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Minnesota Golden Gophers recruiting report: Running backs

The Minnesota Golden Gophers have a commitment from Jeff Jones of Washburn High School in Minneapolis in their class of 2014.
The Minnesota Golden Gophers have a commitment from Jeff Jones of Washburn High School in Minneapolis in their class of 2014.
Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images

David Cobb emerged as the No. 1 back for the Minnesota Golden Gophers in 2013.

He is a lead back that has big play capability mixed with physicality.

Also on the roster is short-yardage bruiser Rodrick Williams and speedy home run threat Berkley Edwards.

Fifth-year senior Donnell Kirkwood cannot be forgotten. He is not going to give up carries without a fight.

Despite the depth and talent on the roster, Jerry Kill and his coaching staff have been hard at work trying to add more talent.

That begins with current commit Jeff Jones. The star from Washburn High School in Minneapolis has seen his stock rise dramatically in the recent weeks. According to Rivals, Florida and Iowa State look like the biggest competitors to Minnesota for his services. He also has offers from Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Michigan State, Missouri, Syracuse and Wisconsin. He was a co-MVP of the Under Armour All-Armerica Game with physical home run ability. He could very easily be one of the main players in the mix for carries next season.

Kill did not stop with just Jones. He also has four other running backs, with offers from the Gophers, that could be wearing maroon and gold next season. The most notable prospects are D’Ernest Johnson from Immokalee High School in Immokalee, Fla. and Donte Thomas-Williams from Hillside High School in Durham, NC. Johnson, like Jones, is a four-star prospect, but is a little smaller than the current Gopher commit. Thomas-Williams has the thickest frame of the bunch, but is rated just slightly behind Johnson.

The other prospects with offers are J’Vonte Herrod from North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Ga. and Rodney Smith from Mundy’s Mill High School in Jonesboro, Ga. Both received two-star ratings from Rivals.

In total, according to Rivals, the Gophers offered scholarships to 18 running backs and 13 have commitments to other schools, including one to Northwestern.