Gophers add Miami (OH) LB/S Rowan Zolman from portal

–> Miami (OH) transfer LB/S Rowan Zolman committed to the Gophers Tuesday, becoming the Gophers’ seventh official off-season addition from the transfer portal.

Follow @Tony Liebert on Twitter

The Gophers finally got back into the transfer portal action Tuesday when Miami (OH) LB/S Rowan Zolman pledged his commitment to the Maroon & Gold. Originally recruited as a defensive back Zolman appeared in nine games last season as a true freshman for the Redhawks. He started one, accumulating six tackles and one interception on the season. After officially entering the portal 10 days ago, he picked up (public) offers from UConn and Ohio before settling on Minnesota.

Who is Rowan Zolman?:

Originally from Churbusco, Indiana, Rowan Zolman attended East Noble High School. He was a relatively under-recruited prospect, getting offers from seven MAC schools, Army and Air Force. As the No. 23 ranked player in Indiana, he received some walk-on interest from his hometown Hoosiers, but he ultimately settled on the Redhawks. He earned all-state honors as a senior in high school, finishing the season with 24 catches for 540 yards and five touchdowns and he led the team with 91 tackles and added two forced fumbles and an interception. He showed his athletic prowess in high school by playing three sports; including basketball and he posted an 11.26 100m and a 6-3 high jump at over 6’3″ in Track & Field competitions. He will now have three seasons of college eligibility remaining.

  • Scouting Report:

Zolman’s size is the first thing that jumps off the page. At 6-foot-4, 213 pounds that is on the bigger side for a safety, so it makes sense that the Gophers will likely try him out as a linebacker. He has impressive tackling range for a safety, so a transition to linebacker makes sense, but he also has above-average coverage ability, so he could provide that to Gophers’ LB room something their defense has been lacking over the past few seasons. Overall he is an intriguing long-term prospect.

**High School Hudl Highlights**

Instant Reaction:

The Gophers have been in transfer portal purgatory for a few months now, not receiving a commitment since January 13th. Zolman’s commitment will likely not transform their defense this season, but they needed to add bodies. In the new era of the transfer portal, I think it will be important to not always look for a quick fix. The Gophers had room to add talent to their defense at all three levels and Zolman will now be a player that has FBS playing experience and three years of eligibility remaining. He has impressive athleticism and a frame to develop. He is an intriguing long-term prospect in a Joe Rossi defense that has shown the ability to develop linebackers at a high level.

With only Ryan Selig, Lucas Finnesey and Devon Williams as the only true veterans in front of him, Zolman does have a chance to contribute very early. With an impressive fall camp, he could earn a role on this roster. Safety is arguably the Gophers’ strongest position, so it would make sense for Zolman to play at linebacker. This Gophers’ defense had plenty of room for some more talent and Zolman will provide that.

What is next?:

With almost every FBS spring game in the books, the transfer portal will continue to stay hot in the next few weeks. The Gophers still have a massive need at CB and could always use more help on the defensive front. Zolman now gives them seven scholarship portal adds and 16 departures. If they can add at least two more players on the defensive side of the ball, I think it would be a fine portal window. There have obviously been some tough loses, but that is college sports in 2023, you just have to adapt.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *