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Minnesota Football Recruiting: Jaylen Waters Commits

Commitment #3 from the big recruiting weekend is a linebacker from Tejas. Mesquite. BBQ. It's a sign.

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

The Recruiting BBQ is now on to the take home, doggy bag phase.

Jaylen is a thumper, no two ways about it; may be the best pure striker since Kill's arrived in Dinkytown.

Copperas Cove (TX) inside linebacker Jaylen Waters committed to Minnesota at this afternoon, becoming the third such player to verbal after attending Kill's Recruiting BBQ over the weekend. Waters is rated a 2 star prospect according to 247Sports' Industry Composite, choosing Minnesota over listed offers from Texas State and Nevada. Waters is the 9th member of the 2015 class and second inside linebacker prospect.


Gopher247's Kyle Goblirsh with Waters after receiving his Minnesota offer ($):

"I'm blessed. The University of Minnesota is a great school, it's the Big Ten. They won eight games last season and they're most definitely up and coming. ... Speed for my size, I've recently ran a 4.5. I'd say that's probably my biggest strength and what separates me from other linebackers." Waters said when asked what makes him a D1 LB.

(Likely Fraudulent) Measurables**

** The section title is a bit. It's intentionally facetious comment on how recruiting sites (and even some college coaches) notoriously exaggerate traditional combine measures -- especially the 40. No offense is meant.

Height: 6'1"-6'2"
Weight: 229-233 lbs.
Fake 40 Time: 4.69s electronic.


Junior Year:


Absurd Comparisons

First name that came to mind is the guy who recruited Waters and will coach him at the next level: Mike Sherels. The former Gopher captain wasn't the tallest MLB but he could play physical and tackle, which is exactly what Jaylen brings to the table.

Scheme Fit

Jaylen is a thumper, no two ways about it. Waters may be the best pure striker (h/t Jim Ross) and most powerful tackler at linebacker since Kill's arrived in Dinkytown.

If you look at the peripherals, one can see the type of kinetic energy Waters generates in a phone booth: at 230 lbs. and a shuttle of 4.25s, Jaylen uses his thick and strong legs to generate impressive tackling force. If he's coming downhill, that ball carrier is going to end up on the ground... period.

Waters won't be confused with a sideline-to-sideline patroller or a drop middle linebacker. His lateral mobility and overall stiffness in coverage will limit his early role on the team as more of a 2-down, power O defender, and that's just fine. Coach Claeys has talked often about the need to recruit defensive flexibility in the front seven, grabbing different body types and skills to match up against the different offensive schemes the team will see in the Big Ten West division. Considering Minnesota's two biggest rivals are known for tough power and zone running games, there's a need to recruit players who match up physically.

Jaylen will be asked to flow downhill through the A and B gaps, take on fullbacks and interior linemen and play tough in the trash. He's certainly big and strong enough to do that early on in his career.

Impact on Other 'Backers?

The Gophers have two inside linebackers on board for the current cycle, and are most assuredly done recruiting at that spot. Focus now moves to picking up athletic and rangy outside linebackers, where the team could sign 1-2 depending on the talent and scheme fit.