Mandatory Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports
The Golden Gophers’ football team emerged from each of the season’s first two games banged up, and injuries have particularly forced a re-shuffling of the offensive line. He is not going to be eligible to play this season, but the Gophers added a possible starter for next season with a reported commitment from junior college offensive lineman Vincent Calhoun over the weekend.
Calhoun is a native of Summit, Mississippi, and he is currently a sophomore at Southwest Mississippi Community College. He plans to enroll at the University of Minnesota in January, and is a candidate to start at guard next season. The Gophers will be looking to replace senior guards Joe Bjorklund and Jon Christenson in 2016, and guard-turned-tackle Josh Campion is also a senior this year.
Calhoun is rated as a three-star recruit by 247Sports.com, and that site reported offers from nine other schools besides Minnesota before he formally committed. That list included schools across the non-Power 5 conferences, including Colorado State, East Carolina, Memphis, North Texas, Southern Miss and Akron.
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Jerry Kill and his coaching staff have established a history of recruiting kids with attributes they like, and then working to make them better football players within their system and structure. The results have been solid during Kill’s tenure, as evidenced by the progress the team has made. Trying to directly compete with bigger schools on the recruiting trail is foolish for the Gophers, so they have to try to cultivate potential and Calhoun seems to fit that mold.
Calhoun’s standout attribute is certainly his size (6’4″, 335 lbs.), and he’ll definitely have a learning curve ahead of him starting in spring practice next year. But the Gophers have added a potential impact player to their offensive line for 2016, and even if it would be nice to have Calhoun available right now that is good news.