Highly Coveted Transfer Commit Ryan Stapp Should Make Immediate Impact for Gophers Secondary

Photo: Jeremy Enlow – Abilene Christian University

PJ Fleck and the Minnesota Gophers coaching staff landed a highly coveted defensive gem out of the transfer portal this weekend. His name is Ryan Stapp and he comes from a familiar school, Abilene Christian University. Stapp’s commitment builds onto a newly-created recruiting pipeline with the FCS football factory.

The initial path from the North Star metro down to the Lone Star heartland was built by Jack Gibbens. A graduate transfer linebacker who came in as a relative unknown last offseason, the former ACU leading tackler jumped up to the FBS level and immediately became the glue to an elite 2021 Minnesota defense. Gibbens’ success proved how impactful the right transfer portal addition can be and he will be sorely missed next season.

Unlike Gibbens, Ryan Stapp has two years of eligibility remaining and had a plethora of suitors to choose from after announcing his plans to transfer from ACU a few weeks ago. Ryan Burns (GopherIllustrated.com) called him one of the most coveted defensive backs in the portal.

Immediate Impact Player

According to Stapp’s Twitter account, the 2nd-Team All-WAC CB had offers to play at Louisville, Nebraska, Mississippi State and Northwestern. With Coney Durr and Justus Harris leaving, Ryan Stapp should get every opportunity to start in the defensive backfield opposite of phenom Freshman CB Justin Walley.

Stapp’s highlight tape from Abilene Christian shows a defensive back who has elite athleticism for the FCS level. But what stands out even more are his instincts as a defender. That awareness, along with his willingness to make tackles and disrupt the outside run game, should translate to the power five level.

In this new transfer portal age, a pipeline with a really good FCS school could be crucial to the success of all power five football programs. If so, Fleck and his staff at the University of Minnesota are off to a good start down south. We’ll see if Stapp can have success like Gibbens did before him.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan