Illinois defensive tackle Noah Shannon decides to Row the Boat with coach Fleck and the Golden Gophers

Illinois defensive tackle Noah Shannon decides to Row the Boat with coach Fleck and the Golden Gophers, and he breaks down his decision with GopherIllustrated.

"I felt like it was the place I needed to be at, and I felt wanted there," Oswego (Ill.) defensive tackle Noah Shannon said to "I also really like coach Fleck and his high energy, plus what the academic adviser had to say about the business school there. I was just able to get a better feel for everything that Minnesota has to offer. I just felt the most comfortable at Minnesota. The coaches at Minnesota showed me around and I had personal attention from everyone at Minnesota. I was able to see the campus along with all the facilities including getting a look at the new athlete's village they are building. I'd say the favorite part of the visit would either have to be the tour of campus or meeting with coach Fleck."

"When I told Gophers head coach P.J. Fleck that I wanted to commit, he was shocked," Shannon explained to "He said he didn't see it coming and he seemed like he was at a loss for words, but after that, he was really excited. Coach Fleck said that it would be me and Elijah Teague in the middle, but he's not sure who would play nose guard and who would play the three technique. I feel great about that as I've have some time to talk to Elijah at The Opening in Chicago, and I'd love to play next to him. My parents are fully supportive of this move as they knew a majority of the staff at Western Michigan, and they liked them there. They just it was a little further than they'd like, but it's not too far so they'll still be able to make the games."

It was the Gophers academics that put Minnesota over the top though. 

"What Minnesota's business program has to offer after I'm done playing football put them over schools like Iowa and Arkansas," Shannon said. "I also want to play for Coach Fleck and I know that he will make me a better player and a better person. Go Gophers!"

Here's what Midwest Analyst Allen Trieu had to say about Noah Shannon and what Gopher fans can expect.


Shannon is a shorter, wider-bodied defensive tackle who is strong at the point of attack. He gets underneath blockers and generally plays with good pad level and leverage. Combined with his strength, that allows him to drive offensive linemen back and be disruptive. There are times when he gets high and still is able to use his strength and athleticism to make plays, but that will be tougher to do in the Big Ten, so he must work at maintaining that pad level. He is a good athlete who shows the ability to pursue and also get upfield quickly as a pass rusher. At 6-foot-2, 285 pounds, he may not get a ton bigger in college, but he has a good combination of strength and quickness.


Shannon should complement fellow Chicagoland defensive tackle commit Elijah Teague very well for the Gophers, who continue to beat other Big Ten schools for their commitments. Shannon had offers from Iowa, Indiana, Rutgers and Michigan State in the conference, but also Missouri, Virginia, Iowa State, Kansas State and more. He was a very productive, disruptive player as a junior and we would expect him to be more of the same in college.

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