Mo Ibrahim is returning to the Minnesota Gophers next season.
The 2020 Big Ten Running Back of the Year announced the news Wednesday morning on a video posted to social media.
Ibrahim could have entered the 2022 NFL draft and will instead put his professional football career on hold. In fact, the Olney, Md., product could have entered the 2021 NFL draft but opted to come back for another campaign this year under head coach P.J. Fleck.
In the Gophers’ season opener against then-No. 4 Ohio State, Ibrahim gashed the Buckeyes for 163 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 30 carries. His 19-yard touchdown run in the third quarter gave Minnesota a 21-17 lead in front of a sellout crowd at Huntington Bank Stadium.
However, disaster struck late in the third quarter. Ibrahim tried to break a tackle of a Buckeyes defender but crumpled to the ground with an injury. It was later determined he suffered a torn Achilles and he was ruled out for the season.
“It felt like I was living a nightmare,” Ibrahim said in the video. “The season I’d been dreaming of all offseason was just gone in a blink of an eye. I was crushed.”
As a team captain, Ibrahim stuck with the Gophers and is seen on the sideline every Saturday coaching up Minnesota’s young backfield of Mar’Keise Irving and Ky Thomas.
“I can’t wait to be back with my brothers, my teammates, these coaches, the University of Minnesota and the state,” Ibrahim said.
Ibrahim will have another season to continue to build his Gophers legacy. He ranks eighth in program history with 3,003 rushing yards, fourth in rushing touchdowns (33) and is tied for first with three games of 200+ rushing yards.
In 2020, he was named the conference’s top back after rushing for 1,076 yards and 15 scores on 201 attempts (5.4 average).
“Minnesota, it’s time to row.”