Gophers football 2021 spring practice: 5 things to watch

BleedGopher

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per Wald:

EXPERIENCE RETURNS ON OFFENSIVE LINE

When P.J. Fleck held his first spring practice four years ago, the Gophers had just four healthy offensive lineman. This year, they have more than double that, and most have playing experience from 2020. It’s a group that includes John Michael Schmitz, Conner Olson, Axel Ruschmeyer, Nathan Boe, Sam Schlueter and Blaise Andries. Daniel Fa’alele is back after opting out of the 2020 season, and Curtis Dunlap Jr. could be back in the fall after suffering an Achilles injury last year. Success on offense starts at the line of scrimmage, and the Gophers have depth and experience up front.

The Gophers haven’t had an offensive lineman drafted in 18 years. That’s about to change.


Go Gophers!!
 

MplsGopher

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Even without Dunlap you still have a very strong starting five:

LT - Schlueter
LG - Andries/Olson
C - JMS
RG - Olson/Andries
RT - Faalele
 

Taji34

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Ugh...wanted to hear "will be back soon".
My fingers are crossed that they are keeping him out of full Spring practice out of an abundance of caution. I suppose we'll see in the summer team-led workouts if he joins.
 

Gophergrandpa

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Even without Dunlap you still have a very strong starting five:

LT - Schlueter
LG - Andries/Olson
C - JMS
RG - Olson/Andries
RT - Faalele
And Ruschmeyer, Ersary and Guedet are good at 6 through 8, even if Curtis is sidelined for a while. Plus Boe, Beier and others have probably developed some. We are as deep at OL a I've seen in many years.

My concern for 2021, as for 2020, is the strength, depth and play of the DL. It looks as though Pickney from Clemson has helped in terms of attitude, energy and leadership. And kids like Carter, Cheney, Richter and, hopefully, some of last year's recruits are coming along. Hope the DL makes big strides forward in 2021.
 

short ornery norwegian

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Areas of Concern:
Developing WR position
Depth/talent level at DB
Identifying backup QB. Yes, Morgan plays every snap if he's healthy. But, if he does get hurt,
someone else does have to play QB. Men At Work want to know: "Who can it be now?"
 

Go U Phars

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Areas of Concern:
Developing WR position
Depth/talent level at DB
Identifying backup QB. Yes, Morgan plays every snap if he's healthy. But, if he does get hurt,
someone else does have to play QB. Men At Work want to know: "Who can it be now?"
This is a good list but what I want to is the return of the passing game, that vertical attack that just shreds a defense. The other thing we need is to stop the run. Those are my top two.
Also can we find a reliable punter and kicker. It can't be that hard to fill those two spots.
 

MplsGopher

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Identifying backup QB. Yes, Morgan plays every snap if he's healthy. But, if he does get hurt,
someone else does have to play QB.
Even Clemson lost a game when Lawrence was out.

I think you pretty much go for broke with the starter, when there is an established, objectively top dog starter, every time.
 

Redbird

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If Mo goes down - are Potts and Wiley (or others just as unproven) able to step up?

Zack could start for many schools in the conference - backup qb is in good hands.

Can last season's inexperienced defense show enough improvement to win some games for us?

We have reliable kickers on the squad - covid cost us big time last season.
 

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Even Clemson lost a game when Lawrence was out.
And they had to slum it with DJ Uiagalelei who was a 5* and #10 recruit in the nation (#10 composite, #2 per 247).

In the two games he started, he threw for 342 in a W over BC and 439 in a double OT loss to notre dame. For the season, he was 7-117 (66.7%), 914 yds, 5 tds and 0 int.
 

Plato

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I continue to say a non mobile"Pro Style" QB needs a good receiving TE as his best friend.
 

MplsGopher

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And they had to slum it with DJ Uiagalelei who was a 5* and #10 recruit in the nation (#10 composite, #2 per 247).

In the two games he started, he threw for 342 in a W over BC and 439 in a double OT loss to notre dame. For the season, he was 7-117 (66.7%), 914 yds, 5 tds and 0 int.
For you to have a point, Clemson would've had to decide to continue the rest of the season with DJU. You know they didn't.

Regardless, we already have ZA identified. He'll get equal run as TM in spring, maybe the first part of fall camp as well.

When the season gets rolling, there is a reason the starting QB gets probably 90+% of the game prep reps during the week.
 

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For you to have a point, Clemson would've had to decide to continue the rest of the season with DJU. You know they didn't.

Regardless, we already have ZA identified. He'll get equal run as TM in spring, maybe the first part of fall camp as well.

When the season gets rolling, there is a reason the starting QB gets probably 90+% of the game prep reps during the week.
Not the point I was making, but you do you.
 

MplsGopher

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I don't know what it means, but Brady and two of his teammates won the Nekton Award last week for the final week before spring practice started on Monday. He is lovin' being a Golden Gopher.
No one knows what the hell half of Fleck's jargon is. Just go with it, nod your head, cheer loud. :)
 

fmlizard

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per Wald:

EXPERIENCE RETURNS ON OFFENSIVE LINE

When P.J. Fleck held his first spring practice four years ago, the Gophers had just four healthy offensive lineman. This year, they have more than double that, and most have playing experience from 2020.

I would hope so 8 healthy OL isn't even a two deep or enough to run a scrimmage.
 

Taji34

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I don't know what it means, but Brady and two of his teammates won the Nekton Award last week for the final week before spring practice started on Monday. He is lovin' being a Golden Gopher.
As far as I have been able to surmise, the award is essentially to highlight the player (or players) who worked the hardest that week. So it means he's working hard during practices!

Also, just fair warning, the board can be hot and cold on players sometimes. Hopefully everyone will love Brady and he'll have an amazing career as a Gopher, but don't take it too personally if someone here has some less-than nice things to say if Brady makes a mistake.
 

Full Speed Ahead

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I don't know what it means, but Brady and two of his teammates won the Nekton Award last week for the final week before spring practice started on Monday. He is lovin' being a Golden Gopher.
Nekton Award is for the players that put forth the best effort of the week, someone who "always attacks and is never satisfied" with their performance. They know they can always get better, and they're working to make that happen. Here's a quick overview for you on PJ's Nekton views.
 
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MplsGopher

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https://www.sbnation.com/college-fo...t-unusual-college-football-press-release-ever

The Western Michigan football team has a new approach in 2013, a different mentality, a NEKTON mentality. What is a NEKTON mentality, you ask? The definition of a NEKTON is this:

An actively swimming organism in a body of water, usually oceans or lakes, that is able to move independent of water currents, circumstances never dictate its behavior. NEKTON's are always attacking, and never full. (Great White Shark)

That same "always attacking, never satisfied" mantra will be the approach for WMU football in 2013. The WMU Broncos will be NEKTON's on the football field, and we need you to have the same mentality in the stands every Saturday.
 
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