(*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?)
Unexpectedly on a Thursday afternoon the Gophers picked up their 8th commitment of the 2017 class and third offensive lineman. With local linemen Blaise Andries and Eric Abojei on board and likely guys who will play tackle, it was important for the staff to secure a couple interior linemen in this class as well. Gaynor is the first and will come to the program as a guard.
The Florida native had offers from Pitt, West Virginia (arguably the favorite to land him), UCF and quite a few smaller schools. I think there is risk that later in the year one of the big Florida schools (primarily Miami) will give him a late offer as they miss on some other guys and then we will see just how committed Gaynor is. But for now he is committed and excited to be a Gopher.
Ryan Burns of GopherIllustrated ($cout) pulled this from Gaynor last month when he announced that he had the Gophers in his final 2 schools.
"I'm hearing the most from Minnesota, Pitt, Miami (Fla.) and West Virginia," Florida OL Corey Gaynor said to GopherDigest. "Pitt told me that I'm a physical hard nosed football player and they need me to join their team. Minnesota said they love my style of play and think I would be a great big 10 lineman and huge addition to the team. Miami told me to be really patient with them. I had a great day at their camp and am nearing an offer and West Virginia told me they love my brand of football and want me to be the next commit in the class. So it's been pretty busy."
(Likely Fraudulent) Measurables**
** The section title is intentionally facetious regarding how recruiting sites (and even some college coaches) notoriously exaggerate traditional combine measures -- especially the 40. No offense is meant.
Height: 6' 4"
Weight: 280 lbs.
Fake 40 Time: seems fast-ish
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.
Junior year highlights:
In Two Words - if you have to remember just two things about this player...
Due to his physicality and toughness, I would put Gaynor in the same class as Zach Epping. Hard to make a real strong comparison when he doesn't have the red hair, but I think the way he finishes plays and plays with some nastiness, we have another Epping type interior lineman on our hands.
This is the type of interior lineman I think we can start to expect a little more. Gaynor has some mobility but he's also big and physical. Watch how he seems to relish finishing plays with the defensive player laying on the ground. Of course this is a highlight tape so they aren't going to show his bad plays, but he definitely plays with a physicalness and an attitude. He'll fit in nicely. I do believe that if we can hold off the big Florida schools who may offer late, we will have a multi-year starter on the line here.
Impact on Other Prospects?
I would say that the Gophers will bring 1 more interior lineman and possibly adding one more lineman that could be any position. Brett Kitrell is a Nebraska kid who will be a Husker if he gets that offer. If not the Gophers would probably be the favorite and he would come to the program as a center. Kendrick Green is listed as a center but it is unclear if he would be a center or a DT here. Either way, adding Gaynor does not preclude the Gophers from taking of their primary targets.
Gopher Recruiting Map