–> Two days after losing Indiana RB Trent Howland in a flip decision back to Bloomington, the Gophers have found his replacement, Ohio transfer RB Sieh Bangura.
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Ohio transfer RB Sieh Bangura was one of many portal visitors this weekend in Dinkytown. Monday afternoon he “closed his recruitment” via his Twitter, and Tuesday afternoon he officially committed to Minnesota. With two seasons of eligibility remaining, he will now compete with Jordan Nubin for the No. 2 spot behind Darius Taylor.
— Sieh Bangura🇸🇱 (@5iehBangura) December 19, 2023
Who is Sieh Bangura?:
Sieh Bangura grew up in Hyattsville, Maryland, a suburb outside Washington D.C. with a population of around 20,000 people. He attended a renowned high school, Demantha Catholic which has notable alumni such as Chase Young, Markelle Fultz and Gophers’ current starting PG Elijah Hawkins. He played RB and safety at the high school level, showcasing his athleticism and versatility, receiving 15 D1 offers headlined by Maryland, Liberty and Toledo before settling on the Ohio Bobcats.
In 2021 as a true freshman, Bangura played in four games, totaling 93 rushing yards on 12 attempts with two touchdowns and he even scored a TD on his first career carry vs. Central Michigan. In 2022 as a redshirt freshman, he broke out starting 12 games for the Bobcats, leading with 222 carries, 1078 yards, and 13 touchdowns, earning freshman of the year honors in the MAC. In 2023 as the clear-cut starter he appeared in all 12 regular season games, totaling 811 rushing yards and 7 TDs and he evolved as a pass-catcher with 18 catches, 159 yards and 1 TD. After entering the Transfer Portal on Dec. 4, he committed to the Gophers 15 days later.
- Scouting Report:
Listed 6-foot, 209 pounds, Bangura has the ideal size for a D1 running back. With a career 4.8 yards-per-carry and a career 50 catches for, 453 yards and 3 TDs. He is an incredibly explosive player from the RB position with great vision and athleticism. I believe that he will complement Darius Taylor perfectly and barring an injury he has proven to be more than capable of handling a bigger workload.
As annoying as it might be, keeping up to date with all of the flips and Transfer Portal commitments, that is just what college football is in 2023. With Trent Howland opting to not sign with the Gophers and return to Indiana, P.J. Fleck and his staff had a clear need at the RB position with only one returning scholarship player on the roster (Darius Taylor). We all know that Taylor will be the focal point of this offense in 2024, but every team needs depth. Listed at 6-foot-3, Holwand has a much different skillset than Bangura. I believe that Bangura is much more explosive and he’s a lot more versatile as a pass catcher. After a tremendous redshirt freshman season that was a fair amount of hype surrounding him heading into 2023, he may have not completely lived up to it, but he is still a really solid player who is more than capable of the No. 2 role and I believe that he even has the potential to succeed with a big workload if Taylor was to struggle with injuries again in 2024.
What is next?:
Bangura replaces Trent Howland’s flip, but the Gophers still have a clear need at DT to replace Jordan Guerad. I expect them to continue to be actively looking in that department and Oklahoma DL Kelvin Gilliam is a player that they recently offered. Early National Signing Day is less than 24 hours away, so the Transfer Portal might take a backseat for a few days, but there should still be plenty of roster news to analyze in the coming days.