May 4, 2008

Rivals250 back ends his recruitment

Hasan Lipscomb will be coming to a Big Ten field near you.

The Rivals250 four-star out of Houston (Texas) Cypress Ridge has ended his recruitment and will be leaving SEC and Big 12 country for the Big Ten and Minnesota.

"I went ahead and committed to Minnesota," Lipscomb said. "I just got off the phone with Coach Hammock. He sounded like he almost jumped out of his skin because all of his hard work paid off."

Lipscomb sited the respect he had for Coach Hammock and the Minnesota coaching staff and the great job that they did recruiting him out of Houston.

"Of all the coaches, he's the one that's showing the most love," he said. "He came all the way down here even though he got delayed on one of his flights. He still made it down even though he didn't get to see us play."

The trust that he built with Coach Hammock allowed Lipscomb to take to heart a promise to get him on the field contributing early in his career.

"Every coach at every college says the same thing that you're going to come in and play early," he said. "He's a man of his word. He said that I'm going to come in and he said 'I want you to have 1,500 yards. You're going to be my back when that brand new stadium opens.' He said just watch our Spring Game. They're really in need of running backs. They're not that deep in that position. They've been missing one since Marion Barber and Lawrence Maroney."

That opportunity to come in early and contribute right away was also a big factor in allowing him to feel good about picking Minnesota over his other finalist, LSU.

"I've always been an LSU fan but when I look into the deal, LSU is a four running back system so you're only allowed so many carries in one game," he said. "If a ball is shared 20 times a game, that means you only get the ball five times a game. So I'm taking the 20-25 carries a game over the five.

"There will be great competition but there's great competition wherever you go. [LSU] has already got two running backs committed so I'd already be the third back in the system as a freshman."

The commitment is the fifth for Minnesota in the class of 2009 and it is a huge one.

Lipscomb rushed for over 1,600 yards as a junior on only 209 carries, reaching the end zone 28 times. His explosiveness is evident as a kick returner as well. The 5-foot-11, 200-pounder returned five kicks as a junior. He took two of them back for touchdowns for a 55-yard average.

With a talent like that, there is sure to be continued recruitment from opposing college coaches. However, Lipscomb is set in his decision and is ready to focus on his senior year.

"Actually I feel real good," he said. "I was testing all week as far as the state test. I took my SAT yesterday. I'm just trying to get everything out of the way and just to focus on my senior year. I'm sure that I want to be a Gopher. There's not gonna be no second thoughts."

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