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U gets football commitment from player who'd previously chosen Georgia, Alabama

The Gophers have dubbed this recruiting weekend “Twin Cities Takeover’’ with approximately 25 players making their official visits to campus. And it’s producing results.

On Saturday night, the Gophers received verbal commitments from a four-star defensive tackle who previously had committed to both Alabama and Georgia, and a three-star junior college cornerback.

Rashad Cheney, a 6-2, 270-pound defensive tackle from Cedar Grove High School in Ellenwood, Ga., announced via Twitter than he’s coming to Minnesota. “I’m going to take advantage of this opportunity….. @Coach Fleck I’m coming home.’’

Cheney is the 40th-ranked defensive tackle nationally by the recruiting-focused website 247Sports.com and is the highest-ranked player in coach P.J. Fleck’s recruiting Class of 2019. Cheney originally committed to Georgia in February 2017 before switching to Alabama last March. He reopened his recruiting this fall. Throughout his recruiting process, Cheney had scholarship offers from 17 Power Five programs, including 10 Southeastern Conference schools.

Cheney had 47 tackles (23 solo), 13.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks this season for Cedar Grove, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

Earlier Saturday evening, cornerback Damarion Williams from Highland (Kan.) Community College announced his commitment to the Gophers on Twitter.

“I’m Ready to Row The Boat,’’ Williams tweeted. “#Committed.’’

Williams, 5-11 and 160 pounds, is the 11th-rated junior college cornerback by recruiting-focused website 247Sports.com. The Stockbridge, Ga., native had scholarship offers from Boise State, UNLV, Texas-San Antonio and Washington State, among others.

Williams had seven interceptions, 17 pass breakups and 48 tackles (6.5 for loss) for Highland as a sophomore this season. He will have two years of eligibility remaining with the Gophers.

The addition of Cheney and Williams gives the Gophers 24 players who have given verbal commitments for the Class of 2019. The Gophers’ class is ranked 34th nationally and eighth among Big Ten teams by the 247Sports composite of major national recruiting services.

Recruits can sign their national letters of intent during the early signing period, which runs from Dec. 19 to 21.

Fleck, U land three-star cornerback from Kansas junior college

Damarion Williams, a three-star cornerback from Highland (Kan.) Community College, announced via Twitter on Saturday night that he has given a verbal commitment to the Gophers.

“I’m Ready to Row The Boat,’’ Williams tweeted. “#Committed.’’

Williams, 5-11 and 160 pounds, is the 11th-rated junior college cornerback by recruiting-focused website 247Sports.com. The Stockbridge, Ga., native had scholarship offers from Boise State, UNLV, Texas-San Antonio and Washington State, among others.

Williams had seven interceptions, 17 pass breakups and 48 tackles (6.5 for loss) for Highland as a sophomore this season. He will have two years of eligibility remaining with the Gophers.

Williams announced his decision during his official visit to Minnesota, part of the Gophers’ “Twin Cities Takeover’’ recruiting weekend that features visits from approximately 25 players. His decision gives the Gophers 23 players who have given verbal commitments for the Class of 2019. The Gophers’ class is ranked 36th nationally and eighth among Big Ten teams by the 247Sports composite of major national recruiting services.

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