Minnesota Gophers Land Second Ranked Center in Class of 2014

By Brian Wille
Connor Mayes
Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

On Monday Minnesota Gophers’ Head Coach Jerry Kill landed a huge commitment by getting the number two ranked and Army All-American center in the class of 2014 in Connor Mayes. Mayes was rated as a high three-star prospect and chose the Gophers over offers from TCU, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, Baylor, Kansas State, Texas Tech and reportedly many more.

If the last name Mayes sounds a bit familiar for Gophers’ fans, it should because Connor’s older brother—and current Gopher freshman offensive tackle—Alex Mayes is currently entering his first camp with the Gophers this fall. Reportedly, it was the close relationship of the two brothers and their relationship with coach Kill and offensive coordinator Matt Limegrover that helped seal the deal; but who knows, maybe it was the recent Tweets by “Johnny Football” that swayed him away from A&M and into the Gophers laps. I am completely kidding on that last part; but in reality, weirder things have swayed prospects in the past so who’s to say it’s not a realistic option?

Mayes addition to the 2014 recruiting class is a big deal because he will now add the toughness and depth that coach Kill and his staff are attempting to develop in order to fully implement their physical brand of football that has made them successful in past stops. I would describe to you the tools that Mayes features as an offensive lineman, but I wouldn’t properly do him justice. Instead, you can get an idea for yourself by viewing his highlight tape from last season which can be accessed by clicking here. By getting Mayes out of Texas, it also shows the Kill is an able recruiter in some of the most highly competitive regions in the country. Just take a look at some of the other offers that Mayes had on the table instead of the Gophers and you can tell that this is one talented young man and he was a highly sought after commodity for the class of 2014.

It is commitments like this that will continue to buy Kill more time and faith from the Gophers’ alumni and fan base. Kill definitely changed the perception and philosophy around the program in Minnesota and there are noticeable signs of progress up and down the roster since his arrival three years ago. This year will be a critical year for the Gophers and Kill as many of the players now on the roster are players that Kill and his staff have picked and molded into the type they want to fulfill their system.

In an increasingly difficult division and conference to win football games in, the Gophers will need to continually attract some of the best prospects in all of college football if they want to remain competitive. On Monday, Kill and his staff did just that by receiving a commitment from a top ranked prospect in Mayes. Hopefully, Mayes’ commitment is the sign of great things to come for the maroon and gold as they creep closer and closer to their fall camp and season opener in 2013.


Brian Wille is a writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @BeeWill15 or “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google

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