Unless you’re a complete recruiting nerd (I used to be obsessed with it, but decided not to allow my happiness in life to be dictated by 17-18 year old jocks), you may be unaware there are a couple of big 2019 visits coming up over the next two home games: Both QBs and both absolute studs.
This weekend, in fact, Hank Bachmeier is coming all the way up from California to see the Maryland game. Hank is a four-star with a composite rating of .944 and is oh, the 4th-rated pro-style QB in the nation. Maybe even the world. In addition to our club, he holds offers from UCLA, Ole Miss, Colorado, Utah and a few others. Word is he has some connections to the state of Minnesota, so let’s all pretend that’s super important to him and feel really good for a bit.
The next home game, versus Illinois, Max Duggan of Iowa is taking an unofficial visit. Max is also a 4-star with a 247 composite rating of .898 and is the 8th-ranked pro-style QB in the western hemisphere. Max is literally bursting at the seams with offers, including Gawga, Iowa, Nebraska, Ole Miss and Penn State. Some esteemed competition indeed.
I know we’ve all been burned by recruiting before – thanks Snelson (wank) – and it’s tough to get too excited about dudes that won’t sign for another 18 months. But you can’t overstate how important it is to lock in a top-notch QB early in the recruiting process. They are bell cows: other higher ranked recruits see that a quality quarterback has signed on and give us a look they may not have otherwise done. While we all fuss and moan about the quality and depth of the offensive line and defensive backfield, more often than not, a premier quarterback can bail a team out of just about anything (see Rosen, Josh against A&M).
And when, pray tell, was the last high-quality QB we had at Minnesota? Weber and Cupito were serviceable but pretty far from elite. Foggie, I suppose, though the game was pretty different prior to the forward pass, when he played. In between we’ve had a hodgepodge of meh and are currently starting a walk-on who had to be ASKED BACK TO THE TEAM after Snorlax gave him the boot. Love you, Rhoda. I’m just saying, it’d be cool to have a real slinger back there for once.
Anyway, pay attention to these two visits. QBs tend to commit pretty early in the process and if we can add one of these two guys, it could dramatically increase our chances of signing dudes like Quinn Carroll, Bryce Benhart and Marcus Washington. That could be game-changing stuff for the program. We reckoned 2019 was the recruiting cycle we’d probably start to yield the benefit of Fleck’s approach to recruiting. We may start seeing some of those dominoes fall in the next month or so.