Desert Edge’s Steven Ortiz Jr. Breaks Down Minnesota Commitment

On March 16th, Minnesota became Steven Ortiz Jr.’s 20th offer. 

He has a laundry list of programs that had been recruiting him for over a year. He is well-traveled, checking out many of these campuses. For some, he’s been a repeat visitor.

The Golden Gophers had none of that.

But that didn’t seem to matter as the Desert Edge defensive back committed to P.J. Fleck’s program on Thursday, beating out fellow finalists Washington, Oregon, Mississippi State and Penn State.

All it took was 25 days.

Ortiz took a virtual visit a March 23rd and that he had seen enough – through a camera lens – to know Minnesota was the place for him.

“The energy that Coach Fleck and (defensive backs coach Joe Harasymiak) brought to me hit me in the heart,” Ortiz said. “I was like, ‘Wow, I could really play for these guys.’ They’re already saying I love you and I’m part of the family.”

Ortiz seems to have the perfect personality to complement Fleck’s “Row the Boat”, never slow down mentality. The defensive back has been the vocal leader for the Scorpions, one of Arizona’s most consistent programs over the years. 

The Gophers are now surging under Fleck’s energy and entered the day with the 17th-best recruiting class in the nation according to 247Sports. Ortiz plans to get that group to single digits with his commitment and by throwing on the recruiter hat to nab other targets.

Ortiz now looks to his senior year, where he’s already logged 171 tackles, five tackles for loss, six interceptions and 11 passes defended in his first three years on varsity.

He discusses his commitment, what his role could be for the Gophers and how Desert Edge helped him get to where he is today in the video above on this special commitment edition of the Venezia’s Pizzeria Recruiting Roundup.