ESPN Staff Writer
If Minnesota coach P.J. Fleck is looking for someone to row the boat, he might hand his latest recruit the oar.
Offensive lineman Daniel Faalele, a 6-foot-8, 395-pound lineman, committed to the Golden Gophers on Saturday night.
The giant prospect is originally from Melbourne, Australia, and had no football experience before transferring to the IMG Academy. He was found by a Hawaii recruiter in a Melbourne gym and eventually attended one of Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh’s satellite camps in Australia.
Word spread quickly of Faalele’s size and raw ability, and he received scholarship offers from Alabama, Florida State, Georgia, LSU and Michigan, among others, based on potential alone.
This season was Faalele’s first playing football.
While the Land of 10,000 Lakes will be far from his original home, Faalele will be joined by IMG Academy teammates Curtis Dunlap Jr., an ESPN 300 offensive lineman who also committed to Minnesota on Saturday, and quarterback Zack Annexstad, who committed as a preferred walk-on.
Faalele’s commitment gives Minnesota four four-star recruits, which is the most in one class for the Gophers since ESPN started its rankings in 2006.