This is what happens when you go 2 years without recruiting LBs

Replacement Gopher

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I believe Oliver is only LB in the classes of 2017 and 2018 with a power five offer. We see the results of that in our yards per play.

We have more linebackers playing who received Ivy League offers with no other Big Ten offers besides MN, than linebackers who had other Big Ten offers.
 

CentralGopher

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I believe Oliver is only LB in the classes of 2017 and 2018 with a power five offer. We see the results of that in our yards per play.

We have more linebackers playing who received Ivy League offers with no other Big Ten offers besides MN, than linebackers who had other Big Ten offers.
Called it last year but was told not to worry they'd be fine.
 

btowngopher

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The problem is that Martin and Barber never redshirted and then Fleck wasn't able to sign another LB other than Guthrie on a short time table in 2017. The 2018 class of linebackers I'm okay with, even if they weren't the most highly rated. Oliver obviously is missed, and Sori Marin you can get away with just fine as we saw last year. Aune doesn't have much in game experience, but I thought he played pretty well today, he has pretty good speed.
 

Bob_Loblaw

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They are going to get faster?
We need to be prowling for grad transfers.
Not sure we played a Linebacker today who had a single other Big Ten offer.
I'm completely fine with looking for LBers as grad transfers, but I think MSM is the only LBer who really lacks speed. His speed would also look a bit better if our DL could contain some gaps.
 

EG#9

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It doesn't make a difference, but I believe I remember hearing the MSM got late offers from a couple of B1G schools. If I remember correctly the Gophers offered him off Sophomore tape as he missed his Junior year with injury. Then his Senior year attracted some attention with his play, but he was set for Minnesota.

Also interesting is the transfer linebacker from Arizona the Gophers were in the mix for, Tony Fields, has played very well for West Virginia and has accepted a Senior Bowl invite. He chose WVU at a time where it looked like Minnesota wouldn't be playing a season. I could see a scenario where one really good linebacker makes all the difference in the world in this season for Minnesota given how underwhelming the competition has been.

That transfer didn't happen though and I share the concern on the LB's. Oliver had speed but he was more of a role player in 2019 than an every down backer and who knows how he would have taken to the role? Rossi really talked up MSM and he's had a rough year. Are the really young (Fr and rFr) guys slow or are they just playing slow? To go along with the LB's, before tonight I am not sure I could remember a play made by our interior DL against the run (Richter and Dew-Treadway both had stops that I know of tonight) and our edge guys have struggled to even contain so those issues make the LB's look even worse.

Overall our front six (we usually have 5 DB's out there) are neither fast nor physical and I'd love to able to say we were physical (have we stopped a single 3rd/4th and short all year?) just not fast or fast (do we ever run down the wide zone, wr screen, etc for a tackle for loss?) just not physical and be able to hope that an offseason of training can minimize the deficiency.
 

60's Guy

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I don’t see anybody on defense that looks fast. Happy that
Aune made the interception but he looks slow very often, as does MSM. Coney Durr our best DB just got torched and abused at every turn all night. Howard made some plays tonight...after we were told not too long ago he was quitting?

The defense played hard. They seemed to play better but better is not yet good.
Hard to see these same guys being excellent at any point in the future.

PJ is a very good salesman and motivator. A big part of recruiting is evaluating.
It seems very questionable to date that he excels at that. WRers ya, there’s hope.
RB, we got one only outta 4 or 5 that have got some carries. Maybe Potts makes 2.

Callahan seems like he’s our best coach.

Defensively, who is an all conference candidate, this year or next year? Not seeing that guy yet. Purdue’s backup QB was 35 for 43.
 
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Face The Facts

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PJ is a very good salesman and motivator. A big part of recruiting is evaluating.
It seems very questionable to date that he excels at that. WRers ya, there’s hope.
RB, we got one only outta 4 or 5 that have got some carries. Maybe Potts makes 2.
.
Oh. Good. I'm glad PJ "might" be good at something. Nothing good from the wide receivers under PJ so far, but "ya, there's hope".

If only PJ could find or develop a WR at some point, maybe we'd have something to go on.
 

Polski

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At this point I'm wondering if we can take MSM and make him a stand up end next year He's simply not a Big Ten inside linebacker. I've heard enough talk about attack angles and quickness of reads. At some point you simply need enough foot speed to be able to play the position effectively.

And......If he's needed to be out there to get guys lined up correctly, then what does that say about the coaches?

When you lack a consistent pass rush against the passing game it exposes everything else, and that's what we're seeing this year.

There's help on the way with some of the freshmen and most recent recruits. We will improve defensively as the next couple years go on. We've set the bar high for what we expect, and that's a good thing.
 

Face The Facts

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At this point I'm wondering if we can take MSM and make him a stand up end next year He's simply not a Big Ten inside linebacker. I've heard enough talk about attack angles and quickness of reads. At some point you simply need enough foot speed to be able to play the position effectively.

And......If he's needed to be out there to get guys lined up correctly, then what does that say about the coaches?

When you lack a consistent pass rush against the passing game it exposes everything else, and that's what we're seeing this year.

There's help on the way with some of the freshmen and most recent recruits. We will improve defensively as the next couple years go on. We've set the bar high for what we expect, and that's a good thing.
Well, let's think about this. Kamal Martin was the play caller of the defense last year. When he got hurt against Penn St, MSM filled in for him.

MSM probably gained an edge on any of our other LB'ers by gaining this experience because he was on the roster last year and actually played.

So the coaches probably figured going into a season without spring camp they could trust him a bit more than a true freshman or RS freshman who never had game experience prior to the game against Michigan.

But, yeh. Call it bad coaching if it helps you sleep well at night.

It's obviously bad coaching if the coaching staff hasn't gotten Gordon or Willis or Lindenburg to that level to run the defense at this point.
Probably would have been wise to play Gordon or Willis as true freshman against Penn State instead to get them experience for this season vs an Ivy League level kid who's been in the program. /s
 

manderson1984

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They recruited linebackers. The linebackers didn’t want to play here.
Exactly, can’t just take a LB to take one. Rush was suppose to be one I thought too. 16 and 17 classes weren’t great defensively, but we got guys who are getting time. Speed worries me but can be fixed with better angles and placement which will come with more playing time.
 

Word

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They are going to get faster?
We need to be prowling for grad transfers.
Not sure we played a Linebacker today who had a single other Big Ten offer.
Yep we need juco or grad transfers at LB asap!
 

Block M

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Gopher's defense does not meet the talent eye test. Not even close. No DC could have success with that group of players. Don't want to criticize individual players, but LB group is particularly overmatched.
 

MGGopher

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They are going to get faster?
We need to be prowling for grad transfers.
Not sure we played a Linebacker today who had a single other Big Ten offer.
Not sure about B1G offers, but Gordon and Willis were HIGHLY recruited by many P5 schools. They're only rsFrosh though, so they've been working in very slowly and taking limited reps each week. Along with Oliver, they're clearly the future at LB.
 

btowngopher

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They have done juco and grad transfers before.
Yeah but they signed six linebackers over the last two years, four last year. Also not sure what they have for scholarships at this point.
 

60's Guy

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Oh. Good. I'm glad PJ "might" be good at something. Nothing good from the wide receivers under PJ so far, but "ya, there's hope".

If only PJ could find or develop a WR at some point, maybe we'd have something to go on.
Talking about the future. He did not recruit TJ, he did develop him. He did recruit Bateman but he won’t be here next year.
So, that leaves Crab and the freshman who is showing some flashes.
I’d say that’s hope.
Yes, he also developed Corey Davis but our passing offense has sputtered this season compared to last. Without Bateman will it drop a notch next year?
 

Thomasthetank

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You guys...willis and Gordon were highly coveted. Burns as well. Iirc, all of them had had covid this fall. We didn't have spring practice. Oliver is out.

This was a complete crap storm that this all happened the year our vet LBs graduated.

Theres a reason Fleck didn't talk up the season this summer and fall. He knew he had a bunch of inexperienced defensive players which was exacerbated by Covid.

They're getting good experiences now and will be ready for next year.
 

MNVCGUY

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As others have pointed out, they recruited LB in those early classes they just didn't land them.

Help is on the way with the 2019 and 2020 classes featuring quite a few potential options at LB. Too early to pass any sort of judgement on those guys although Gordon and Willis have started to become more visible in recent weeks and Lindenberg has already been playing. With these guys developing, some new guys from 2020 and Oliver returning the LB corps will get a nice boost next season but unfortunately that doesn't do a ton for us now.
 

MplsGopher

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Scholarship linebackers still on the roster:

2017 - Trenton Guthrie - doesn't contribute https://gophersports.com/sports/football/roster/trenton-guthrie/18325

2018 - Oliver, MSM, Aune, and Rush (converted to "rush end", which is similarish to a classic 3-4 OLB on the line of scrimmage)


Oliver is out this year. MSM, Aune, and Rush would be starters and solid players at South Dakota State. They're too slow to be starters in the Big Ten, simple as that.

Aune's "game winning" interception was gift-wrapped with a nice fluffly bow on top by Plummer. Threw it right to him.
 

tmvander

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Scholarship linebackers still on the roster:

2017 - Trenton Guthrie - doesn't contribute https://gophersports.com/sports/football/roster/trenton-guthrie/18325

2018 - Oliver, MSM, Aune, and Rush (converted to "rush end", which is similarish to a classic 3-4 OLB on the line of scrimmage)


Oliver is out this year. MSM, Aune, and Rush would be starters and solid players at South Dakota State. They're too slow to be starters in the Big Ten, simple as that.

Aune's "game winning" interception was gift-wrapped with a nice fluffly bow on top by Plummer. Threw it right to him.
Maybe there is hope on the way?

2019 - Gordon and Willis.

2020 - Brown, Burns, Finnessey, Lindenberg

2021 (so far) - Williams

From a ratings perspective Gordon and Willis are higher rated than any linebacker we have playing. Brown and Burns are higher yet. Williams in 2021 is the second highest rated behind only Brown. I know, I know, if ratings and nuts were candy and butts or whatever the saying is.

2018 was not a great defensive class. Offensive class is a different story.
 

Face The Facts

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...


Oliver is out this year. MSM, Aune, and Rush would be starters and solid players at South Dakota State. They're too slow to be starters in the Big Ten, simple as that.

Aune's "game winning" interception was gift-wrapped with a nice fluffly bow on top by Plummer. Threw it right to him.

This is excellent.
It's important we continue to negate any Interceptions wherever we can.

I'll add it to the list.

Interceptions that should NOT count as being a good defensive play
Howden - game winning INT vs Penn St. - WR fell down or slipped
Aune - game winning INT vs Purdue - QB inexplicably through it right to him
Winfield game winning INT vs Fresno St (2019) - Happened the year prior and Fresno St should have known. Ball never should have been thrown like that knowing what they should have known.
 

Face The Facts

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Scholarship linebackers still on the roster:

2017 - Trenton Guthrie - doesn't contribute https://gophersports.com/sports/football/roster/trenton-guthrie/18325

2018 - Oliver, MSM, Aune, and Rush (converted to "rush end", which is similarish to a classic 3-4 OLB on the line of scrimmage)

Oliver is out this year. MSM, Aune, and Rush would be starters and solid players at South Dakota State. They're too slow to be starters in the Big Ten, simple as that.
Oliver appeared to be the best on prior to injury.
The 2018 class of LB's doesn't seem great, but that class was excellent offensively. Each class since has shown far more talent so we should be fine.
Guys can jump in and play at LB quicker than D-line IMO.
 

MplsGopher

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Maybe there is hope on the way?

2019 - Gordon and Willis.

2020 - Brown, Burns, Finnessey, Lindenberg

2021 (so far) - Williams

From a ratings perspective Gordon and Willis are higher rated than any linebacker we have playing. Brown and Burns are higher yet. Williams in 2021 is the second highest rated behind only Brown. I know, I know, if ratings and nuts were candy and butts or whatever the saying is.

2018 was not a great defensive class. Offensive class is a different story.
2018 also had Teague, who has obviously opted out this year and is nowhere to be seen. No idea if he would've made a difference on the interior DL this year. He was a solid role player last year, but not a starter.
 

MplsGopher

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This is excellent.
It's important we continue to negate any Interceptions wherever we can.

I'll add it to the list.

Interceptions that should NOT count as being a good defensive play
Howden - game winning INT vs Penn St. - WR fell down or slipped
Aune - game winning INT vs Purdue - QB inexplicably through it right to him
Winfield game winning INT vs Fresno St (2019) - Happened the year prior and Fresno St should have known. Ball never should have been thrown like that knowing what they should have known.
Last one is a huge reach by you, that I've never said. Just you looking to make a silly point, which you've done.

What is "not count"? Have I ever said we deserved to lose the game, or that the stat should be removed? Silly


I've only ever said that Howden and Aune are not Big Ten starters, and that the above interceptions don't prove otherwise.
 

Face The Facts

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Last one is a huge reach by you, that I've never said. Just you looking to make a silly point, which you've done.

What is "not count"? Have I ever said we deserved to lose the game, or that the stat should be removed? Silly


I've only ever said that Howden and Aune are not Big Ten starters, and that the above interceptions don't prove otherwise.
I just find it funny how you're going down a rabbit hole of discounting interceptions.
You know who else had a lot of "bad" interceptions.

Paul Krause for the Vikings.
 
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