Harvard defensive tackle Chris Smith announced Wednesday afternoon that he will be transferring to Minnesota with one year of eligibility remaining. He chose the Golden Gophers over offers from Virginia, Virginia Tech, Syracuse, and Vanderbilt after an in-home visit from head coach P.J. Fleck, defensive coordinator Joe Rossi, and defensive line coach Brick Haley. Smith was on campus for an official visit the previous weekend.
Smith finished last season ranked fifth on the team in tackles, racking up 40 tackles, five tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, three quarterback hurries, and two forced fumbles. He earned First Team All-Ivy League Honors at the end of the year. Smith saw action in 29 games throughout his career with the Crimson, tallying 72 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, five quarterback hurries, two forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery over three seasons.
Minnesota has fortified the defensive tackle position for next season with additions from the transfer portal, including Smith and Clemson defensive tackle Darnell Jefferies. The Gophers must replace the production of Nyles Pinckney and Micah Dew-Treadway. Smith and Jefferies figure to be part of a rotation that includes returning starter De’Angelo Carter and a list of that up-and-comers that starts with Logan Richter, Jacob Schuster, and Deven Eastern.