Football

Six in one day: P.J. Fleck flips huge crop of former Western Michigan commits to Minnesota

Western Michigan head coach P.J. Fleck watches from the sideline in the first quarter of an NCAA college football game against Akron on Saturday, Oct. 15, 2016, in Akron, Ohio. Western Michigan won 41-0.

Western Michigan head coach P.J. Fleck watches from the sideline in the first quarter of an NCAA college football game against Akron.

What kind of impact can a hot new coach bring to a stagnating program? Try six recruits in a single day.

When Minnesota hired Western Michigan head coach P.J. Fleck to lead the Gophers program, they opened the door to having Fleck extend scholarship offers to any of the players who had committed to him with Broncos. He did just that to a small crop of players shortly after accepting the role, with six of those players almost instantly following in tow to Minnesota.

For Fleck, the immediate pancakes (flips, get it?) include three-stars: offensive lineman John Michael Schmitz, wide receiver Christopher Bell, quarterback Tanner Morgan, linebacker Trenton Guthrie; and defensive linemen Noah Hickcox and Esezi Otomewo, both of whom are two-star recruits.

Wondering what that decision was like for the recruits themselves? Here’s what Bell told his local news outlet, the Kankakee Valley Daily Journal, about the time waiting for Fleck to extend him a Minnesota offer, and how long it took for him to accept it:

“I was sweating all day at school because I didn’t know what was going on,” Bell said. “I was just nervous. I was hoping he would take me with. Man, it’s the Big Ten.”

‘Man, it’s the Big Ten,’ may be the real takeaway from the entire crop. Whether Fleck can translate talent he convinced to come to Western Michigan to be successful in the Big Ten remains to be seen, but now that talent will get a shot to prove itself.

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