(*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.)
The ink from the 2017 National Signing Day faxes are barely dry and the Gophers have secured their first addition to the class of 2018.
Benny Sapp III has decided he wants to Row the Boat with Coach Fleck at the University of Minnesota. Sapp is an interesting story as he is the son of former Viking’s corner Benny Sapp II and currently lives in Minnesota attending Eden Prairie. He is coming off of his second ACL injury, currently recovering.
In 2015 he was a 4-star recruit who missed all of that sophomore season as a member of the St. Thomas Aquinas high school football team in Florida (the 3x defending 7A state champs). At the time he had several helmet school offers and listed Florida, Florida State and Ohio State as his leaders.
Injuries slowed his recruitment and Coach Fleck was happy to offer.
I just wanna thank God for everything he has giving me !..... but further a do I Am 1000% committed to the gophers #RTB#SKi-U-Mah18 pic.twitter.com/Ch6OiDHZck— Benny Sapp III (@benjaminsapp) February 12, 2017
Ryan Burns of GopherIllustrated ($cout).
"I was in coach P.J. Fleck's office for probably an hour with my dad before I ended up committing," Sapp III explained to GI. "We were in there talking about my dad asked for a private moment alone with coach Fleck, just the two of them, and afterwards, he came out and told me that it was my decision and that he'll love me and support me no matter what. I told him that I wanted to commit, so we went back in and I committed. It was really emotional for everyone as my dad was crying and it was a great moment. Coach Fleck was extremely happy and he called all the coaches in and told them that they got their first commitment for 2018 in Benny Sapp and they all came in and it was great."
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 180 lbs.
Big 4 Ratings:
Power 5 Offers - Clemson, Alabama, Florida St, Ohio St, Miami, Michigan, Oklahoma and so many more
c2Eight - Sapp.csv
Only videos are from the spring of his freshman year.
In Two Words - if you have to remember just two things about this player...
Benny Sapp II. Why not? The elder Sapp graduated from Northern Iowa and was signed by Kansas City as an undrafted free agent. He ended up spending 8 years in the NFL, including 3 with the Vikings.
Hard to say at this point, particularly with Sapp not having played football in 2 years. I love corners that are 6 feet or taller so I look forward to Sapp getting healthy, staying healthy and ready to step onto the field in 2 years for the Gophers.
There are two important factors in this commitment. The first is that he has had legit offers from every major football program in the country and that says something about his talent and athletic ability. If he was good enough to be offered by Clemson, Bama, Florida schools, Ohio State, etc before his sophomore season, then he was pretty damn good.
Secondly, he has been injured coming off 2 knee surgeries and hasn’t played much football in 2 years. If he gets healthy? This is a huge steal. If he is never the same, then this is a risky scholarship offer. I think this is worth the risk.
Impact on Other Prospects?
At this point there are no negative impacts on recruiting. There should be a plenty of defensive backfield kids in this class and Sapp isn’t preventing anyone from committing. If anything this is a positive addition in the fact that he spend much of this weekend with Quinn Carroll, the Edina offensive lineman who will very likely be a 5-star recruit. He and Carroll discussed staying home and what it would mean to the Gophers, this conversation can only be a good thing.
The 2018 map has not yet been put together, will update soon with all the many offers that the staff has put out.