The Gophers landed another defensive line transfer from Clemson on Monday when Darnell Jefferies announced his commitment to come to Minnesota.
The 6-2, 290-pound Jefferies played in six games for Clemson this season and made one tackle. He was a three-star recruit coming out of Covington (Ga.) Newton High School.
Jefferies is a former teammate of Nyles Pinckney, who transferred to the Gophers from Clemson at this time last year and started 12 of 13 games in his final season of NCAA eligibility.
Jefferies is the fifth transfer to commit to the Gophers for next season, joining Quinn Carroll (offensive tackle, Notre Dame), Lorenz Surgers (defensive end, Vanderbilt), Ryan Sapp (cornerback, Abilene Christian) and Shannon "Beanie" Bishop (cornerback, Western Kentucky).
Annexstad to Illinois State
Former Gophers quarterback Zack Annexstad announced that he is transferring to FCS-level Illinois State. Annexstad entered the transfer portal following the Gophers' victory over Wisconsin to end the regular season.
Annexstad started the Gophers' first seven games in 2018 as a freshman but was stuck behind Tanner Morgan each of the past three seasons. He entered the transfer portal on Nov. 29, after Morgan announced he was returning to the Gophers next season.
The turnover on Gophers coach P.J. Fleck's staff continues.
On Monday, defensive line coach Chad Wilt left to become the defensive coordinator at Indiana, a source confirmed.
That marks the third time in four days the Gophers have lost a coach to a promotion elsewhere. On Friday, defensive backs/safeties coach Joe Harasymiak left the Gophers to become defensive coordinator at Rutgers.
The Gophers ranked sixth in the nation last season in scoring defense (17.3 points per game), led by defensive coordinator Joe Rossi and two assistants — Harasymiak and Wilt — who have left to become Big Ten defensive bosses.
On Sunday, tight ends coach Clay Patterson left to become tight ends coach/passing game coordinator at Colorado. Patterson is working under former Gophers offensive coordinator Mike Sanford, who was replaced at Minnesota by Kirk Ciarrocca.
New coaches named
On Monday afternoon, the Gophers named two new assistant coaches — Danny Collins (safeties) and Greg Harbaugh (tight ends) — pending the usual background checks.
Collins has been on the Gophers staff since 2017, serving most recently as a senior defensive analyst. He started working for Fleck as a graduate assistant at Western Michigan in 2015.
Harbaugh worked in a quality control role for the Gophers in 2017 and 2019 before working as the receivers coach at Western Michigan the past two seasons. He also started working for Fleck as a graduate assistant at Western Michigan in 2015.