Jan. 11, 2021: Former four-star Clemson defensive tackle, Nyles Pinckney has officially signed with the Minnesota Golden Gophers.
The 2021 offseason could not be going much better for P.J. Fleck and his Gophers’ staff. After constructing its best recruiting class in program history (No. 27 in NCAA) Minnesota has now added four more players from the transfer portal. Abilene Christian LB Jack Gibbens, Texas A&M WR Dylan Wright, and NC State DT Val Martin join the prized jewel Nyles Pinckney making the 2021 Gophers football campaign look very promising.
— Nyles Pinckney (@NylesPinckney) January 11, 2021
Pinckney began his collegiate career as a heralded prospect. As a consensus four-star recruit, the 6-foot-1 defensive tackle was offered by top programs such as Georgia, Florida, and Florida State. The Seabrook, SC native opted to stay home and attend defensive line factory, Clemson. During his time with the Tigers, he played sparingly earning third-team All-ACC in 2019 and played in 55 games over his Clemson career. He totaled over 1,100 career snaps, recording 93 tackles (10.5 for loss), 2.0 sacks, one forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries.
Clemson obviously is one of the top programs in all of college football, but their specialty might be the defensive line, as they have produced some of the best players from the position in college football. Most recently, Christian Wilkins, Clelin Ferrell, Dexter Lawrence, Da’Quan Bowers, and Vic Beasley Jr. have all produced serious NFL careers. The great William “The Fridge” Perry even attended the school. Even though, Pinckney may have not seen the field as much as he would’ve liked there is no doubt he is coming to Minnesota after being coached by some of the best defensive line coaches in all of America.
Listed at only 6-foot-1, 300 pounds Pinckney is a bit undersized for the position, but what he lacks in stature makes up for in athleticism. He will likely make an immediate impact for Minnesota’s experienced and already loaded defensive line in 2021.
– Val Martin (fifth-year senior with 500+ total snaps)
– Micah Dew-Treadway (seventh (!!) year senior with 900+ total snaps)
– Keonte Schad (fifth-year senior with 300+ total snaps)
– Rashad Cheney (redshirt-freshman)
– De’Angelo Carter (redshirt-freshman)
Pinckney will likely rotate with Martin and Dew-Treadway at the defensive tackle positions in 2021. This will allow the Gophers’ youth at the position Rashad Cheney, De’Angelo Carter, MJ Anderson, Logan Richter, Deven Eastern, Gage Keys, Jacob Schuster, and Luther McCoy all develop at their own pace heading into 2022.
P.J. Fleck was not kidding when he said he wanted to get involved in the transfer portal.