Golden Gophers target Florida prospects

Despite being located 2,000 miles north and known for some of the coldest winters in the nation, Minnesota seems to have made a positive impression on some Florida prospects.

This past weekend the Golden Gophers program received a commitment from three-star wide receiver Eric Carter (Lakeland, Fla./Lake Gibson) and hosted official visits for cornerback Nate Godwin (Tampa, Fla./Freedom) and tight end Aaron Batten (Homestead, Fla./Dade Christian).

Carter took his official several weeks back and quickly fell in love.

“It was just an amazing trip,” Carter said before his commitment. “It was so much more than I expected. All the facilities are top-of-the-line and the stadium is beautiful.”

Minnesota’s three-year-old home, TCF Bank Stadium, scored big with Godwin as well.

“TCF Bank Stadium is just a big-time place to play,” Godwin said. “It’s got the perfect mix of like an NFL stadium full of amenities but still feels like a college stadium.”

Carter enjoyed the location of the school, nestled in the middle of the Twin Cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis. The campus is over 2,700 acres and serves 51,000 students, but according to the 6-foot, 175-pound senior it fits perfectly in the metropolitan city of approximately 700,000.

“I wasn’t expecting the city to offer as much as a does,” Carter said. “The campus is huge so you can kind of get lost on the campus or you can explore the city. It’s really pretty and clean.”

For Godwin, Minnesota is officially his leader, ahead of South Florida and West Virginia.

“Everything blew my mind here,” Godwin said. “They have a lot of tradition across the board with football, basketball, hockey, wrestling … all of their athletic programs. And there’s so much support on campus.

“They also put a good whipping on Purdue, which surprised me a little. They are showing me the most love right now and they are definitely out front.”

At 5-3, Minnesota needs to win just one of its last four games to earn a bowl berth, which will be more proof to Florida prospects that the program is heading in the right direction.

In the class of 2012, Minnesota signed two Florida prospects – Yoshoub Timms (Fort Walton Beach, Fla./Fort Walton) and Damarius Travis (Pensacola, Fla./Pensacola). This year Carter is joined by former Miami Central defensive lineman Jordan Hinojosa, who is spending the year at Coffeyville (Ks.) Junior College.