Houston Baptist transfer DT Kyler Baugh commits to Minnesota

April 22, 2021: A late addition to the portal, Houston Baptist DT Kyler Baugh committed to the University of Minnesota Friday.

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After entering the transfer portal Monday, the Gophers quickly pounced adding former Houston Baptist defensive tackle, Kyler Baugh. Listed at 6-foot-3, 300 pounds, he spent three seasons at HBU totaling 104 tackles, 11 TFL and 5 sacks. He chose the Gophers over other offers from Utah State, Western Kentucky and SMU. After Harvard transfer DT Chris Smith flipped his commitment to Notre Dame earlier this month, Minnesota has found a replacement.

Who is Kyler Baugh?:

Kyler Baugh is a native of Talihina, Okla., a town of less than 1,00o people. He was under-recruited out of high school, eventually committing to Houston Baptist, a small FCS school with an enrollment of ~3,000 students. He quickly caught on with the Huskies, having a major role as a true sophomore. Most recently, last season Baugh recorded 52 tackles, 3.5 sacks and 4.5 TFLs last season. After entering the transfer portal on Monday, Baugh will have three seasons to play two with the Golden Gophers.

  • Scouting Report:

At 6-foot-3, 300 pounds, Baugh has prototypical size for an interior defensive lineman. Playing in the Southland Conference, you would hope to see a player like Baugh dominate against lower-level competition, and he did just. Recording 52 tackles as an interior defensive lineman is incredibly impressive. Baugh has an athletic, quick feet skill set that should have zero issues transitioning to the Big Ten.

Instant Reaction:

After Harvard transfer DT Chris Smith flipped his Gophers commitment to Notre Dame earlier this month, there was a hole along the interior defensive line. The Gophers have a handful of young players that were/are more than capable of filling it, but it seemed like they were missing a body. Adding a player of Baugh’s skillset this late in the portal cycle is a move that might not seem huge, but it will really help this team in the long run. Baugh might not start right away for this team, or be the best DT on the roster, but he will have a major role in the rotation. Sometimes you just need bodies along the interior and adding Baugh is a perfect addition for this young position group.

What’s Next?:

The Gophers’ defensive tackle group has a lot of moving parts. Trill Carter as the No. 1 guy is about the only thing set in stone. Logan Richter, Darnell Jefferies and now Kyler Baugh will all be heavily involved in the rotation, but Deven Eastern and Gage Keys also have a chance to make some serious noise this season. Overall, new defensive line coach Brick Haley has a good problem. Minnesota has a lot of capable bodies at the defensive tackle position, it will now just be up to Haley, Joe Rossi and the defensive staff to make sure to play the right ones. Next week’s Spring Game (April 30th) will be a great showcase for a lot of these young Gophers players.

The transfer portal has obviously cooled off dramatically, and it is rare to see players added this late in the process. I would imagine that Baugh will be the last add for the Gophers, but never say never.

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