Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
More beef for the Maryland-I!
There are big (figurative) commits, and there are big commits in a literal sense. On occasion, these are one in the same.
This was quite the nice post-shower series of tweets this morning:
I'm hearing Indiana TE Nate Wozniak has committed to #Minnesota over Miami (Fl.) this morning. Working on confirming.— RyanBurnsGI (@RyanBurnsGI) January 31, 2013
Confirmed. Just received a text from Indiana TE Nate Wozniak saying he's committed to #Minnesota over Miami (Fl.). 6-10 TE everybody.— RyanBurnsGI (@RyanBurnsGI) January 31, 2013
A special welcome goes out to the newest member of the #Gophers Football Family! Ski-U-Mah!— GopherGridiron (@GopherGridiron) January 31, 2013
That's right: Jerry Kill landed a pledge from a 6'10" tight end, and he beat out the Hurricanes in doing so. Big news, if true (which it is).
Wozniak is the 16th member of Kill's 2013 recruiting class and the first tight end prospect, choosing Minnesota over Miami and other listed offers, including Purdue, Cincinnati, Maryland, Indiana and Iowa State. Nate is rated as a three star prospect from the 247Sports Industry Composite and the 37th tight end prospect nationally.
ESPNU evaluation ($)
Wozniak is a towering tight end who could transition to the next level as an in-line blocking tight end, but may not offer enough as a receiving target to warrant staying there and with his size he may have greater upside if developed as an O-Tackle. He is an extremely tall kid in that 6-foot-9 range and when that tall the concern is whether he can play low and with leverage, but he displays good flexibility and can keep his pads down for a taller kid. ... Displays solid playing strength and can generate good leg drive to create some push.
YouTubes and/or other Highlights
(Likely Fraudulent) Measureables
Weight: 250-255 lbs.
Now we're cooking with gas. BCS offers? Check. Beat out a fellow Big Ten team, and a helmet school? Check. Size, physicality and position versatile? Check, check, check. Wozniak is about everything a recruitnik could ask for in a tight end prospect, short of said player earning four/five star honors and your squad managed to win the recruiting battle over your most hated rivals.
Now, that's not to say the Woz would fit perfectly in every collegiate system nor is he a "prototypical" tight end. His height in and of itself immediately screams "future left tackle," though Nate is dead set on playing TE in college. That distinction matters not to Matt Limegrover, who more often than not uses his inline tight ends as extra offensive linemen anyway.
Make no mistake, Wozniak's value is derived from his athleticism and physical nature as a future blocker, though the aforementioned athletic ability will also come in handy running routes and as a potential target in the red zone. For such a tall kid, he didn't appear clumsy on those highlights at all; granted, under 3 minutes of his best tape from over a year ago doesn't necessarily tell the full story of why he was so coveted but it does provide some indication.
If nothing else, Wozniak's pledge continues the trend of Kill and Limegrover stockpiling the trenches with big, physical players. Regardless of whether Wozniak outgrows the TE position, or if the distinction between inline tight end and tackle in this scheme is virtually non-existent, this is a talented prospect and a very solid "win" on the trail for Jer' and the staff.