Riverdale wide receiver Rashad Canty, left, talks with offensive coordinator Terrone Owens during Friday’s game against Jonesboro. Canty flew to Minnesota over the weekend for an official college visit. (Staff Photo: Derrick Mahone)
RIVERDALE — Rashad Canty didn’t know quite what to expect from his visit at Minnesota over the weekend.
The three-star recruit got a little more than he expected when he witnessed the Golden Gophers upset then-No. 25 Nebraska during his official visit.
“It was a real good visit,” Canty said Monday afternoon via cellphone. “It was better than what I’d expected. The campus was real nice with a lot of new buildings. It was a good visit.”
And what made it even better is the win.
The Gophers had lost 16 consecutive games to Nebraska. They hadn’t defeated the Cornhuskers since 1960 — hadn’t even held the lead against them since 1969, which is why the victory setoff a big celebration on the field.
The victory made the Gophers (6-2, 2-2 Big Ten) bowl eligible, but with four regular-season games remaining, they have bigger goals.
Fans stormed the field after the final buzzer on the 34-23 victory. And Canty was in the midst of the celebration.
“It was a big win for the school,” he said. “It was pretty crazy out there, but it was exciting. This program is coming up.”
During his weekend visit, longtime friend and Gophers freshman wide receiver Donovahn Jones was his host. The two played together on the Clayton County Timberwolves on a 7-8-year-old basketball team. Jones played his high school football at Dutchtown, where current Riverdale coach Terry Herrod was defensive coordinator during his time.
“Yeah, I’ve known him (Donovahn) a long time,” Canty said.
Canty, a 6-foot-4, 210-pounder senior, said he is still committed to Appalachian State, but will take other school visits. He committed to the North Carolina school in June after a visit to its campus.
Next season, Appalachian State will move from the Football Championship Subdivision to the Football Bowl Subdivision, the NCAA’s highest division. The Mountaineer program is a former powerhouse in the FCS, and will move into the Sun Belt Conference.
Canty said he will either visit Appalachian State this weekend and might take a trip to attend the No. 3 Florida State at Florida game later this month.
Although the temperature in Minneapolis was in the low 50s, Canty said he wasn’t prepared for the weather. He came back with a sore throat. Riverdale is idle this week before playing a Region 4-AAAA play-in game.
“The weather up there doesn’t bother me, but I just didn’t take the right clothing,” Canty said. “I’m still not sure about my other visits.”