(*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?)
Joshua Croslen is your 10th Golden Gopher commitment to the class of 2017. Croslen is a Texas kid who plays in the San Antonio area for a quality 6A program. He was a visitor to the BBQ earlier this month and finally committed to the program over this past weekend.
Ryan Burns of GopherIllustrated ($cout).
"As far as the biggest reason I wanted to be a Gopher, I just knew that it was the school I wanted to go to. I didn't find anything wrong with it when I went up there and had a great feeling about the school after visiting. The Gophers staff has told me that they want to use me as a defensive tackle that's able to move around inside, and that sounds good to me. I don't really plan on visiting any other schools now, as I'm focused on my senior year. My parents are completely okay with my decision too. Go Gophers!"
More from GopherIllustrated as they talked with Croslen's high school coach who gave some very good and honest feedback.
"Croslen projects best as an even-front one-gap tackle at the college level. He flashes a quick first step and is a natural penetrator. Croslen has a limited ceiling from a physical standpoint simply because he lacks ideal height, but he is fairly long-armed and there's some space on him to add bulk. At times, he's quick off the ball, but that get-off isn't always there. That said, his aforementioned first step is almost always there, so combined with improved get-off consistency, he should be very good as a penetrating interior lineman in an even front."
(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' 0"
Weight: 280 lbs.
Fake 40 Time: big men don't run
Big 4 Ratings:
Junior year highlights:
In Two Words - if you have to remember just two things about this player...
- Quick first step
Steven Richardson is the obvious and easy comparison here. And Croslen will be in line to step into Richardson's shoes when the (soon to be All-Big Ten) DT leaves the program after 2017. The comparison is largely due to his their lack of ideal height, which leads to lack of recruiting attention despite showing a quick first step and good push. Richardson played next to a 4-star DT in high school who is excelling at Michigan State but he was clearly overlooked. The Gophers got a gem and hope to have found another one.
As stated, Croslen fits nicely into the Richardson role on defense. So scheme-wise he is a great fit. Low center of gravity and big enough to plug up the middle with potentially good penetration into the backfield. That's what the hope is for Croslen in the future.
Impact on Other Prospects?
More help along the defensive line is needed. Defensive End has to be the primary focus with not as much need at DT. If another DT comes along that the staff wants then they is room to take still. Croslen is needed but he doesn't fill up the position for this class. Minnesota is in a good position with Juan Harris, a DT who is playing ball in Janesville, WI this season. He is a former Iowa commit who decommited, recommitted and then decommitted again. He would also be a certain take if he were to commit.