The University of Minnesota landed three verbal commitments over the weekend from Alabama safety Khari Blasingame, JUCO linebacker Cody Poock, and Wisconsin offensive tackle Luke Rasmussen.
On paper, Blasingame and Poock look like they have the potential to contribute immediately while Rasmussen is likely a redshirt candidate and will need to add muscle and weight before stepping onto the gridiron.
Below is a quick breakdown of each player and where they factor in with the program.
3 star Safety Khari Blasingame:
– 247 Sports Rating - 69th ranked safety, 3-star rating (86)
Big, physical, and athletic safety from Alabama who also had an offer from Northwestern. Blasingame has outstanding size at 6-foot-1 and 204 lbs. He has the flexibility to also play corner if need be, which may earn him early playing time with the Gophers. According to Kyle Goblirsch at Gopher247, Blasingame flashes good ball hawking skills and the ability to break on the ball. Athletic safeties with size from the south are like gold and the Gophers were fortunate to get their hands on this under the radar athlete before it was too late. I think Blasingame has a huge upside but only time will tell now.
- Why Minnesota? Quote from Blasingame:
I just prayed about it and when it came down to it I just felt like Minnesota was the place to be.
2 star Linebacker Cody Poock:
- 247 Sports Rating – 11th ranked JUCO ILB, 2-star (0.7967)
Poock is from Iowa Western Community College and will have three years of eligibility at the linebacker position for the Maroon and Gold. Just like De’Vondre Campbell brought to the Gophers in last year’s signing class, Poock has a chance to start right away. In addition to Minnesota, he also held offers from TCU and Illinois. Poock visited TCU on Nov. 29 on an official, yet still chose the Gophers. Poock has excellent size at 6-foot-3 and 230 lbs. Poock can play multiple linebacker positions and will start taking classes in the spring semester so he can particapate in spring ball. With the losses of Aaron Hill and James Manuel to graduation, look for Poock to contribute immediately. Pook has a resemblance to Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews and I can’t wait to watch Pook and his flowing golden locks making plays at TCF Bank Stadium next fall.
- Why Minnesota? Quote from Poock:
I had a real good bond with the players, they seem like my kind of guys. Real blue-collar kind of players with a chip on their shoulder. I had a really good bond with my position coach (Bill Miller). That had a lot to do with it too.
2 star Offensive Tackle Luke Rasmussen:
- 247 Sports Rating - 173rd ranked OT, 2-star rating (0.7759)
Rasmussen is ridiculously smart — he scored a 33 on his ACT! This kid could be President of the United States of America one day! To start, he was smart enough to choose the University of Minnesota, even as a native of Brookfield, Wis. The massive 6-foot-7, 270 lb tackle also held offers from Air Force, Harvard, Penn, and several MAC schools. He has a long, lean frame, similar to current Gophers offensive tackle Ben Lauer in body type according to Goblirsch. Rasmussen won’t see the field in 2014 unless there is a major rash of injuries or he gains about 25-30 lbs over the summer but he definitely has the frame to grow into a monster. Very intriguing prospect.
- Why Minnesota? Qoute from Rasmussen:
A lot of it was when I went to camp this summer, I really liked everything I saw on campus, the stadium, facilities and from the coaching staff. I’m really excited where everything is headed with the University of Minnesota.