MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota has given defensive backs coach Maurice Linguist a promotion to assistant head coach.

Head coach P.J. Fleck made the announcement Thursday, the day after the Gophers signed a 26-player recruiting class for 2018 that was the highest ranked for the program since the rise of the national recruiting rankings at the turn of the century. Linguist will continue to coach the team’s defensive backs. His ties to Georgia helped the Gophers sign five players for next year from that talent-rich state.

A rash of injuries forced the Gophers to use 11 different defensive backs in 2017, including four freshmen. Under Linguist’s direction, the Gophers allowed only 16 passing touchdowns in 12 games and yielded 174.5 passing yards per game, which was 11th-best in the FBS.

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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