Top In-State Football Commit Vows to Stay with Gophers No Matter the NIL Offer

Photo: Clint Austin - Duluth News Tribune

Earlier this week, the Minnesota Gophers landed one of the highest-rated and most skilled in-state commitments in recent history. Koi Perich is a 2024 4-star (.9000) safety, according to 247Sports, whose size and athleticism has made him a man amongst boys playing all sides of the ball for Esko High School, a small town of 2,000 people just outside of Duluth.

His Hudl highlights look like the Harrison Smith version of Deion Sanders. A Junior this year, Perich weighed in at 6’1″, 195 lbs and, given how much bigger he is than a lot of the kids on the field, those measurements seem legitimate.

Koi Perich commitment comes just as his recruitment was heating up.

The in-state phenom didn’t commit to the Gophers because they were his only option. In fact, his recruiting was just recently gaining helmet school steam. Since Minnesota offered Perich back in October 2022, he has received offers from six other Big Ten schools including Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska and, most recently, Michigan.

When I first watched Koi Perich’s film, it was bitter sweet. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen someone look as dominant on a high school football field as he did during his Junior season. Surely, Michigan, Penn State or Ohio State, teams that all have more NIL money and better odds to win an NCAA championship, will swing through later and offer this kid a six or seven figure deal he cannot refuse.

Perich received an SEC offer a few weeks ago from Vanderbilt so it’s even possible that NIL juggernauts like Alabama, Georgia, Texas A&M or Tennessee could come calling. So, what are the chances that Koi Perich ever plays a down in maroon and gold?

A vow to Minnesota

Well, the Esko kid claimed in a recent interview with’s Ryan Burns, that he’s already put those possibilities into his decision-making. Perish vows that, no matter the NIL deal he eventually gets offered, he’s staying home to help build something special in Dinkytown.

“I’m 100% going to stay with the Gophers. They’re the school that I think I see myself in. Even if a cash check comes my way from elsewhere. I’m going to stay with the Gophers. I want to write my own story, so let’s keep it going.”

Koi Perich via (247Sports)

It’s important to remember that this is a 17-year-old kid so all promises/vows must be taken with a grain of salt. No matter, it’s great to see a young talent with star capabilities who is so dedicated to his hometown school. We’ll see if the young man can keep such a big promise.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan

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