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New Gophers football assistant coaches have ties to program

Team also lands committment from Clemson player

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assistant coaching vacancies with familiar faces.

Danny Collins has been named Minnesota’s new safeties coach and Greg Harbaugh Jr. the new tight ends coach.

Collins, who replaces new Rutgers defensive coordinator Joe Harasymiak, has been with Minnesota head coach P.J. Fleck since 2015 at Western Michigan, where he was a graduate assistant. He came to Minnesota with Fleck in 2017 and most recently served as the U’s senior defensive quality control analyst.

Harbaugh, who replaces new Colorado tight ends/passing game coordinator Clay Patterson, has been receivers coach at Western Michigan for the past two seasons. He was the Gophers’ quality control coach in 2017 and 2019, with a year as Chattanooga’s receivers coach in 2018. Like Collins, Harbaugh also was with Fleck and a few assistants at Western Michigan in 2015-16.

Gophers grab transfer commitment from Clemson

The Gophers football program received a commitment from Clemson transfer Darnell Jefferies for the 2022 recruiting class on Monday.

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Jefferies is the second Clemson defensive tackle to come to Minnesota after Nyles Pinckney did it last year. Jefferies is also from Covington, Ga., the same hometown as second-year U safety Darius Green.

“I am blessed and excited to announce that I will be committing to the University of Minnesota,” Jefferies posted Monday.

In this year’s class, Jefferies is the second defensive lineman, following Vanderbilt end Lorenza Surgers, and fifth overall transfer addition since December.

Jeffereies, who is listed at 6-foot-2, 290 pounds, is believed to have two years of eligibility remaining. He was credited with three pressures and one tackle in 25 snaps across five games in 2021, according to Pro Football Focus.

Jefferies had seven tackles in 49 snaps in seven games in 2020. He had 14 tackles, one for lost yards and a 1/2 sack in 118 snaps in 15 games in 2019. Clemson advanced to the College Football Playoff in both seasons. In 2018, he maintained his redshirt by playing in only two snaps.

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