In this edition of our The Fifth Quarter series, GopherDigest caught up with departed senior wide receiver Logan Hutton for an in-depth interview profiling his career in Minneapolis and five seasons as a Gopher
GopherDigest.com: You came in under Tim Brewster in 2010, what was he like as a recruiter and coach?
Hutton: "I did and Coach Brewster was a coach that saw potential in me when no one else did. Initially, I was a track guy out of high school and Minnesota wasn't recruiting me heavily until my senior year. I was offered on signing day and Coach Brewster told me that I would be a great addition to the signing class. I took the offer because was sincere and was willing to take a chance on a guy with one a couple of Division 1 offers. I felt like I was joining his family. As far as a coach, he put me into many situations that I felt like I wasn't ready for my freshman year. I'm so thankful he did because it made me stronger and more vocal for when he did leave the Gopher football program."
GopherDigest.com: What was that experience like to receive a Minnesota offer, literally the morning of signing day where you were supposed to sign elsewhere.
Hutton: "It was a huge sign of relief. The night before I informed the Naval Academy that I would attend there. I wasn't completely sure about my decision and I literally didn't go to sleep that night. When I went to school that morning, my phone began to ring in class and I missed about three phone calls. My brother was still living in Minnesota, so I thought it was him calling from work. I stepped out of class to call the number back and it was Coach Brewster on the line. He told me that we have an offer for you. I had never cried in public before, but I did then because it was a dream come true. To play for the University of Minnesota where my brother played and where my sister graduated from Carlson, it was something that a person only dreams of. There was no hesitation in my decision, I said yes."
GopherDigest.com: So what were the kinds of situations that you felt that you weren't necessarily ready for?
Hutton: "Traveling my freshman year, rotating between catching passed from Adam Weber and MarQueis, not being out on the scout team, participating in special teams meetings when some of the other freshman were on a different schedule. I was accelerated a little and it made me a better student-athlete."
GopherDigest.com: What was it like catching two different quarterbacks?
Hutton: "I wouldn't say it all that different. It was just the fact that I looked up to both of those guys and wanted to do everything right."
GopherDigest.com: How was the news received when you found out that Brewster was fired?
Hutton: "I believe my roommate Victor Keise and I saw it on television screen at the hotel the night before the game. We were surprised that no one told us, but some people were mad, some were content and some were sad. It was all mixed emotions, but we all knew that things happen and we had a game to play. By this time, I was for sure redshirting, so I didn't have the biggest role, but everyone was focused.
GopherDigest.com: What were things like when Jerry Kill was hired?
Hutton: "It was tough at first because we just didn't know what he his staff was like, but Coach Kill sat each of the Brewster recruits down in his office one by one. For me, the first thing he showed me were my grades. They were good and he told me that nothing was going to be easy, but I always needed to keep my grades up and he would treat me like his own. I truly believe that he kept that promise. I initially had to prove my worth with Coach Kill's staff and it was tough. There were honestly times where I didn't want to stay. I had opportunities to go to the University of Houston or Rice University. Fans on message boards would say that I should leave to open up another scholarship for a Kill recruit. I read many different types of things in those four years, but I'm glad that Coach Kill was a coach of his word. He gave me the opportunities that I earned and I worked hard for them. I waited my turn and everything worked out for the best."
GopherDigest.com: So why'd you end up staying, even with the opportunities much closer to home?
Hutton: "In one year, I was almost halfway done with my degree and my brother and his family were here. If I went home, I would see them only once or twice a year compared to anytime I want. It was a great decision to stay as I help them with homework and have become a better uncle."
GopherDigest.com: What were some differences between Kill and Brewster's staffs in your eyes.
Hutton: "Brewster's staff was more of an NFL style as a lot of the coaches were from the NFL. Coach Kill's staff are college coaches and they understand the college athlete lifestyle and I believe that makes a big difference. Also, Coach Kill and his staff stresses special teams as we put so much more effort on special teams with Coach Kill and I believe we won a lot of games because of it."
GopherDigest.com: Because Brewster's staff was from the NFL, what were his practices like compared to Kill's?
Hutton: "Brewster's practices were extremely orgranized. On time and rarely deviated as far as I can remember. Coach Kill's practices have a schedule, but he is in control of what happens. If we are up tempo and are doing well, we might move on to the next period early. It helps out because it gives us incentives to do well and speed things up."
GopherDigest.com: And what were a couple of players or moments from your career from your five years here that you'll never forget?
Hutton: "I'll never forget the Iowa game when Quies (Gray) scored the winning touchdown. I believe that was the new beginning of Gopher Football. Another was passing the Jug around the locker room to take pictures. When I downed the ball at the one yard line against Penn State and taking the Victory Bell, and just being in the locker room with all of my teammates and how we all grew together."
GopherDigest.com: Who were a couple of guys on the team you became great friends with during your time at Minnesota?
Hutton: "Victor Keise as I'm now his daughter's Godfather. Sahr Ngekia, Cameron Botticelli, Alex Keith, Cameron Wilson and Ben Perry. We communicate every day and I know for a fact that we will be in touch for a long time down the road."
GopherDigest.com: How was working with Coach Anderson the last couple of years?
Hutton: "It was fun. He really is good at teaching technique. He's detail-oriented and out receivers are getting better because of him. He comes to work and tells us that he's still learning and will show us film of what he was just taught. He's a humble coach and knows hard work. He teaches that no one will ever know it all, so you'd better wake up everyday and learn and absorb all that you can."
GopherDigest.com: And how'd the philosophy sit with you?
Hutton: "It's great to live by because there were times as a player where you sit there and think that you don't need anymore coaching. Especially when things are going well, but having someone of authority sit you down and say, "Hey. I don't know all this yet either. Let's learn it together." Really makes you want to give it your all for him."
GopherDigest.com: What were a couple of tougher times that you experienced?
Hutton: When Connor Cosgrove left the team, when Gary Tinsley passes and watching the freshman class I came in with slowly disappear. All were extremely tough in their own ways. I remember Connor's last practice as he had one of his best practices. He was catching everything and it was an overall fun day. The next day, he wasn't at practice. Coach Cosgrove pulled me aside and told me the situation and my heart dropped. I didn't know what to do. There was nothing I could do at the time, but pray and wait."
GopherDigest.com: And what do you remember about the blocked punt you caught for a touchdown last season? How special for you was that?
Hutton: "I didn't get that many chances to score, so to score on a blocked punt was surreal. Out of all the ways a second team wide receiver would score, it was on a blocked punt," Hutton said with a chuckle. "It was never on my radar. It wouldn't have happened without the amazing athletic ability of Eric Murray and Coach Sawvel just telling him to let loose and go get the ball. I still thank those two to this day. It was a great thing to say that I did and it's an even better to say that I didn't do it alone."
GopherDigest.com: How crazy was social media for you when you pulled of the back flip while catching two balls?
Hutton: "Social media reception was cool and I had my two days of fame. People tried to duplicate it, but couldn't catch two footballs. I think only one person has done it that I've seen in a whole year since it happened. It's something that even at work (Target Corporate downtown) my coworkers are slowly finding out about. They all think that it's cool and will sometimes play it on a lunch break to show others who haven't seen it. It was good exposure and good publicity for Gopher football at the time."
GopherDigest.com: So now that your football career is over, what's next?
Hutton: "I am finishing up my Master's degree in Security Technologies at the end of this summer. I have been at Target Corporate downtown in their global crisis management department for about a month and it's just the beginning for me. Eventually, my goal is working in large capacity sports venue security and starting my own sports security consulting company."
GopherDigest.com: And why the large interest in security?
Hutton: A year ago after I graduated a little early with a Biology degree, Coach Kill suggested that I pursue my Masters degree. I went to as many informational sessions that I could in Biology graduate programs, but they didn't fit around my football schedule. I then found the Master of Science in Security Technologies and talked to Dr. Massoud Amin. He told me about critical infrastructure interdependencies and how the nation needs to secure these infrastructures to protect our society. My Biology degree gave me a different perspective on these issues and so I applied, got accepted and never looked back."
GopherDigest.com: Anything else you want Gopher fans to know?
Hutton: "I almost went to the Canadian football league, but decided that it wasn't for me. I play the piano really well and if I didn't play football, I would have probably been in Medical school. But seriously, Minnesota has officially become my new home after football Everyone here has welcomed me with open arms and to the future Gopher recruits that may think that it's too far or too cold, you'll grow and learn to love it here. As long as Coach Kill and his staff are here, if you follow his rules of "bring your hard hat and lunch pail to work everyday", you'll be a successful Gopher in anything you do."
The Fifth Quarter: Logan Hutton
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