The Gopher football team had endured a long dry spell of recruiting commitments. 83 days to be exact between Jalen Myrick committing on August 6th and a couple of commitments this week, the first being Eric Carter on October 28th.
So who are the lucky new Golden Gophers (who may or may not end up being Golden Gophers if they end up switching their commitment or if they have trouble with admissions)? Florida natives Eric Carter, wide receiver from Lakeland and Nate Godwin, defensive back from Tampa are the newest members of Gopher Nation. Neither of these two were on my wish list of players I most coveted. I was well aware of Eric Carter but I wanted Drew Wolitarski or Hunter Jarmon more. Nate Godwin is a more recent name to the Gopher recruiting radar and committed after visiting this past weekend. Let's take a closer look.
WR - Eric Carter - Lakeland, Florida (Lake Gibson HS)
Size: 5'10", 175 lbs
Other Offers: Missouri, Purdue, Iowa St, Cincy, Toledo and other MAC level schools
Carter is a quick receiver who has excelled at route-running and setting up receivers to get himself open.
This is not a player that will create big, homerun plays, but he gets open, has consistent hands and is a sharp route runner in the short and intermediate passing game. Surges off the ball and gets to top speed quickly. On the outside he does a nice job setting defenders up with double moves and stutters to create separation and give the impression he is going to break the route off. He does not also show smooth transition as a short and intermediate route runner.
Outstanding physical talent is one thing, the ability to create separation and get open by making defenders move. He has been recruiting others in the Sunshine state to join him and his salesmanship paid off.
S/CB - Nate Godwin - Tampa, Florida (Freedom HS)
Size: 6'0", 190 lbs
Other Offers: West Virginia, Iowa St, South Florida,
Godwin also took his official visit for the Purdue game and committed in the days following. He is the size of a college safety who may begin his Gopher career as a corner. With added size/strength, Godwin will likely end up as a strong safety.
Is disruptive off the edge, flashing the ability to break down in space and maintain control to bring down ball carrier with strong hands. Shows good body control when playing the ball but needs to turn and locate the ball more consistently on down field throws.
Overall, Godwin is a player who will grow on you the more you see him on film. Will need to improve his footwork and polish technique. Most likely a safety at the next level and could assume nickel coverage responsibilities.
Godwin was ranked by the Tampa Tribune as 41st in their Hometown 100 list.
The Freedom senior (6-0, 190 pounds) had a nice summer going against some of the best competition around, becoming a hot commodity for recruiters. The DB will anchor an underrated but promising defense in 2012.
This season has not be a good one for Godwin's team (2-7) but he has recorded 33 tackles, 2 pass deflections, two touchdowns and 1 interception.
Landing two Florida skill position players in the same week is not a common occurrence for the Gophers. We typically convince two or three Sunshine State kids to come to the U, this week we went two for two. The city and particularly the stadium were big hits for both recruits.
"It was just an amazing trip," Carter said before his commitment. "It was so much more than I expected. All the facilities are top-of-the-line and the stadium is beautiful."
Minnesota’s three-year-old home, TCF Bank Stadium, scored big with Godwin as well.
"TCF Bank Stadium is just a big-time place to play," Godwin said. "It’s got the perfect mix of like an NFL stadium full of amenities but still feels like a college stadium."
Couple of nice additions to the class after weeks of not getting any verbals.
Visiting this weekend is Owen Salzwedel, DE from Beaver Dam, WI. He is a current commit and has been having a very productive season.