Gopher football might be on pause, but the program is already making 2022 recruiting moves.
Four-star Ohio defensive end Trey Bixby has committed to the Gophers. The 6-foot-5, 245-pound pass rusher held offers from Michigan State, Penn State, Cincinnati, Arkansas and others.
Last year, while playing for one of the top football programs in Ohio (St. Edward High School), Bixby accumulated 75 tackles, 3.5 sacks, five tackles for loss and 13 quarterback hurries.
He brings excellent length and upside to the Gophers’ defensive line. As a 16-year-old, Bixby is already developing his frame and overall physicality. Bixby has clearly spent time plenty of time working on his strength in the weight room. It is apparent how much of a physical jump he made between his freshman and sophomore years.
On film, Bixby showed flashes of physicality against the run. He used power and upper body strength to muscle through blockers. There were also several reps where he did an excellent job of setting the edge. As a young player, he was learning how to read his keys on the fly. This is an area that will continue to improve over time. His above average arm length helps him engage, extend and shed blockers. Bixby’s physical profile could allow him to play out of multiple alignments. He probably fits best as a five-technique, but may have the versatility to kick inside on pass rushing downs.
One of my favorite rushes on Bixby’s film occurs at the 11-minute mark below. I love how he used his hands and arm length for this specific rep. He struck the offensive tackle with a long arm and beautifully placed his hand. Bixby then finished the rush by dipping around the corner. Throughout Bixby’s film, I particularly noticed how he utilized his hands and arm length to set up his moves. Bixby is already showing flashes as a 16-year-old recruit. Over the next two years, he will continue working on polishing his athletic traits, including quick-twitch and agility.
Defensive line coach Chad Wilt recruited Bixby at Cincinnati and continued pursuing him after joining the Gophers. Trey’s relationship with Wilt was a key variable during the recruiting process. At every coaching stop, Wilt has a track record of developing defensive ends. It will be fun to watch Bixby’s pass rushing arsenal expand in Minnesota’s system.
Stay tuned for a subscriber exclusive film breakdown of Bixby! The video will include my long-term upside comparison for him.
Here’s a look at Trey’s film:
First, Happy Birthday to my Mom! I’m not here today without you! ya
Second, thank you to every single school that showed interest in me or gave me an opportunity at a college education and to play at the next level.
With that said… #RTB #SkiUMah #GoGophers #HYP22 pic.twitter.com/sN4wPqfinP
— Trey Bixby (@TreyBixby_91) August 13, 2020