for 1,697 yards and 26 touchdowns, averaging a whopping 9.9 yards per carry. As a receiver he had 13 catches for 217 yards and 5 touchdowns.

Other notable skill position acquisitions include RB Darius Taylor (Walled Lake, Mich.), CB Zaquan Bryan (Savannah, Ga.) and WR Donielle Hayes (Pensacola, Fla.). QB Drew Viotto from Darius Taylor’s high school is the only gunslinger the Gophers have signed. Last year at Walled Lake Western, Viotto and Taylor led the Warriors to a 7-4 record. Viotto previously was committed to play at Eastern Michigan.

“The Big Ten is one of the best conferences in the country and it’s always been a dream of mine to play football in the Big Ten for a program like Coach Fleck is building at Minnesota,” Viotto told The Oakland Press. “I think I fit what Minnesota is doing offensively and I can’t wait to get on the campus and into that quarterback room so I can get to work. Coach Fleck is a very energetic, passionate coach. I’m very excited to play for him.”