Minnesota Gophers Football Coach PJ Fleck Brings in Key Recruits for ‘Summer Splash’

Over the next two weekends, the Gophers football program will hold its “Summer Splash” recruiting meetings, during which coach P.J. Fleck and his staff will host approximately 30 prospective high school seniors in hopes of turning scholarship offers into verbal commitments for the recruiting class of Minnesota in 2025.

Late Wednesday evening and early Thursday morning, Fleck and Co. a pre-Summer Splash splash by securing commitments from three players who attended an on-campus camp.

Ethan Stendel, an athlete from Caledonia, Minnesota; Colin Hansen, a defensive end from Byron, Minnesota; and Rhett Hlavacka, a linebacker from Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin, each announced on the X Platform that they had committed to the Gophers. The addition of the trio gives the Gophers 10 players committed to their 2025 class, with more to come during the Summer Splash weekends.

Stendel made sure the overnight flurry started at 10:18 PM on Wednesday with his announcement. The 6-3, 200-pounder plays quarterback for Caledonia but could end up at linebacker for the Gophers. He passed for 1,482 yards and 12 touchdowns and rushed for 382 yards and 10 TDs last year for the Warriors, a perennial Class 2A power. According to 247Sports, Stendel is a two-star recruit and the No. 23 player in Minnesota in the class of 2025. He has scholarship offers from North Dakota and Northern Iowa and received interest from South Dakota State and North Dakota State.

Hansen posted his announcement on the X platform at 11:33 p.m. The 6-7, 235-pounder is a three-star recruit and the No. 9 player in Minnesota in the class of 2025. His scholarship offers include FBS schools Washington State, Northern Illinois and Ohio University, along with FCS teams North Dakota State, Northern Iowa and South Dakota.

Hlavacka announced his commitment on Thursday at 12:12 p.m. The 6-4, 235-pounder is a three-star recruit and the No. 17 player in Wisconsin in the class of 2025, according to 247Sports. Hlavacka had 110 tackles (71 solo), 11 tackles for loss, three sacks and three forced fumbles for Fond Du Lac in 2023. His list of offers includes Memphis, Northern Illinois, Ohio University, Illinois State and Northern Iowa.

Fleck and his staff will look to fill out the class of 2025 this weekend with about 20 players visiting. That group includes six players who have verbally committed to the program: Robbinsdale Cooper edge rusher Emmanuel Karmo, the highest-ranked Minnesotan in the class of 2025; Laguna Beach, California, quarterback Jackson Kollock; Middleton, Wis., defensive lineman Torin Pettaway; Avon, Ind., edge rusher Enoch Atewogbola; Newton, Ga., cornerback Zachery Harden; and Mentor, Ohio, tight end Cross Nimmo.

High-profile targets scheduled to visit this weekend include:

* Running back Isaiah Groves, who rushed for 3,085 yards and 31 TDs last year for East Robertson High in Cross Plains, Tennessee. Groves, the Class 2A Mr. Football in Tennessee in 2023, has visited Northwestern and has visits scheduled for West Virginia and Georgia Tech.

* Running back Kentrell Rinehart, who had 3,003 all-purpose yards and 46 TDs last year for Bishop Ready High School in Columbus, Ohio. Rinehart, who plays for Westland High in Galloway, Ohio this year, has visits scheduled for Iowa, North Carolina State and Syracuse.

On the weekend of June 14-16, the Gophers will play host to at least 11 players, including committed tight end Cameron Begalle of Andover. High-ranking goals that weekend include:

* Wide receiver Terrence Smith, a 6-3, 185-pounder from West Aurora (Ill.) High School. Smith also has a visit planned to Iowa.

* Offensive tackle Mark Handy, a 6-5 ½, 310-pounder from La Cueva High in Albuquerque, N.M. Handy has visited Duke and Arizona State and has visits scheduled for Arkansas and Utah.

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