CB Avante Dickerson is Minnesota's highest-ranked recruit ever

Minnesota got a big boost to its 2021 recruiting class Friday when ESPN Junior 300 cornerback Avante Dickerson announced his commitment to the Golden Gophers.

Dickerson is the No. 46 recruit overall and is Minnesota's highest-ranked commitment since ESPN started its rankings in 2009. The next-highest-ranked prospects to commit to Minnesota were offensive lineman Isaac Hayes, who was the No. 112-ranked recruit in 2012, and running back Jeff Jones, the No. 137 prospect in the 2014 class.

Dickerson -- a 6-foot-0, 170-pound defensive back out of Westside High School in Omaha, Nebraska -- held offers from Nebraska, LSU, Oregon and Michigan, among others.

The Cornhuskers recruited Dickerson heavily, and it's a big loss for the top-ranked prospect in the state to leave for Minnesota.

The Gophers worked hard to land Dickerson and didn't allow the current dead period created by the coronavirus pandemic to get in their way. They created a virtual visit for Dickerson to talk to the staff and coaches over video and get to know them on a more personal level.

That visit proved to help Minnesota in its effort to land the talented defender. Now coach P.J. Fleck and his staff are reaping the rewards.

Dickerson gives the Gophers two ESPN Junior 300 commits in the 2021 class, joining quarterback Athan Kaliakmanis out of Illinois.