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Q&A: Trent Guthrie on WMU Recruits Flipping to MN: "Coach Fleck wasn't recruiting us to beat MAC teams."

01/22/2017, 8:45pm CST
By Chris Monter

Trent Guthrie, a 6-foot-2, 210-pound linebacker from Northville (MI) High, switched his commitment from Western Michigan to Minnesota to follow head coach P.J. Fleck. 


Guthrie helped lead Northville to a 7-3 record, winning the KLAA's Central Division and earning a Division I state playoff berth. He had 62 tackles with eight sacks.


Guthrie was named honorable mention All-State Detroit Free Press and was second-team Detroit News All-Metro West as a senior. He was named All-KLAA Conference.


Guthrie helped lead Northville to a 10-1 mark as a junior. 


Gopher Hole: You visited Minnesota out this past weekend. What was that experience like?


Trent Guthrie: I'm actually currently enrolled at Minnesota right now. I'm an early enrollee, so I just started classes. Move in weekend has been elite. The players are awesome here and I'm very excited to be a part of this program.


Gopher Hole: Did you come parents come to Minnesota with you this weekend? What was their impression of the University and the Twin Cities? 


Trent Guthrie: They loved it. It's an elite place. The people here are awesome! We drove around the campus for a bit, Toured the football facility's, and had some fun at the Mall of America.


Gopher Hole: You graduated early to enroll in school in January and be able to participate in spring practice. How big of a advantage do you think that is for you as an incoming freshman?  


Trent Guthrie: It's huge. You get an entire semester of lifting, you can begin to understand the playbook through spring ball and just be able to get used to college without having practice every day like in the fall.


Gopher Hole: Had you ever been to Minnesota before?


Trent Guthrie: No, I actually haven't been past Illinois, so it's a new experience and it's definitely been positive.


Gopher Hole: Obviously, you had committed to Western Michigan under Coach Fleck. To be honest, not a lot of people would have the courage to basically change your whole life to follow Coach Fleck. What does it say about Coach Fleck that he could convince you to come with him?


Trent Guthrie: I truly believe coach Fleck establishes the greatest culture in the country for college athletes. He and his staff will teach me to grow higher every day. I know I'll become an elite man playing under coach Fleck.


Gopher Hole: You were one of the first ones to switch from Western Michigan to Minnesota. Obviously, you have eight other kids who have done that. Does that  make it easier, knowing that the guys you had already gotten to know and were looking forward to being teammates with in Kalamazoo, are going to be with you at Minnesota?


Trent Guthrie: Yeah, it definitely makes it easier. I know one of the other early enrollees, Tanner Morgan, very well. But once I got here a lot of my current teammates have welcomed me in and made Minneapolis feel like home.


Gopher Hole: What do you see as your strengths as a football player?


Trent Guthrie: As a football player, my explosiveness to get off the ball is great. I cause a lot of disruption in the backfield.


Gopher Hole: What would you say to skeptics who wonder about nine players who switched from a MAC school to a Big Ten school? I know you had other offers, but have you thought about proving the doubters wrong? 


Trent Guthrie: To the skeptics who are wondering about "MAC" players coming into the B1G, I would say that Coach Fleck wasn't recruiting us to beat MAC teams. He recruited us so we could stand toe to toe and beat any power 5 school that we were going to come across.


Gopher Hole: How hard was it to turn down Western Michigan where you could've played in front of your family and friends who were nearby instead of playing 8 or 9 hours away?


Trent Guthrie: I talked it over a while with my parents and it was a hard decision. But when it came down to it, being with Coach Fleck, playing in the B1G, and getting the education at Minnesota was the best option for me. I'm very excited for what the future holds for The University of Minnesota.

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