New Gophers quarterback Max Brosmer brings ‘pro’ mindset to new opportunity

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DETROIT — New Gophers quarterback Max Brosmer wore a maroon and gold stocking hat on Saturday — practical given winter and illustrative to how he’s trying to get cozy with his new team.

Max Brosmer

The graduate transfer from the University of New Hampshire traveled to Minnesota midweek and hopped on another flight with the team to Michigan for the Quick Lane Bowl on Tuesday.

While Brosmer (pronounced BRO-smer) won’t play until the 2024 season, he’s displaying the level of investment he plans to bring daily to the Gophers — even while he’s only able to practice this holiday season.

“We’ll celebrate after the 25th,” Brosmer told the Pioneer Press about spending Christmas with family. “But being with this team and molding into this culture is really important for me. It jumpstarts me.”

Life has come fast at Brosmer this year. After leading FCS with 3,464 passing yards in the 2023 season, he entered the NCAA transfer portal in November but didn’t do the popular thing and announce the decision on social media.

“I wanted to kind of keep it on like the (down low),” Brosmer said.

That proved naive. What happened next is a reflection of both college football in 2023 and Brosmer’s value on the market.

Programs reached out within minutes of Brosmer’s name appearing on the portal database. Direct messages flooded in on the X social media app.

“It was like one minute and 35 seconds or something crazy,” Brosmer said of the first DM. “All of a sudden, bang: He’s in the portal.”

The Gophers got in early, thanks to the work from the U’s director of player personnel Marcus Hendrickson and director of recruiting John Schaekel.

“It’s a mini NFL organization now,” Fleck said of college football. “That’s what you have to really look at internally in your program.

“It used to be just, put on the assistant coaches to do a lot of the work. Still is, but now we have a whole, if you want to say, recruiting department or personnel department, which we’ve always had. But they’re doing more and more of just that job, the true evaluation piece, the portal piece.”

The Gophers knew they were going to seek competition at quarterback toward the end of the regular season. Brosmer posted about his offer from the U the Monday after Minnesota’s regular-season finale against Wisconsin. Come that Tuesday, last year’s starter, Athan Kaliakmanis, exited via the transfer portal.

The Gophers pursued Brosmer because of the way he played in 2023 and how it could be a realistic fit, meaning name, image and likeness (NIL) funding wasn’t a driving factor. The Gophers’ collective, Dinkytown Athletes, has made huge strides in funding, but they aren’t in the $1 million sweepstakes for a QB in the portal.

“They weren’t looking for the highest bidder,” Fleck told the Pioneer Press about the Brosmer family. “They weren’t looking for the most money, they weren’t looking for any of that. They were looking for the opportunity to come in, compete, but have an open quarterback room to do it.”

Brosmer wanted to stay fully invested in his UNH team this fall before considering his next step.

“It would have been doing my team an injustice, a disservice, if I was thinking about it in season,” Brosmer said. “I wouldn’t play my best.”

Brosmer was considered one of the best in FCS last season. He is one of 30 finalists for the 2023 Walter Payton Award, given to the FCS national offensive player of the year. He completed 64 percent of his passes (294 of 459) for 3,464 yards with 29 touchdowns and five interceptions in 11 games. He added five rushing TDs.

He played his best against FBS school Central Michigan in September, throwing for a career-high 493 yards, four touchdowns and one interception in a 45-42 road loss.

Fleck demands his starting quarterback be an assured leader on the team. And Brosmer explained how his leadership starts with work ethic.

“If you’re not working your butt off every single day,” he said, “how do you expect the team to respect you?”

Brosmer said at New Hampshire the only times he was not at the football facility was when he was going to class or getting something to eat. He said he met with his position coach and offensive coordinator multiple times each week before the wider position meetings.

“I’m grateful they allowed me to do that and allowed me to be a part of the game plan,” he said.

Brosmer’s move to the Big Ten is part of a progression to test himself against the best. He wants to take the next step to the NFL as well.

“I work like a pro; I want to be treated like a pro; and that’s what I found here (at Minnesota),” he said.

Brosmer has also been committed in the classroom. On a pre-med path, he earned an undergraduate degree in biomedical sciences in December 2022 and then started work on a Masters degree in exercise science/kinesiology last January. Fleck said Brosmer’s grade-point average is above 3.8.

Part of Brosmer’s interest in medicine came through his own injuries. He tore the lateral collateral ligament in his left knee at Centennial High School in Roswell, Ga., and then injured his anterior cruciate ligament at New Hampshire in 2021.

He notes he’s now fully healthy, adding “best shape in my life.”

“I make connections with my surgeon in that case,” Brosmer said. “I got to go in and watch them during surgery and shadow. Watching a surgeon do surgery is like a quarterback on the field. It’s so cool, working together in a unit.”

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