Dominick London, a 5-foot-9, 197-pound senior running back from East Ridge, committed to Minnesota in June. He became the fifth verbal for the Gophers in the Class of 2017 and the fourth in-state commitment. London helped lead the Raptors to the Class 6A Prep Bowl title game as a junior.
London has rushed 141 times for 742 yards and ten touchdowns this season after missing two games with an injury.
London rushed 319 times for 2211 yards and 20 scores as a junior.
Gopher Hole recently caught up with London to learn the latest on his senior season and commitment to Minnesota.
Gopher Hole: You committed to Minnesota back in June. What was the reason that you decided that Minnesota was where you wanted to play college football?
Dominick London: I didn't have a lot of basic reasons because, one, I love the coaching staff and two, I have a lot of friends, actually, who are currently on the team in one part of time, Seth Green, Carter Coughlin. I have known the guys, growing up, playing football all those years and mostly, because of my family. I want them to have the opportunity to see me play. I also love Minnesota. Right when I got the offer, I knew where I wanted to go and that was mainly my goal, to get an offer from there, so I fulfilled what I wanted to do. This is where I wanted to go.
Gopher Hole: You mentioned those former teammates and current Gophers Seth Green and Connors Mohs and Grant Ryerse, who had also committed to Minnesota. Had you talked to them much before you made your decision?
Dominick London: Oh, yes. I most definitely did. Me and Kamal (Martin) always talked about it. Right when he got his offer and committed, I decided that I was going to get to that program and just fell in love with it. Ever since that moment, it was just Minnesota.
Gopher Hole: Obviously, they have had a coaching change since the Gophers started recruiting you. What if any impact did that have on you and your recruitment?
Dominick London: I didn't really pay no mind to that. Coach Claeys really liked what I could offer. I love Coach Cleays and think that he is an amazing coach. I am excited to play for him most of all.
Gopher Hole: What has your impressions of the Gophers been so far this year?
Dominick London: They started off strong. They lost to Iowa and Penn State, which I thought was a fluke to me. I just thought that they didn't come out to play as strong as they could. I knew that when they played Iowa, it was going to be a good game, so I also went to that game. So far, I think that are doing pretty solid. I think that there is always room for improvement and I am just excited for them. I just love coming to their games and seeing what they can do as a team and as a coaching staff. My impression of them is that they are doing pretty decent and they can go far.
Gopher Hole: They have two outstanding sophomore running backs in Rodney Smith and Shannon Brooks. What do you think of them as rushers?
Dominick London: Those guys are amazing. When I get there, I am definitely going to try to pick up as lot of pointers and try to mimic them to improve my game at any point. I think of them, as a person, too, off the field, are amazing people. They knew that I was a commit and they took me under their shoulders and showed me around and showed me how the running backs practices would look like, so I thought that was really beneficial to me and I really look up to them as role models.
Gopher Hole: How does your rushing style compare to theirs?
Dominick London: I would say that me and Shannon probably have the more comparable rushing styles. The power and the ability to make one miss or make one pay. I think that I could do pretty much do anything at any certain point for the team. I think that I would myself to Shannon the most.
Gopher Hole: They are going to be a juniors when you are a freshman. Does that concern you at all in terms of your potential playing time? Do you think about that at all?
Dominick London: You know, doesn't concern me at all. I know that they are going to do their thing and I am going to come in and maybe redshirt, maybe not, I'm not sure yet, but most definitely going to take as much information as I can get out of it to make my game better, so I'm not really worried about that right now.
Gopher Hole: How about your senior season? How pleased are you with the team's play so far and the 6-1 start?
Dominick London: Our team is actually doing pretty solid. I got hurt in the Cretin game. I sprained my ankle, but it's not anything serious. I might be playing in this game Wednesday against Woodbury, so I am actually planning on playing. My replacement, A.J. Tittle, has been doing a lot of work and I am proud of me. I always knew that he had it in him. I think this is good for the team as well, because, we are like a dual threat, between me, A.J. and our quarterback, Ty Okada, so I think me being out and him getting more carries, really boosted his experience and his confidence. There are good things that come out of bad things, if you really think about it.
Gopher Hole: I know that you are a competitive kid and want to be out there, but in a way, you might be a little bit fresher when it comes to the playoffs since you are not getting hit?
Dominick London: Most definitely. That is what a lot of people have been saying to me. This break has been pretty nice. I have been rehabbing with our trainer and it is going pretty well, so it has definitely been a nice break for me and hopefully, I'll get back on the practice team tomorrow with my team for game day.
Gopher Hole: You lost to Lakeville North in the opener last year, but bounced back to make it to the Prep Bowl last year, losing a heartbreaker to Osseo. This year, you lost a close game to Lakeville North in the opener. You have won six straight games since then. Have you talked about the similarities of bouncing back from a loss in the opener to end up having a great year?
Dominick London: Yes. That has most definitely helped us get us through the first game of the year. I came out talking to the team and said "You guys, we have a lot of people starting on varsity that haven't started on varsity and the jitters can get you beat in a varsity game." I most definitely think that our team did amazing for a lot of kids who are starting on varsity for the first time and I was not mad after that game, not whatsoever because, one, it was the first game and two, we still had a lot to work on, still have some kinks here and there that we didn't know how to work out yet and we needed just a little extra time and by the second game and on, we perfected those as well as we could and we have gone a six game winning streak and hopefully, we can keep going.
Gopher Hole: What things are you really working this year to improve yourself as a running back?
Dominick London: I would say probably getting my cutting ability a lot better. My deceleration and acceleration. I wanted to go from going 100% to zero in a heartbeat. Make people miss even easier and I want to work on my breakaway speed as well. That is mainly the two things that I have been focusing on my game this year to improve on.
Gopher Hole: Do you know when you are going to take your official visit yet?
Dominick London: I'm actually not sure yet. I am actually collaborating with Grant (Ryerse) to see when he is going to do his. We were going to do it this weekend when they play Rutgers for homecoming, but it doesn't sound like we are doing that anymore. I'm not sure yet. Hopefully, soon, though.