With history as his guide, Gophers football coach Jerry Kill proclaimed this year's recruiting class as the most important in his time in Minnesota.
"It's important because when you are building programs is that this class is the one that turns the tide," Kill said. "You've seen where I've been before. That's what has happened. This class has got to be the one that turns the corner. If you go through the talent list, I feel very confident that we got some needs that we needed. We feel like this is going to put some pressure on the guys we've got."
From a trio of receivers standing over 6'3 to a hometown running back who hopes to start a trend of staying home, Kill complemented his class on having cold weather skill with something to prove.
"I've got a chip on my shoulder," Kill said about the detractors regarding his medical issues. "So do these kids, and that's a good thing."
The Gophers took a step forward this season by winning eight games including defeating Nebraska at TCF Bank Stadium. They went on to fall to Syracuse in the Texas Bowl.
Jones, ranked by some publications as the 5th ranked running back in the nation gave a verbal commitment to the Gophers last February, and despite reports that he might waver, stayed the course and signed with the Gophers in front of over 500 fans at Washburn high school.
"He always wanted to play at Minnesota," Kill said. "If Florida and all those schools come, it's hard. Deep down all along, he wanted to play in his home state. He told me that as a freshman. He's a smart kid and deep down he stayed with it."
2014 Recruiting Class:
LB- Cody Poock- 6'3, 230 pounds- Iowa Western Community College
DT- Steven Richardson- 5'11, 285 pounds- Mt. Carmel Chicago
DE- Andrew Stelter- 6'4- Owatonna
DE- Julien Kafo- 6'4, 245 pounds – Mount-Tremblant (Quebec)
LB- Everett Williams- 6'2, 222 pounds- Mansfield Legacy, Texas
LB- Jonathan Celestin- 6'1, 210 pounds- Jonesboro, Georgia
DT- Gary Moore- 6'3, 276 pounds- Mobile, Alabama
CB- Craig James- 5'11, 170 pounds, Edwardsville, Illinois
QB- Dimonic McKinzy- 5'11, 219 pounds- Kansas City, Kansas
C- Connor Mayes- 6'5, 320 pounds- Van Alstyne
TE- Gaelin Elmore- 6'5, 240 pounds- Somerset, Wisconsin
TE/DE- Brandon Lingen- 6'5, 240 pounds- Plymouth, Minnesota
RB- Rodney Smith- 5'11, 195 pounds- Jonesboro, Georgia
Ath- Jerry Gibson- 6'3, 220 pounds- Theodore, Alabama
WR- Melvin Holland Jr- 6'3 190 pounds- Ashburn, Virginia
WR- Conner Krizancic- 6'2, 193 pounds- Mentor, Ohio
OT- Luke Rasmussen- 6'7, 265 pounds- Brookfield, Wisconsin
OL- Jared Weyler- 6'5, 280 pounds- Dayton, Ohio
WR- Isaiah Gentry- 6'4, 205 pounds- Cincinnati, Ohio
RB- Jeff Jones- 5'10, 180 pounds- Minneapolis, Minnesota