Minnesota’s football team receives a verbal commit

Dominic Alford, an offensive lineman from Ohio, gave his commitment.

David McCoy

Minnesota’s football team has received a verbal commitment from Shaker Heights, Ohio, offensive lineman Dominic Alford.

Alford committed to the Gophers on Oct. 28 after a visit from Minnesota offensive coordinator and tight ends/tackles coach Mitch Browning the week before.

Alford said the biggest reason he chose the Gophers over other interested teams was because Minnesota seemed to be the most interested, and he loved its offensive system.

“My high school ran on like 90 percent of our plays,” Alford said. “I’m a run blocker to the core.”

The 6-foot-3-inch, 310-pound lineman was Shaker Heights’ pulling tackle this past season and said the fact that Minnesota likes to pull its lineman was another appealing factor.

“Coach Browning told me Minnesota likes to pull a lot,” Alford said. “And one of my favorite things to do is catch defensive linemen and linebackers off guard and blast them.”

Minnesota has also been a consistent producer of premium offensive linemen, which made the Gophers even more appealing, Alford said. Shaker Heights coach Dave Sedmak said he expects Alford to play guard at Minnesota because of his height.

Minnesota was the first school to offer Alford a scholarship. He said Toledo made an offer as well, and other schools that showed interest include Michigan State, Illinois, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Ohio and Miami, Ohio.

But the fact that Minnesota already has many Ohio natives aided his decision as well, Alford said.

Alford said he’s undecided on a field of study, but said he’s leaning toward sports medicine or sports management.

Alford, who bench-presses 350 pounds, obviously has size going for him. But with a 5.2 second 40-yard dash time, his speed is equally as impressive.

“It’s a combination of the two,” Sedmak said. “It seems like he’s tailor-made for what the Gophers like to do.”