Texas is one of the most fertile states in terms of talent around the nation and yearly sees many prospects go on to the collegiate rank. Two from the Lone Star State last recruiting class signed to Minnesota in wide receiver Rashad Still and linebacker Jaylen Waters. The Gophers have made it a point of emphasis to identify talent there and try to scoop some of those players. They recently contacted a sleeper defensive lineman in Midland (TX.) junior defensive end Traver Vliem, who is very intrigued in Minnesota.
“I talked to one of the coaches on Twitter a couple weeks ago,” Vliem told GopherDigest. “He said he liked my film and wanted me to come up to Minnesota to be evaluated at camp. They just sent me some mail, so I would assume there is some interest there. I am going into my senior year and kind of flown under the radar because of my geographic location in Texas is kind of in the middle of nowhere. At this point, I just want to go to a school that has interest. I want to have mutual interest and it seems to be there, so I would say my interest is pretty high.”
The 6-4, 235-pound physical defensive end has had a slow start to his recruitment, but seen it ramp up as of late and discusses the latest with it and if he may visit Minneapolis in the future.
“My recruitment is going pretty good.” said Vliem. “It is starting to heat up a little bit after signing day. I have been invited to quite a few junior days and next weekend I am going to Texas State. I have also been recently in touch with that I wasn’t before signing day. The schools that are recruiting me the hardest is SMU, Navy, Penn, Texas State and Texas San-Antonio.”
“I will probably be up to Minnesota this summer to come check it out. I have a few other schools I will be checking out that I am talking to as well.”
Vliem doesn’t see either distance or weather a main factor in his recruitment, which bodes well for the Gophers. Still, he doesn’t hold an offer in his hand, but if they were to extend an offer out to him, what would that mean to him?
“It would mean a lot,” said Vliem. “They play in the Big Ten and play against a lot of big schools. They have a great tradition and it would mean a lot to get an offer from Minnesota. I would be honored.”
This past season he helped lead his team to a playoff berth in a tough conference while earning all-district honors. Vliem had compiled 50 tackles and 5 sacks in a solid junior season, but is working hard to improve that production and make a deeper run in the playoffs next year through his hard work ethic and physical brand of game.
“The thing I take pride in the most is hard work,” said Vliem. “I have a very high motor and a very physical player. I don’t give up and I’m just a tough player.”