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Minnesota redshirt senior QB Mitch Leidner said that his surgically-repaired foot has "never felt better."

In the winter, Leidner underwent surgery to repair four torn ligaments in his left foot. While he was limited in spring practice, all signs have been pointing toward a healthy summer. Looks like it played out to script. At B1G media days, the 6-foot-4, 237-pounder said that his foot has been feeling 100% healthy for approximately a month. Last season, Leidner threw for 2,701 yards (59.5% completions) with a 14/11 TD/INT ratio.
Source: ESPN.com
Jul 25 - 1:45 PM

Pro Football Focus' Steve Palazzolo "was surprised" to learn that draft experts gave Minnesota redshirt senior QB Mich Leidner first-round grades this offseason.

Palazzolo's crew graded the 157 FBS quarterbacks who played enough to be eligible. Leidner finished 137th, just below Christian Hackenberg. Palazzolo noted Leidner's size/speed combination as well as his high percentage of "big-time throws," downfield tosses and into tight coverage. "The problem was, what we call his "turnover-worthy throws," which were passes that should be intercepted, bad decisions, throws into coverage ... he also had a really high percentage of those, and it was one of the worst in the nation," Palazzolo said. ESPN's Todd McShay compared Leidner to a Carson Wentz/Blake Bortles type, a comp Palazzolo emphatically disagrees with, stating that the prospect simply must improve his "general decision-making and general accuracy" to be taken seriously as an elite prospect. "[Leidner is] more of a late-round type of guy, certainly not in the first-round mix at this point based on what we’ve seen," he said.
Jul 8 - 5:25 PM

Minnesota redshirt senior QB Mich Leidner is "not the first-round prospect some of the mainstream analysts claim he is," notes Pro Football Focus' Josh Liskiewitz.

"While he checks off all of the size and arm strength boxes NFL evaluators love, his negative plays far out-weigh positive flashes," Liskiewitz wrote. The 6-foot-4, 237-pounder threw for 2,701 yards (59.5% completions) with a 14/10 TD/INT ratio last season. "If he does not improve his decision-making and accuracy, he is likely to be outplayed by other, less experienced talent in the conference," Liskiewitz wrote. Leidner had 16 turnover-worthy plays to 14 touchdown passes last fall, an unacceptable ratio. ESPN's Mel Kiper ranks Leidner as the nation’s No. 2 senior QB behind Cal’s Davis Webb.
Jul 7 - 4:53 PM

Two-star JUCO OL Donnell Greene has committed to Minnesota for the 2016 season.

Greene is a massive human being, tipping the scales at 6-foot-7 and 345-pounds. He has three years of eligibility remaining. Greene chose Minnesota over Missouri, San Diego State and Akron, among other programs. The Gophers offensive line certainly showed their flaws last year.
Jun 29 - 10:13 AM

With regards to the NFL attention Minnesota redshirt senior QB Mich Leidner has received this offseason, HC Tracy Claeys said "I don’t pay attention much to the NFL stuff."

"He has the size, he has the skills they look for," Claeys said, adding that Leidner will "have to play well" first and "everybody gets a little ahead of themselves by writing articles like that." ESPN’s Todd McShay projects Leidner as the No. 25 pick and Mel Kiper ranks Leidner the nation’s No. 2 senior QB behind Cal’s Davis Webb. We're with Claeys on taking a wait-and-see approach. The 6-foot-4, 237-pounder had an unacceptable 51.5 completion percentage in 2014, posted an uninspiring 25/19 TD/INT ratio the past two years combined and played so inconsistently that Gopher fans were chanting for his backup as recently as this past October. It's true that the size, athleticism and arm strength all check Day 1 NFL boxes, and it's also true that Leidner improved rapidly down the stretch last season (the three-INT debacle in the finale against Wisconsin notwithstanding). We'll see how he does in new OC Jay Johnson system.
Jun 16 - 6:10 PM

Last year, Minnesota senior QB Mitch Leidner finished No. 2 in the Big 10 in QBR against the blitz.

"Note to Big Ten defenses: Don't blitz against Leidner," wrote Josh Moyer. "He was one of the rare quarterbacks who actually fared better against the blitz." Leidner's QBR bizarrely plummets to a below-average 52.1 when the heat is off. But when the defense dials up pressure, Leidner responded by going 57-of-93 (61.3 percent) for 660 yards and a 4/1 TD/INT rate last year.
Source: ESPN.com
Jun 14 - 7:59 PM

Minnesota head coach Tracy Claeys named redshirt senior T Jonah Pirsig the spring MVP.

This is very good news indeed for a Minnesota offensive line that simply must improve from its sorry performance last year. Pirsig, a two-year starter who has appeared in 32 games, is a monstrous 6-foot-9, 316-pound project who has NFL tools. Last year, he was named Minnesota's Offensive Lineman of the Year and an All-Big Ten Honorable Mention.
Source: ESPN.com
Jun 7 - 7:59 PM

Minnesota junior G Vincent Calhoun exited the spring as the Gophers' starting right guard.

The 6-foot-4, 335-pound offensive lineman is a hyped JUCO transfer imported to add beef to a vegan unit. HC Tracy Claeys already sees his big uglies changing their ways, saying Minnesota will "have a chance to knock people off the ball." "Vince has had a great spring," Miller told a group of reporters. In March, offensive line coach Bart Miller said of Calhoun: "He's shown he is a very tough competitor and, as he continues to grow and get more developed and understand the offense, I think you're starting to see him really mature."
Source: ESPN.com
Jun 7 - 7:24 PM

Senior JUCO S Eric Amoako transferred to Minnesota.

Amoako began his career at Oregon before transferring to Houston Baptist in 2014. The Gophers, who ranked No. 6 in the Big Ten last season in total defense, had scholarships available and will use Amoako for stopgap depth, if not more. Damarius Travis and Ace Rogers head into camp as starters.
Source: FOX Sports
Jun 3 - 7:50 PM

ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. wrote that we should not be surprised if Minnesota senior QB Mitch Leidner is a first-rounder in 2017.

Kiper and colleague Todd McShay might be sharing a brain (or, if nothing else, notes), as the same week that the former pushed Leidner as a potential surprise non-surprise first-rounder, the latter mocked the 6-foot-4, 237-pounder to pick No. 25, which would be held by the Cowboys according to Vegas Super Bowl odds (a reliable metric if there ever was one). Last season, Leidner threw for 2,701 yards (59.5% completions) with a 14/10 TD/INT ratio. We really don't see a first-rounder here, though he does have the sort of frame and physical style of play that would make him worth a developmental selection after Day 1 in 2017.
May 21 - 7:46 PM

Minnesota HC Tracy Claeys said, "I believe this is our best football team since we’ve been here."

Minnesota finished 6-7 last year, but Claeys has raised the bar -- considerably -- for the coming season. When asked how many wins he foresees, he said, "It’s hard to put a number on it. Eight to 10 wins. Well, you win nine, and for around here they (haven’t) won 9 games in a (heck of a) long time." In this case, a "heck of a long time" stretches back over a decade. The team last won that many in 2003. Claeys is hoping that they will be in contention for the Big 10 this time around. "We’ve got this thing to where each year when you get to November, we should be in the talk of still playing for the championship of the Big Ten West."
May 19 - 2:58 PM

Minnesota HC Tracy Claeys said redshirt senior QB Mich Leidner (foot) will be 100-percent when upperclassmen begin pre-camp work in early June.

Leidner is rehabbing from the minor foot surgery he underwent following the team's win over Central Michigan in the Quick Lane Bowl. The 6-foot-4, 237-pounder posted a 14/10 TD/INT ratio last year.
May 16 - 1:45 PM

Former Minnesota redshirt sophomore WR Jeff Jones was arrested and charged with felony drug possession.

Jones was arrested on Thursday and officially charged on Friday. Making the matter all the more distressing, he had a firearm on his person at the time of his arrest, which would mean a minimum of three years in prison if convicted. During his time with the Gophers, academic issues and injuries marred what could have been a promising career. He ranked as Rivals' No. 7 RB recruit for the 2014 cycle. In January, he transferred to Iowa Western Community College, but was dismissed from the team in April due to a violation of team rules. He is also facing an assault charge from March. Thursday's arrest might have ended his college career unless he is somehow able to fly free and clear from these serious legal problems.
May 14 - 4:00 PM

Syracuse AD Mark Coyle has accepted the same position at Minnesota.

Syracuse HC Dino Babers offered a succinct enough response to the news when contacted by ESPN's Brett McMurphy, saying, "Are you serious? No comment." We wouldn't blame Babers for being a little irked, as Coyle was on the job with the Orange for less than a calendar year. He plans on starting up with the Gophers after Memorial Day. The 47-year-old Iowa native has prior ties with Minnesota, having served as associate AD of external relations with the school from 1999-2005. "I've been in this a long time. We love this place," Coyle said, adding that Minnesota is a "very special place."
Source: ESPN.com
May 12 - 12:17 PM

Jaguars sign Minnesota CB Briean Boddy-Calhoun.

Boddy-Calhoun (5'10/193) was a two-year starter in the Gophers' secondary, piling up nine interceptions and 15 pass breakups across his final two seasons. The ballhawk showed plus athleticism in Indy, blazing 4.47 with a 10-foot-4 broad jump and 35-inch vertical. On game tape, Boddy-Calhoun allowed too much separation when aligned on the perimeter, and will have to become a full-time NFL slot corner. He'll open his career covering punts and kicks.
May 4 - 4:04 PM


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