Position: Defensive End
Hometown: Tampa, FL
247 Sports Composite Rating: .8445
Power 5 Scholarship Offers: Arizona, Boston College, Cal, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa State, Maryland, Michigan State, Mississippi State, N.C. State, Oklahoma, Oregon State, Rutgers, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech, and Wake Forest
Ahanotu is a relentless pass rusher with a high motor who can also set the edge against the run. In four seasons of varsity football at Berkley Prep, he racked up 118 total tackles, 33 tackles for loss, and 14 sacks. Ahanotu is also the son of Chidi Ahanotu, a 12-year veteran of the NFL. He is a disciplined player who plays with intelligence and is adept at keeping his eyes on the ball while engaged with a blocker. Ahanotu has the athleticism to change direction with ease and the hands to consistently shed blocks in the trenches.
The Gophers are thin at the defensive end position, which necessitated shifting Carter Coughlin from linebacker to rush end last season. I expect they’ll allow Coughlin to return to his original position now that there is an influx of young defensive ends, including Ahanotu. The opportunity to contribute early in his career will certainly be there, but it all depends on how he performs in fall camp. Minnesota tied for 70th nationally in sacks last season, averaging less than two per game, so the defense desperately needs an elite pass rusher.