Nate Garth, a 6-foot-3 point guard from Woodrow Wilson High School in Dallas, Texas, saw an opportunity to help a Big Ten school right away and jumped at the chance.
Garth verbally committed to Minnesota on Tuesday. The California native said he liked the relationship he has formed with Tubby Smith.
"I felt really comfortable with coach Smith and he was really interested in me. He made me feel wanted just as much as I wanted them," Garth said. "That was a big part in it. Plus, he's been able to put guards into the league and overseas. After I finish college, I want to play for money so that was a big thing."
Playing for a program that is starting from scratch was a big attraction, Garth said.
"It is a big thing," Garth said. "Right now, their guards are not that good and he said he sees me coming in and helping right away. I want to get there and help them get to the NCAA tournament and be a contender and win championships."
There is a possibility that Garth enrolls early with the Gophers and joins the program by the end of the year.
"I'm accelerated in my academics so there is a chance that I can graduate in December and then be in classes in January," Garth said. "That would really help me get ahead of the game."
Garth, who also considered Cal, will join his teammates with Play Hard, Play Smart this weekend at the Arizona Cactus Classic in Tucson.