(*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 second local commit to the Gophers from this past weekend was Highland Park’s Josh Aune. A high school safety who may remain there for his collegiate career or will move to outside linebacker when he arrives on campus.
Aune has been lightly recruited but after testing well at the Nike Chicago Opening and then having a good camp here last weekend, the Gopher staff decided to give him an offer. He quickly accepted.
Ryan Burns of GopherIllustrated ($cout).
"Coach Fleck said that he's uncertain of where he thinks I will be playing in terms of linebacker if I get bigger, or safety if I stay near the size I am now," Aune explained to Scout.com. "He believes I'm a "Howpher" though and believes that I fit their culture really well. When my family and I heard I was offered, my father was the one in the room with me, and he let me talk first. When I heard I was offered, I committed right away and he was incredibly proud of me. Coach Fleck was super excited when I told him as he gave me a huge hug. He then opened his office door and yelled at the rest of the Minnesota coaches that, "We got a Gopher!". They were all really excited and congratulated me. IT was a really great experience."
Height: 6’ 1"
Weight: 200 lbs.
Big 4 Ratings:
Power 5 Offers - none, only FCS offers currently
- Scout - 3 stars
- Rivals - n/a
- 247 - 3 stars (80 rating)
- ESPN - 3 stars (72 rating)
Junior year highlights:
In Two Words - if you have to remember just two things about this player...
I like to make this one truly absurd and I’m going to compare Aune to Brian Urlacher. Why? The speed and closing ability stand out on his film. Watching him run down a running back who had a good 10-yard heard start was pretty impressive. Urlacher was a college safety who made the transition to linebacker in the pros. Aune will not be an NFL linebacker but I bet he’ll be making a similar transition and will be able to utilize his speed and tackling ability as an effective linebacker.
As mentioned, his speed and tackling ability will translate well to the Gopher defense. I like how he closes on ball-carriers and finished with a tackle.
Impact on Other Prospects?
That’s the second OLB in this class, the next linebacker would seem to be a guy who can play in the middle. Just a guess.