Winona High School defensive lineman Aaron Witt wants more time to explore the college football recruiting process.
That’s why he backed off his oral commitment to the Gophers’ 2020 recruiting class earlier this week.
“He’s not saying he’s not going to be a Gopher,” Winona head football coach John Cassellius said. “I really think he’s looking for the best fit.
“When you commit early, you don’t really have those opportunities to compare and contrast.”
Witt, a 6-foot-5, 230-pound defensive end considered a three-star recruit and top five from Minnesota, pledged his commitment to the Gophers during his junior season last November.
Witt has scheduled visits to Iowa and Iowa State in the next few weeks, Cassellius said.
The Cyclones and Hawkeyes extended scholarship offers to Witt more than a year ago.
Over the past month, Witt started to express reservations about his decision.
Knowing Witt’s hesitation, the Gophers invited Witt and Cassellius for a repeat visit to Dinkytown on Tuesday.
They meet with a panel of players and staff, including head coach P.J. Fleck.
While impressed with the message, Witt said he still wanted to reopen the recruiting process.
Cassellius said Gophers wide receivers coach Matt Simon, who recruits the state of Minnesota, telephoned Cassellius more than a week ago to express the Gophers’ interest remains.
The Gophers had a similar situation occur with Nolan Edmonds, a running back from Alpharetta, Ga., who originally committed to their 2018 class.
He then de-committed, only to commit to Minnesota again and then sign a letter of intent.
Edmonds redshirted last season.
NCAA rules preclude the Gophers from commenting on specific recruits until they are signed.
“I think he’s making a mature decision to find what’s right,” Cassellius said.
This summer, Witt will go to college camps.
Since de-committing, Witt has drawn interest from Wisconsin, Nebraska and California among others, Cassellius said.