Welcome a late addition to the Gopher 2016 recruiting class in graduate transfer, Eric Amoako.
I can confirm that Minnesota has picked up a 2016 graduate transfer for this fall in former Oregon DB Eric Amoako. pic.twitter.com/ZOYQIiNa70— Ryan Burns (@RyanBurnsMN) June 3, 2016
Amoako is an Arlington Texas native who, along with his twin brother Stephen, committed to Oregon's 2012 recruiting class out of high school. After two seasons (a redshirt year and one competing as a redshirt freshman), Eric decided to transfer and went to Houston Baptist for 2 seasons. He now has one season of eligibility remaining and after an under-the-radar visit this week has decided to commit to the Golden Gophers.
Out of high school he was a 3-start safety and his ESPN Scouting Report looked like this...
Amoako is a well-rounded safety prospect falling under the radar. Finds the ball in both run and pass support. Tall, well-built with good height and length. Has a good blend of size, speed and athleticism with the physicality coveted at the position. An explosive versatile defensive back. Productive in all three levels of the defense. Can matchup in man, close in zone, support the run and blitz. Productive centerfielder with very good range and instincts. Tracks the ball well and gets himself into position to make plays. Shows good awareness skills and takes good angles to the ball. Ball skills are good. Tight footwork and transitions out of pedal relatively smooth without a lot of wasted movement. Shows good closing speed and burst driving on the ball. Flashes good makeup speed and long recovery. Has experience playing down in the box. Can be a late reactor on run support but is aggressive once he locates the ball. Very good zone defender with a ball-hawk mentality. Quick to get off blocks and find the ball while staying disciplined in his pursuit lanes. Strong tackler who drives through on contact. Shows good pop from his hips but can also utilize his length to drag ball carriers down from backside pursuit. Overall, Amoako is a physically impressive athlete with a lot of tools to hone and develop. He can run, close and hit and just needs to become a bit more consistent and work on his diagnosing skills.
His last two seasons at Houston Baptist he started 11 of 11 games in 2014, finishing 3rd on the team in tackles, 4 tackles for loss and two pass breakups. Last year he started 7 of 8 games but did not play in the other games. The Huskies play in the Southland Conference and have been Division I since the 2011-12 school year.
So what does this mean?
Amoako is coming in to compete at safety for immediate playing time. The Gophers went after Mykelti Williams who just transferred out of Notre Dame, but academic issues forced Williams to Iowa Western CC for a year. Amoako will come in at a position needing some depth and more answers than questions. Damarius Travis is locked in as a starter, but is coming off an injury. Ace Rogers is likely a starter as well but also, coming off an injury. Duke McGhee and Adekunle Ayinde have had mixed results in their time. So Amoako comes into the program with the opportunity to earn playing time right away and add some depth to the Gopher secondary.
A very good addition for the Gophers. There are scholarships available, this is a one-year commitment and it is bringing in an athletic kid at a position of need.