Minnesota recruiting 2014: Gophers struggling on recruiting trail

Leon Halip

Minnesota may be having a great year on the field, but they're struggling to cobble together a recruiting class.

Minnesota has been one of the big surprises of the football season, jumping out to an 8-2 start with wins over Nebraska and Penn State. The Gophers stand in third place in the Legends Division of the Big Ten, but sport one of the worst recruiting classes in the country.

In fact, Minnesota has the second-worst recruiting class of any major conference team, in front of only Kansas. The Golden Gophers are behind Old Dominion, a team who is transitioning to the FBS. Jerry Kill's class ranks 78th in the nation -- good for 12th in the Big Ten -- but they have just eight commitments, so there is room to grow. A lot of room.

Much of the success of the class will hinge on Jeff Jones, who is currently considered a soft commitment to the Gophers. The running back from Washburn (Minn.) High School is rated as a four-star by the 247sports composite. He is considered the ninth-best running back in the class and the best player in the state.

Minnesota's other star commitment is Connor Mayes. The center from Van Alstyne (Texas) High School is considered a three-star by the 247sports composite. He is rated as the fourth-best center in the country and the 52nd-best player in the state.

Top target -- Bud Elliott, National Recruiting Analyst

Aside from keeping Jones in the fold, Minnesota's top target is Frank Ragnow, a star offensive tackle from Chanhassen (MN). Florida State, Arkansas and perhaps Ohio State are also after Ragnow. Ragnow would be one of Minnesota's few four-star recruits in Jerry Kill's tenure.

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