November 19, 2008

Gainer ready to explore new options

Minnesota linebacker coach John Butler indicated earlier this year that he would love to have three linebackers on the field in the mold of current Gopher linebacker Simoni Lawrence. The Gophers might have a chance this weekend to help lure that type of linebacker to Minnesota when Detroit (Mich.) Clarenceville outside linebacker Jeremy Gainer comes to town for his official visit. Gainter is currently committed to Indiana but indicated his verbal is soft and he is exploring all options.

Gainer committed to Indiana on June 28th but is now back on the market. "Right now the whole thing with Indiana is soft and I consider myself open again. I wanted to open back up so I could take the rest of my official visits," he said. "I went to Penn State last weekend on an unofficial visit and had a great time. I also took an official visit back to Kansas State in early October but realized that wasn't the place for me. I will trip to Minnesota this weekend and then to Indiana in early December. I am not sure where I will go for the other two trips."

Unless something changes a decision could come down to the trio of Big Ten schools. "Right now Indiana is the only school that I am considering that has an offer on the table. I am pretty sure I will get an offer from Minnesota this weekend because my coach told me that I should get one once I sit down and meet with the head coach this weekend. The Penn State coaches told me last weekend that they were going to stay in touch with me and see how things play out," Gainer indicated. "Even if Minnesota did offer this weekend it would be hard to switch and make a solid commitment on the spot. My mom is not going to be there with me and I would like to discuss the situation with her first. Also, I don't want to rush into a decision like I did with Indiana. I want to do my homework before I finalize another decision."

Gainer hopes to do a lot of research on that homework assignment this weekend. "I have been talking quite a bit recently with coach Ron Lee about Minnesota and what they have to offer but I have never been there and really don't know too much about the program going in to the trip," he admitted. "I have heard about the new facilities and the new stadium that will be ready to go next year. I have also heard about the great reputation they have with their business school and that is something of great interest for me and something I am excited to learn more about this weekend."

In the end it will come down to a comfort level for Gainer. "It will be very important to look at everything the program offers on the field and in the classroom, but equally important will be how comfortable I am with the coaches and players," Gainer said. "Everything else could be perfect but it won't matter if I cannot imagine myself being comfortable for the next four to five years. I just want to feel like I would be a welcome member of the Gopher family." ranks Gainer as the No. 13 prospect in the state of Michigan and the No. 15 outside linebacker in the country for the class of 2009.

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