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When it comes to spring football practice, coach P.J. Fleck kept the Gophers' 2024 version on the down-low. There was no spring game, and only two practices were open to fans, with one being just for members of the Dinkytown Athletes collective.

That low profile, however, doesn't mean spring practice lacked intrigue. With the Gophers coming off a 6-7 season, Fleck and his staff had plenty to address and did so during drills that ended April 24, and by leaning into the transfer portal for what they hope are immediate upgrades for an 18-team Big Ten this fall.

From their starting quarterback to key defensive pieces to a massive blocker up front, here are seven transfers who could make sizable impacts in 2024:

Max Brosmer, quarterback

Quite frankly, Minnesota's play at quarterback wasn't nearly good enough in 2023. The Gophers ranked 126th nationally in passing offense (143.4 yards per game) while starting Athan Kaliakmanis, who since has transferred to Rutgers. Fleck brought in New Hampshire transfer Brosmer, a prolific QB who has passed for 8,713 yards and 70 touchdowns in 36 career games. Brosmer, a Walter Payton Award finalist for the top player at the FCS level, quickly impressed the coaching staff and his teammates with his leadership and work ethic.

During the spring practice sessions open to the media, Brosmer displayed a live and accurate arm, though he wasn't perfect as he learns coordinator Greg Harbaugh Jr.'s offense. Fleck's aim was to challenge his new quarterback by adding more to his plate throughout the spring.

"He's making himself better," Fleck said. "He's closing the gap. Things he didn't do well yesterday, he does better today."

Sieh Bangura and Marcus Major, running backs

Darius Taylor, who averaged 27.4 carries and 159.2 yards in five games as the primary running back as a true freshman in 2023, remains the Gophers' featured runner. History shows that it's prudent to have several options in the backfield, and Fleck mined the portal for depth in Bangura and Major.

Bangura, 6-0 and 200 pounds, rushed for nearly 2,000 yards and 22 TDs over three seasons at Ohio University and showed his versatility with 50 receptions. Major, 6-0 and 225, is a former four-star prospect at Oklahoma who has rushed for 883 yards and eight TDs in his career. He was limited in spring practice.

"Size and speed, their experience in having success at the Division I level," running backs coach Nic McKissic-Luke said of what impressed him about Bangura and Major. "They're really good players and good kids, also."

Tyler Williams, wide receiver

Wide receiver was a work in progress during spring practice, with leading pass-catcher Daniel Jackson getting limited snaps. On April 23, Fleck landed an intriguing prospect from the portal in Williams, who transferred from Georgia to Minnesota. At 6-3 and 205, Williams is a four-star recruit out of Lakeland, Fla., who had one reception in limited time last year with the Bulldogs.

Aluma Nkele, offensive tackle

The Gophers moved Quinn Carroll from right tackle to right guard during spring practice, and they want to keep him there. To do so, they'll need continued development from Phillip Daniels and Martes Lewis, who are candidates to take over at right tackle. Fleck added another on April 27, when Nkele, a 6-6 355-pounder, transferred to Minnesota from Texas-El Paso. Nkele started five games and played in 10 for the Miners last season.

Jaxon Howard, edge rusher

The Gophers received a jolt of energy from the portal on April 19, when Howard, the former Robbinsdale Cooper star, announced he was transferring from LSU to Minnesota. Howard, the top-ranked prep recruit in Minnesota in the 2023 class, joins a pass-rushing group that includes stalwarts Jah Joyner and Danny Striggow, plus budding star Anthony Smith.

Ethan Robinson, cornerback

A transfer from Bucknell, Robinson stood out during spring practice and brings the stability of a three-year starter. The 6-0, 180-pounder had five interceptions and 25 pass breakups for the Bison. "Ethan is a bona fide playmaker," Gophers cornerbacks coach Nick Monroe said. "He was able to grasp everything right away."