(*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 couple weeks ago the Gopher staff went to Ohio for a satellite camp and came away impressed with an Ohio linebacker who has committed to Bowling Green. Thomas Rush is that linebacker and after demonstrating his unique size/speed/athleticism combo he earned a Gopher offer that he quickly accepted.
A high school running back who projects to be a tough and fast linebacker in college. Let’s learn a bit more...
I would like to announce my commitment to continue my football and academic career at the University of Minnesota. #eLITe18 pic.twitter.com/XL4fWvRv4R— Thomas Rush (@TRush_27) June 21, 2017
Ryan Burns of GopherIllustrated ($cout).
"Once they offered, I committed on the spot as my family and I were truly excited and at a loss for words about what had happened," Rush explained to Scout.com. "Coach Fleck and I hugged and we were overwhelmed with joy. It's a dream come true to be committed to a Big Ten school like Minnesota. I've always dreamt of being able to play in the Big Ten, and now it's here. It still kind feels like a dream, but it's setting in."
Scout’s Bill Greene’s analysis
This is a kid with a chip on his shoulder about being overlooked by the bigger schools in the recruiting process. He is a big, fast, tough football player, and I like his attitude and willingness to be coached. He definitely responded well to what he was being asked to do by the Minnesota staff, and you could see he was an intelligent football player. Some might view Rush as a gamble by Fleck, but these are the types of decisions Michigan State made over the past decade under Mark Dantonio and it led to a lot of success on the field.
Height: 6’ 3"
Weight: 210 lbs.
Big 4 Ratings:
Power 5 Offers - none
- Scout - 2 stars
- Rivals - 2 stars (5.4 rating)
- 247 - 3 stars (87 rating)
- ESPN - n/a
Junior year highlights:
In Two Words - if you have to remember just two things about this player...
Rush reminds me of a skinnier Nate Triplett mostly due to his combination of athleticism and toughness. He’ll need to add a few pounds before he’s ready to contribute, especially at the level Triplett contributed, but there’s a resemblance.
It is really a fun combination of athleticism and toughness that will make him fun to watch on the field. He’ll need to adjust to playing linebacker, learn to cover but I think he’ll be a force in the run game. He’s going to contribute eventually and I think he’ll be a fan favorite.
Impact on Other Prospects?
That gives the staff 3 linebackers in the current class. I would expect that if someone who could play in the middle came along, he’d be a take (Viliami Tausinga perhaps?). But linebacker recruiting may slow down a bit here.