The first Wednesday in February one was the be-all and end-all for college football recruiting, as high school seniors signed their national letters of intent on the first allowable date. Since 2017, however, the February national signing day has been overshadowed by the December early signing period, when most recruits now put pen to paper.
The Gophers under coach P.J. Fleck have landed the bulk of their classes in the early period, and that's the case with the 2023 class. Minnesota did not add any recruits during national signing day on Wednesday, so as of now, the Gophers will have the 21 incoming freshmen they signed in December and the six players who transferred into the program.
Alabama, with its nine five-star recruits and 18 four-star pledges, has the highest-ranking 2023 class, according to the 247Sports composite ratings of major recruiting services. Two-time defending national champion Georgia, Texas, Oklahoma and Ohio State completed the top five, followed by LSU, Miami (Fla.), Oregon, Tennessee and Notre Dame.
The Gophers' 2023 class as of Wednesday afternoon ranked 44th nationally and ninth in the Big Ten. The rankings can change as teams add recruits through April 1, the end of this signing period.
Following No. 5 Ohio State among Big Ten teams were No. 13 Penn State, No. 18 Michigan, No. 23 Michigan State, No. 24 Nebraska and No. 36 Maryland. Clustered in a group separated by a tight three points in the 247Sports ratings system were No. 40 Illinois, No. 41 Iowa, the No. 44 Gophers and No. 45 Northwestern. No. 57 Rutgers, No. 60 Wisconsin, No. 65 Purdue and No. 67 Indiana completed the Big Ten rankings.