Minnesota Football Recruiting: Cody Poock Commits

Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The second commitment in as many days fills a major need for the Gophers, especially with 2 seniors at linebacker graduating. Kill winning a head-to-head battle against his best friend is just an added bonus.

Part two of three of the weekend commitment deluge was no less expected than the first, though the result might show up on the field much sooner.

Oh, and Gary Patterson losing out to his best man in a head-to-head recruiting battle? I wonder if proper safeguards and "no hard feelings" seedlings were planted in Jerry's wedding toast.

An offer from Gary Patterson is another indication of his ability to play LB against the pass


Iowa Western CC linebacker prospect Cody Poock committed to Minnesota this afternoon, becoming the 12th member of the Gophers' 2014 recruiting class and 6th projected defensive player. Poock was a relatively new addition on the recruiting radar with the Gophers staff beginning their pursuit in earnest within the last month or so. Cody earned his offer and made an official visit during the Wisconsin game, a weekend that has already produced 3 commitments.

Poock is rated as a 2 star prospect according to 247Sports' Industry Composite, with listed offers from TCU, Illinois, New Mexico and Georgia State, along with interest from Ole Miss. He was a full qualifier out of high school, will have 4 years to 3 and is set to enroll in January, right in time for Winter S&C and Spring practice.

Quotables

Gopher247's Joe Funk with a commitment article ($):

"Not many head coaches go out and recruit. It made me feel special. Coach Patterson and Coach Kill were really the only ones. They are both really good friends so it was a really cool experience. ... Distance had a little to do with it. ... 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."

(Likely Fraudulent) Measurables

Height: 6'2"-6'3"
Weight: 225-230 lbs.

Highlights

Freshman year, via Hudl.

Thoughts

The Gophers want Poock to come in and compete at the weakside linebacker position right away, something he'll be able to do relatively soon given his midyear enrollee status. The Will LB spot is currently manned by senior James Manuel and sophomore DeVondre Campbell; Poock's signing could (and probably will) push Campbell back to Sam linebacker, a spot he competed at during fall camp before yielding to the more experienced Aaron Hill. A year of experience at WLB and more time in Klein's program should give Campbell the bulk and schematic knowledge to make that transition, one that comes with additional responsibilities in coverage and at the line of scrimmage.

Back to Poock, his highlight tape from Iowa Western shows good playmaking ability and zone drops in pass defense. An offer from Gary Patterson is another indication of his ability to play LB against the pass, since TCU's backers are asked to do a lot in that 4-2-5 scheme. Despite lining up in the middle quite often, Poock's size and experience are likely best suited for the weakside where he's more "protected" schematically from facing tight ends or pulling guards; Cody is in the same scenario Campbell found himself in after transferring from Hutchinson CC as a 4 to play 3 JUCO.

Eventually, Poock will provide much versatility to the linebacking corps for Minnesota. He could potentially play all 3 LB spots, providing depth across the unit depending on his progression and digestion of schematic concepts. An additional benefit of this commitment? Bringing in another JUCO linebacker allows the staff to continue developing their crop of young linebackers gradually versus throwing them to the wolves as an inexperience underclassmen. I'd still expect De'Niro Laster, Jack Lynn, Chris Wipson and Rayfield Dixon to make an impact in the coming seasons, though the coaches have bought themselves more flexibility with the timely addition of JUCOs at that spot.

Poock looks like a solid tackler in the box, though he'll need to work on tackling in space and improve his overall strength to become a more well rounded linebacker. His ability to defend the pass will get him on the field sooner, potentially next season.

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