When Muhammad “Mo” Saine takes off the black and red for the final time after the upcoming football season, he’ll be trading it in for maroon and gold in 2024.
The Eden Prairie Eagles junior defensive tackle announced on Twitter last week that he has committed to play college football at the University of Minnesota.
“First of all, I would like to thank my family, especially my mom,” Saine said in the tweet. “I would like to thank all the coaches that believed in me! Last but not least, I would like to thank Coach Fleck and all the other coaches for giving me the opportunity to play for my home state.
“I look forward to doing big things here! With that said, I’m staying home!”
As a junior in 2022, Saine helped lead Eden Prairie to a 9-3 record and an appearance in the state playoffs at U.S. Bank Stadium, where the Eagles fell to Rosemount after a closely-fought defensive battle in the semifinal round.
At 6-5 and 270 pounds, Saine had never strapped on a helmet and pair of shoulder pads until his sophomore year of high school. But he will make the leap to a Power 5 program after providing a menacing presence on head coach Mike Grant’s defensive unit last season.
“I like that every play you get to go 100 percent,” Saine said before the 2022 campaign, sharing his love for football. “I used to have a problem with putting effort into everything I do, but football you can go 100 percent every time and I like that.”
As a three-star recruit for P.J. Fleck’s Golden Gophers, Saine is ranked as the sixth highest high school recruit in Minnesota at any position and the 76th-ranked recruit nationally by position, according to college football website 247sports.com.
Saine follows in the footsteps of a number of defensive standouts with Eden Prairie roots who’ve played at Minnesota in recent years, including linebackers Blake Cashman and Carter Coughlin, as well as safety Antoine Winfield Jr., all of whom are currently playing in the NFL.
The Gophers finished fourth in the Big Ten West in 2022, going 5-4 in the conference and 9-4 overall, including a victory over Syracuse in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in December.
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