PJ Fleck is working on putting together the finishing touches for Minnesota’s 2023 recruiting class. During his Early Signing Day press conference, Fleck also took a shot at Minnesota’s archrival.

According to Fleck, Wisconsin and new head coach Luke Fickell tried to negatively recruit and flip Martin Owusu away from his pledge to the Gophers. A 3-star prospect out of Prior Lake, the Badgers offered Owusu on Dec. 20 despite being committed to Minnesota since June.

In the end, Owusu signed with the Gophers on Wednesday. According to Fleck, the negative recruiting didn’t work as Minnesota “axed” the attempts of the Badgers.

As for Owusu, he’s a 3-star DL and the No. 4 player out of Minnesota for the cycle per the 247 Sports Composite Rankings. As for the rivalry, it sure looks like Fleck and Fickell are providing some early heat to the heated series via the recruiting trail.