Minnesota Official Visit Primer 12/12: Defense

GopherDigest's Ryan Burns breaks down Minnesota's eight official visitors on the defensive side of the ball for the December 12th recruiting weekend for the Gophers. 

Defensive end Taiyon Devers

The latest: Devers has been seen twice already by Minnesota coach Brian Anderson in the last two weeks and the Gophers staff has been impressed with Devers and his film. The Georgia defensive end is currently on an official visit to UCF, but will be in Minneapolis on Saturday for his official visit. 

What he says: "I've heard a lot of things from Coach Anderson about Minnesota and am looking forward to see what Minnesota is like."

Defensive lineman Amir Watts

The latest: Watts will take his first official visit this weekend to the Twin Cities and he'll be accompanied by his mother, which is always good news. Watts is arguably Minnesota's top defensive line target as the Chicago defensive lineman plays with a ton of physicality and great quickness off the ball. He's someone I believe would play right away. Gophers will have a lot of competition for Watts, but getting the first visit is never a bad thing. 

What he says: "I'll be leaving on Friday with Mom to come to Minneapolis and I'm excited for my first official visit! Can't wait to see what Minnesota is like."

Linebacker commit Thomas Barber

The latest: Barber has been committed to Minnesota since mid-March and is the last Barber in deep tradition for the Gophers. Not even the apocalypse can keep Barber from signing with Minnesota next week.

What he says: "I'm looking forward to just being with most of my class and seeing all my future teammates and coaches."

Linebacker commit Carter Coughlin

The latest: Coughlin has been the ring leader of this 2016 Minnesota class and was at most Gopher games this fall. Can't see anyway the Scout100 linebacker ends up anywhere but Minnesota. 

What he says: "I'm excited to hang out with the guys again this weekend and see all of us back on campus."

Linebacker commit Kamal Martin

The latest: Martin picked up an offer from Minnesota after Gopher summer camp and pounced on it immediately. The Burnsville product projects as an outside linebacker or defensive end for Minnesota's defense.

What he says: "I'm looking forward to having a real sense of what it's like to be a Golden Gopher. I think this weekend will be a great experience and it'll be my first real taste of what it's going to be like. Especially with the other commits being there, it'll make it an even better time. We already have such a great bond."

Cornerback Antoine Winfield

The latest: Winfield returns to Minnesota for the first time since July when he was up for the Gophers BBQ and things are a little different since he was here last. Sources have told GopherDigest that Winfield may not have a commitable offer at this current point and time and may not have one until the Gophers know what Louisiana CB Coney Durr is going to do. Time will tell this weekend. 

What he says: "Looking forward to getting back to Minnesota and talking more with the coaches!"

West Virginia JUCO corner commit Elijah Battle

The latest: Interim defensive coordinator Jay Sawvel has an in-home visit with Battle and his family today and they're expected to be following Sawvel back to Minnesota as the Gophers try to flip the West Virginia commit. Minnesota wants a JUCO corner this class as they'll be graduating Boddy-Calhoun and Murray among other things, and Battle is at the top of the wishlist. 

What he says: "I'll be visiting Minnesota on Friday and looking forward to seeing what it's like there."

JUCO safety Kris Weatherspoon 

The latest: Minnesota offered Weatherspoon on Tuesday night and had in-home visits with both he and his mother. Gophers are putting on the full court press as the need for a JUCO safety is big and Weatherspoon is at the top of the wishlist. I think Minnesota gets it done and Weatherspoon is a Gopher come next Wednesday.

What he says: "I'm looking forward to checking out the school and seeing how Minnesota practices most."

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