The Minnesota Golden Gophers football team received a pair of commitments on Wednesday from student-athletes transferring out of Power 5 football programs. NC State defensive tackle Val Martin and Texas A&M wide receiver Dylan Wright each announced their intentions to head north and enroll in January to play for head coach P.J. Fleck and co.
Martin is a grad transfer who will have one year of eligibility left. Wright will have four years of eligibility remaining and could be eligible to suit up for the maroon and gold as soon as next season once the NCAA approves a proposal that would grant student-athletes the ability to transfer and compete immediately once during their collegiate experience.
Martin spent one year at Iowa Western Community College before signing with NC State. In three seasons with the Wolfpack, Martin recorded 29 total tackles and one forced fumble. If starting defensive tackles Keonte Schad and Micah Dew-Treadway opt against using their extra year of eligibility and decline to return to Minnesota next season, Martin would provide a veteran presence at a position led by redshirt freshmen De’Angelo Carter and Rashad Cheney.
Wright was a sought-after recruit coming out of high school. Earning a four-star .9678 composite rating from 247 Sports, Wright signed with Texas A&M over offers from 32 Power 5 programs, including Alabama, LSU, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Texas, and USC.
Here was the scouting report:
A grown man physically with long arms, powerful legs and an imposing high cut body. Springy athlete with great bounce, quick-jump ability and a graceful stride. Hands catcher that plucks the football away from his body. Can make contested catches with defenders draped on him. Excels in jump ball and 50-50 situations. Willing and effective blocker on the perimeter. Long strider that isn’t a short-area athlete. Can run into problems against press coverage. Productivity in Texas doesn’t match some of his peers. Impact Power Five starter in the right offense that has first round NFL Draft upside with development but projects more likely as a third-round type of talent.
He redshirted in his first season with the Aggies and did not crack the wide receiver rotation this year as a redshirt freshman, only seeing the field in four games on special teams. With the Gophers losing Tyler Johnson and Rashod Bateman in successive years, there is a void at wide receiver for the Gophers and Wright will have a chance to fill it.
Minnesota was expected to be active in the transfer market this offseason and they have lived up to expectations. Martin and Wright are the second and third student-athletes to punch a ticket to the Twin Cities, joining Abilene Christian linebacker Jack Gibbens.