Top 5 returning players

CWCWCW

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There isn't much Gopher football action in the news, so I'm curious to see what others may think about our returning squad. Based on actual game experience, who are the top five returning Gopher football players. Here is my list

5)Shannon Brooks--Injuries have hampered him. I'll put him here based on cumulative results.
4)Carter Coughlin--Relentless. Undersized and possibly playing out of position. With some man muscles, watch out.
3)Antoine Winfield--I'll base this on his true freshman season. Hopefully, he stays healthy.
2)Thomas Barber--Not flashy, but gets the job done, especially against the run.
1)Rodney Smith--He didn't have much help from the line last year, but i love his game.
 

UncleSam'sMisguidedChild

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I like your list, but I'd put Winfield at 2 or even 1 based not on what he's done so far, but what I think he will do.
 

Frank Grimey Grimes

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1. Rodney Smith - Best player on offense
2. Antoine Winfield Jr- Best overall player on defense when healthy
3. Thomas Barber- Best linebacker
4. Tyler Johnson- Would have put together the best season for a gopher wr since Decker if he would have stayed healthy
5. Carter Coughlin- Really turned it on last year, his athleticism is outstanding and he showed that in the second half last year

Just missed my top 5:
-Shannon Brooks-Thought he was our 3rd best running back last year behind Smith and Mccrary(even when Brooks was healthy) hoping for a bounce back year.

-Kamal Martin-Great young LB who I think has the potential to play on Sundays with his size and speed

-Coney Durr- We need him to step up and be our 1st or 2nd CB this year, he has shown flashes of being great.

-Blake Cashman-He would have made my top 5 a year ago, but it seemed like he struggled to see the field with the new coaching staff, he needs to be better utilized, thought his talent was not properly used last year with our coaching staff.
 

Pompous Elitist

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In no specific order:

Shannon Brooks (healthy)
Rodney Smith
Antoine Winfield
Donnell Greene
Carter Coughlin

Honorable mention to Blake Cashman who was criminally underutilized.
 

Some guy

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The fact that Blake Cashman is in the conversation explains why we struggle.
He is a solid player but he should not be an every down player in the big ten yet.
 

Pompous Elitist

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We have players that struggle in one way or another, mental/physical all over the field. I mean, we were not very good last year. Sprinkle in demoralization...

If we’re talking about difference makers with football instincts Cashman belongs in the conversation. You may not like him for your own reasons, while I may see faults in the other LBs.
 

GFBfan

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The fact that Blake Cashman is in the conversation explains why we struggle.
He is a solid player but he should not be an every down player in the big ten yet.
All he does is make plays, when he has been given a chance to play. Just because he was a walk on should not alter the perception of him as a player.
 

HoustonTXGopher

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An honorable mention for Emmilt Carpenter, especially if he get back to 2016 form.
 

swingman

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The two returning running backs, four returning linebackers, Winfield, and Carpenter are clearly eight very good players.

Strength along both lines and on the outside on both sides of the ball are overlooked.

Donnell Greene is very solid.

Weyler is a tough, seasoned veteran leader.

Tyler Johnson made a big step forward before WR corps was decimated, QB issues, his own injury.

Kiondre Thomas has size, speed, skills to be a very good Big Ten corner.

Gary Moore made a big step forward in 2017 and I expect will look even better in 2018.

Some say Williamson may step in as #1 cornerback.

AutmanBell was the most electric WR in August practices.

OJ Smith may step in as a starting DT.

Otomewo may start at DE.

Demetrious Douglas was impressive WR before injury.
 

Halsey Hall

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The two returning running backs, four returning linebackers, Winfield, and Carpenter are clearly eight very good players.

Strength along both lines and on the outside on both sides of the ball are overlooked.

Donnell Greene is very solid.

Weyler is a tough, seasoned veteran leader.

Tyler Johnson made a big step forward before WR corps was decimated, QB issues, his own injury.

Kiondre Thomas has size, speed, skills to be a very good Big Ten corner.

Gary Moore made a big step forward in 2017 and I expect will look even better in 2018.

Some say Williamson may step in as #1 cornerback.

AutmanBell was the most electric WR in August practices.

OJ Smith may step in as a starting DT.

Otomewo may start at DE.

Demetrious Douglas was impressive WR before injury.
I like your takes
 

Heracles

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5) Tyler Johnson
4) Carter Coughlin
3) Thomas Barber
2) Rodney Smith
1) Antoine Winfield

Brooks will be on the list if he can stay healthy (concussions, specifically). Donnell Greene is also an honorable mention, and could easily be on there.
 

swingman

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In addition to 18 mentioned in my post above, following 30 give me confidence, hope:

Olson returns as a starter on Oline.
Schlueter returns as a starter on Oline.
Umlor returns as a starter at defensive end. DeLatti, Devers, Gibson all got some run on dline.
Huff returns as a starter in the secondary. Harris got experience; Durr, Estes, Beck could be in battle to start in secondary.
Shenault returns with a lot of starts in the secondary.
Phil Howard and Mark Williams got a lot of run as rs freshmen WRs. Van Dyne talented.
Dovich and Oseland are mature, game experienced offensive line guys.
Kieft, Beebe, Witham all have game experience. Paulson a talent.
Malcolm Robinson, Royal Silver, Hitchcock return as defensive tackles with a year in the system.
Andries, Schmitz, Sassack return as Oline guys with a year in the system.
FemiCole got some game experience.
Ibrahim has a year in the system.
Herbers should be able to pick up at punter.
Long snapper Jordahl returns.

That's a nice returning core of 48, plus a dozen or so recruits like Vic, Dickson, Dunlap, Faalele, Oliver, Bateman, Reigelsperger, Rush, Smith, Smith, Sapp, Williams, Edmonds, should/could compete for starting spots, roles in the two deep come August (or earlier for early enroll guys).
 

GopherJack

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If football games are won in the trenches, the fact none of the top 5 lists have an OL or DL member on them is telling. WE HAVE TO IMPROVE THERE. In the future, it would be nice to see that group represented in everybody's top 5 lists.
 

KD6-3.7

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Holy crap. I was just looking at the roster and there are 63 freshmen on the roster. There are almost twice as many freshmen as there are juniors and seniors combined (34).

83 underclassmen to 34 upperclassmen (numbers might not be exact, I’m counting on a tablet). That can’t be normal.
 

GopherWeatherGuy

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1. Carter Coughlin - I think he became the best player on D last year, and he was still playing out of position
2. Antoine Winfield
3. Thomas Barber
4. Rodney Smith
5. Tyler Johnson
 

Some guy

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All he does is make plays, when he has been given a chance to play. Just because he was a walk on should not alter the perception of him as a player.
Except for the times when he is on the field and gets washed away.

He is good in the pass game. Below average when he is on the field on run downs.
 

HoustonTXGopher

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Holy crap. I was just looking at the roster and there are 63 freshmen on the roster. There are almost twice as many freshmen as there are juniors and seniors combined (34).

83 underclassmen to 34 upperclassmen (numbers might not be exact, I’m counting on a tablet). That can’t be normal.
I guess this is what Fleck meant when he kept saying last year that we were a young team and going to be even younger next year. I like it, sound base and a sound future.
 

Pompous Elitist

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Except for the times when he is on the field and gets washed away.

He is good in the pass game. Below average when he is on the field on run downs.
At risk of a slight derailment, we had a run defense last year? Kidding (sort of). Rush D was 102nd by S&P+. At times out of position, or swallowed up, or bad tackling, and at times all three. Obviously the caveat of the offense being bad and not helping the defense applies. On the bright side: ”it could be worse” in my best Minnesota accent also applies.
 

PMWinSTP

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The fact that Blake Cashman is in the conversation explains why we struggle.
He is a solid player but he should not be an every down player in the big ten yet.
I'd like to hear your basis for the comment.
 

WorkingMyTailOff

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1. Coughlin
2. Rodney
3. Donnelle Greene
4. Tyler Johnson
5. Thomas Barber
 

Gopher Gildy

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My opinion:

1. Winfield Jr - best player on defense.
2. Rodney Smith - most important offensive player
3. Thomas Barber - helluva LB

The rest are less obvious to me - I’d probably go with Tyler Johnson at 4 and Blake Cashman at 5


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Spoofin

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Winfield jr
Rodney Smith
Thomas Barber
Tyler Johnson
Carter Coughlin


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John Galt

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I like Blake and he fills an important role, but he isn’t close to a top 5 player. He’s a specialist who can do one thing - find the QB on passing downs. He’s a huge liability on run defense.
 

die hard gopher

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Emmit Carpenter, former Big Ten kicker of the year, only first team All Big Ten player on roster
Carter Coughlin
Rodney Smith
Thomas Barber
Tyler Johnson

HM: Winfield, Brooks
 

Pompous Elitist

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I like Blake and he fills an important role, but he isn’t close to a top 5 player. He’s a specialist who can do one thing - find the QB on passing downs. He’s a huge liability on run defense.
You're arguing passing downs aren't important? He had 10.5 TFLs and 7.5 sacks in limited snaps in 2016. Made plays all over the field. He's not just a guy.
 

Some guy

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I'd like to hear your basis for the comment.
He isn’t very good against the run. So the fact he is in the conversation of our top 5 players has people bringing up a guy who isn’t very good at half of his job speaks to why we struggled
 
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