Minnesota Lands OT Ashton Beers

Anthony Smith

Three-star offensive tackle Ashton Beers has signed with the Gophers. Beers, from Slinger, WI, also had interest from Central Michigan, Buffalo, North Dakota State, and Air Force. He originally committed to North Dakota State, switching his commitment to Minnesota less than two weeks ago, on December 4.¬† Listed at 6’5″ and 295 pounds (!), Beers was used at both OT and DT in high school. (He also played varsity basketball). In an interview with 247sports, his high school coach Bill Jacklin describes Beers’ strengths as being “intelligence, size, and athletic ability”. He goes on to say that the biggest adjustment for Beers will probably be the speed of the college game, but that he’s confident his player can “adjust and excel”.

It’s rare but not unheard of for offensive linemen to contribute as freshmen. The departing Connor Olson was a five-year starter for the Gophers. His linemates this season were all seniors as well. Daniel Fa’alele has already announced that he’s entering the NFL draft. While center John Michael Schmitz plans to return, the team will need at least two, and quite possibly four, new starting linemen.

Is Beers likely to be a day one starter? Probably not. There will be returning players ahead of him on the two-deep. Could he contribute at some point as a freshman? It’s not out of the question. Should he play early, it will be interesting to see how Beers adjusts to the size and strength of college players. Presumably, he didn’t face many opponents his size in high school.

Not surprisingly, Minnesota has recruited offensive lineman quite heavily in the 2022 class. Ashton Beers is the highest-rated of the three who verbally committed prior to Signing Day, but the Gophers’ staff will be waiting on pins and needles to hear from several others.

 

Main Image  courtesy SB Nation