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According to Minnesota HC Jerry Kill, redshirt junior QB Mitch Leidner has been "the best [Kill's] seen him look since [Kill's] been [t]here."

Said Kill, "The first three or four days of camp, [Leidner] wasn't as sharp as he wanted to be, but I can tell you the last two weeks he has been unbelievably sharp," adding that the 6-foot-4, 237-pound redshirt junior "has done a really, really good job." In 12 starts last season, Leidner completed 122-of-237 passes for 1,798 yards and 11 touchdowns while rushing 126 times for 452 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Aug 29 - 8:03 PM

According to Minnesota HC Jerry Kill, the team will not be using a no-huddle offense this season.

"We experimented with [a no-huddle offense] a little," said Kill, before going on to completely shoot down the idea with "we've been a huddle team, that's who we are." The off-shoot of the Gophers tinkering with the uptempo pace in the spring is that the defense might be a little quicker to react to TCU's own blistering pace in Thursday's opener.
Aug 29 - 7:12 PM

Minnesota sophomore WR Jeff Jones missed Wednesday's practice with an unspecified injury.

This could be related to Jones' history of migraines, but there's no specific word as of yet. Out of high school, he was ranked as the No. 7 RB in the 2014 recruiting class by Rivals.com. He began a conversion from running back over to wide receiver in the spring. The 6-foot, 196-pound duel-threat has looked out of sync at times this August after putting in a strong spring, but head coach Jerry Krill tried to downplay this, noting that the sophomore "took a ton of snaps [in the scrimmage] Saturday. You’ve got to understand, he has not played football in a while." On the "not playing football" comment, Krill is alluding to the fact that Jones was academically ineligible last season.
Aug 20 - 3:31 PM

Minnesota HC Jerry Krill indicated that true freshman RB Shannon Brooks would need to continue to work on protection in the passing game.

Brooks rushed for 91 yards on 16 carries in Saturday's scrimmage. Krill was complimentary of his new 6-foot, 205-pound back, but acknowledged there were still aspects of his game he needed to work on if he wanted to see extended playing time. "There's more to it than just running the ball," said the head coach, adding that Brooks is a "great talent" and a "very gifted kid." Brooks, Rodney Smith, Rodrick Williams and Berkley Edwards are all running backs in the Gopher stable as the team tries to replace the immaculate work of recently drafted Tennessee Titan David Cobb. ESPN and Rivals both rated Brooks as a three-star recruit out of high school.
Aug 20 - 3:10 PM

NFL Media analyst Chad Reuter wrote that Minnesota redshirt senior OLB De'Vondre Campbell is "just scratching the surface of his potential."

Reuter noted that Campbell "moves better than expected in the open field" for somebody who clocks in at 6-foot-5, 238 pounds, then went on to emphasize that the senior deserves to be drafted based on his duel abilities to create havoc in the backfield and hunt down runners who reach the second level. Last season, he made 75 tackles (6.5 for loss), recorded 2.5 sacks and recovered three fumbles while picking off one pass. TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline has Campbell graded as a potential fourth-round selection.
Source: NFL.com
Aug 18 - 8:12 PM

Minnesota redshirt senior edge rusher Theiren Cockran "has the get-off to pressure the edge and the long strides to chase plays from behind, potentially setting up a move to the rush linebacker position," notes NFL Media draft analyst Chad Reuter.

"This tall, lean defensive end has been a thorn in the side of Big Ten offensive lines the past two seasons," Reuter wrote. Indeed, the 6-foot-6, 257-pound Cockran has collected 17 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks since 2013. "If scouts think he's strong enough to handle containment responsibilities against NFL tackles, he'll rise up this list," Reuter wrote.
Source: NFL.com
Aug 9 - 12:51 PM

TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline reports that NFL scouts grade Minnesota CB Briean Boddy-Calhoun above teammate CB Eric Murray, but he has that order flipped.

"Both have next level ball skills but I prefer Murray’s size/speed advantage as well as his ability to make plays with his back to the ball," he wrote. Despite that assertion, Pauline gives both Golden Gopher cover aces identical Rd. 3 grades heading into the year.
Jul 31 - 7:54 PM

Minnesota coach Jerry Kill told reports that he's been seizure-free for over a year and a half.

"I’m doing great," Kill said. Kill, who suffers from epilepsy, had a seizure following a loss to Northwestern in 2012 and missed the second half of a game against Western Illinois in 2013. The ailment forced him to coach from the press box at the end of 2013, but he was on the sideline in 2014 and will be back in 2015.
Jul 31 - 6:52 PM

TFY Draft Insider's Tony Pauline "think[s] highly" of Minnesota redshirt senior OLB De'Vondre Campbell.

"He’s a scheme diverse three down defender that displays exceptional skill in space," Pauline wrote. The 6-foot-5, 225-pound Campbell has always been rangy and highly athletic, but it's taken him several years to get his game off the ground. He made huge strides last season under the Golden Gophers' technique-sound coaching staff, and another jump in his play will result in a vault up draft boards. As a first-year starter in 2014, Campbell recorded 75 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, three fumble recoveries and one interception. Pauline grades him as a Rd. 4 prospect.
Jul 31 - 5:36 PM

Minnesota redshirt senior CB Briean Boddy-Calhoun is "willing to throw his body into ball carriers to stop them in their tracks, making him an interesting nickel prospect (which is basically a starting position in the NFL nowadays)," notes NFL Media draft analyst Chad Reuter.

"The Gophers have two of the top corners in the country with Eric Murray and Boddy-Calhoun (5-11, 188), a junior college transfer who was an all-conference selection by both league media (first team) and coaches (second team)," Reuter wrote. "He picked off five passes and broke up nine others using an innate ability to close on the ball in 2014." The 5-foot-11, 188-pound Boddy-Calhoun collected 51 tackles, 2 TFL, nine breakups and five interceptions in 10 starts last year.
Source: NFL.com
Jul 29 - 6:56 PM

ESPN's Mel Kiper ranks Minnesota senior CB Eric Murray as the No. 2 senior cornerback prospect in the land.

"A tough player who can press and ride down the field, Murray has played in 39 games and has every start over the last two seasons," he wrote. "Will be a player that QBs stay away from in 2015." The 6-foot, 196-pound Murray recorded 69 tackles, seven pass breakups, one interception, one fumble recovery and two blocked kicks to earn All-Big Ten Second Team honors last year.
Jul 11 - 7:55 PM

NFL Media ranks Minnesota No. 15 on its list of college football’s potential surprise teams.

"The Golden Gophers have the defense and kicking to win its share again, so a winning season won't be a surprise at all. What coach Jerry Kill's program needs is a stunner of an upset, and this could be the year for it," wrote College Football 24/7 writer Chase Goodbread. The Golden Gophers went 0-4 against Ohio State, TCU, Wisconsin and Missouri last season, its four hardest outs on the schedule. "It won't have to wait long for the chance: Minnesota opens the year against TCU on a nationally-televised Thursday night stage Sept. 3," Goodbread wrote. We think the Gophs will miss star RB David Cobb, but if Mitch Leidner takes another step forward as a passer, a very strong defense will be complemented by an effective offense that doesn't make mistakes.
Source: NFL.com
Jul 8 - 9:13 PM

Redshirt junior OLB De'Vondre Campbell "never lets up with consistent hustle through the whistle each snap," CBS Sports' Dane Brugler observes.

"Campbell looks the part in pads with near defensive end size, but he is a coordinated athlete on his feet, playing comfortable in space. He has smooth body control and flexible ankles with the read/react instincts to break quickly on the ball, but he tends to overrun his angles. Although he has room to become a better finisher at the tackle point, Campbell never lets up with consistent hustle through the whistle each snap," Brugler wrote. As a first-year starter in 2014, Campbell recorded 75 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, three fumble recoveries and one interception. The Minnesota prospect earned Academic All-Big Ten honors last season, and has already earned his degree in business and marketing education.
Source: CBS Sports
Jul 8 - 4:01 PM

CBS Sports' Dane Brugler notes that Minnesota redshirt senior CB Briean Boddy-Calhoun "is well-liked among scouts and might end up being the higher draft pick" between him and CB Eric Murray.

"He does a nice job in his transition with quick feet and smooth hips to play sticky coverage on the outside, but his reliability as a tackler needs improvement with his lack of size and muscle showing up often in run support. Although he's not as well-known as (Eric) Murray, Boddy-Calhoun is well-liked among scouts and might end up being the higher draft pick," Brugler writes. The former JUCO transfer, recorded 51 tackles, with 2.0 TFLs, nine pass breakups, and five interceptions in 10 starts last year. The Minnesota prospect has already earned his degree in elementary education and was named a co-captain for the 2015 season.
Source: CBS Sports
Jul 8 - 3:24 PM

Minnesota senior CB Eric Murray "is very well-rounded with good size, speed and physicality for the position," CBS Sports' Dane Brugler observes.

"Murray, who lines up as the boundary corner, doesn't stand out in one particular category, but he is very well-rounded with good size, speed and physicality for the position. He plays with confidence and is well-versed in press, off and zone coverages, showing off his versatility as a reliable run defender and blitzer," Brugler wrote. In 2014, the 6-foot, 196-pound Murray recorded 69 tackles, seven pass breakups, one interception, one fumble recovery and two blocked kicks, earning All-Big Ten Second Team honors.
Source: CBS Sports
Jul 8 - 2:46 PM


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