Posted: 1:16 pm Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

Reports: Atlantic DE Wedley Estime verbally commits to Minnesota 

By Jeff Greer

Talk about blowing up.

Atlantic defensive end Wedley Estime committed to Minnesota on Monday night, several reports say. Estime (6-4, 215, No. 39 on the Big Board) chose the Gophers over Kansas, FAU, Western Michigan and several others. His stock has soared since his highlight film made the rounds with recruiters. It helps that he had 11 sacks, 70 tackles, four forced fumbles and two pass break-ups.

All that for a kid who did not have a single scholarship offer to play football before the season, nor had he played a single down of organized football. But he does have the motor and the measureables — he runs a 4.6 40 and has a 39-inch vertical leap — to match the numbers he put up in 2010.

“This kid has the type of energy to play on Sundays,” Atlantic defensive line coach Kelcey Brooks said last week. “When he gets in a program, he’s gonna put on 20-to-30 pounds of muscle. He’s gonna be a monster.”

For starters, Estime’s going to be playing BCS-level football on Saturdays. He’ll join a classmate of his from Atlantic, Jephete Matilus, at Minnesota. Matilus, a senior linebacker, has also committed to play for the Gophers. He had wavered slightly on his commitment, but has not decommitted.

Verbal commitments are nonbinding. Players can sign letters of intent on national signing day, Feb. 2.