(*Editor's note...What the heck does "Commitment to Eight" mean? It is our new recurring title for recruit commitments referencing a commitment to work towards the Gopher's Eighth National Championship. A little bit tongue in cheek, but why not right? )
The Gophers picked up their 4th commitment and third from the state of Minnesota yesterday when Grant Ryerse verbally committed to be a Golden Gopher. Ryserse attends East Ridge HS, is ranked as the #2 kicker in the country according to the 247 Composite and decided to pull the trigger on the Gophers over offers from Northwestern and Cal.
Ryan Burns of GopherDigest ($) interviewed Ryerse after his commitment.
"I was sure that I wanted to go to the U on Tuesday night and I talked to my parents about it and we made the decision then. I have a lot of respect for the programs at Northwestern and Cal, but staying close to my family and all the support nearby really was the biggest factor. I've talked with coach Hippe, Minnesota's specialist coach and we said that wherever I fit in best will be where I'd play."
Chris Sailer Kicking was rather complimentary of Ryserse as well.
Grant is a very talented kicker. A gifted athlete with a big time leg. Field goal are strong and show huge potential. Kickoffs are outstanding and near the very top of his class. Also shows great punting potential. A great competitor that does well under pressure. Has all the tools to be one of the very best for years to come. Keeps improving each time that we see him. With continued hard work, the sky is the limit. A fine young man with a great attitude and work ethic. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for Grant. Should dominate camps this summer and continue to pick up scholarship offers. Great prospect. OFFER NOW!!!
(Likely Fraudulent) Measurables**
** The section title is a bit. It's an 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' 4"
Weight: 215 lbs.
Fake 40 Time: kick it through back of end zone, it won't matter
Big 4 Ratings:
At this point of the year we can lament how stars don't matter but then come February we (or others) lament about how the Gopher class ranks so poorly compared to its Big Ten piers. So do stars matter? Not really, but kind of.
Senior year highlights:
In Two Words - if you have to remember just two things about this player...
The fact that he a big kid, with a strong leg it makes sense to compare him to current Gopher K/P Ryan Santoso. Santoso is bigg-er standing at 6'6" and currently around 250 but Ryerse is a similarly big kid with a very strong leg.
He's a kicker and every team needs a kicker. This one specializes in booming the ball through the back of the end zone on kickoffs. Field goals are improving and his strong leg may lend to punting eventually, but for now he is a strong legged kid who projects to be a good kicker at this level.
Impact on Other Prospects?
I'm going to take a wild guess and assume that we are not going to take any other kickers.