Ryan Burns - GopherDigest

Football Mailbag 9/9

GopherDigest answers your questions in this week's football mailbag...

BobbyBoucherJr asks: My question is regarding Josh Campion and his unfortunate concussion injury. I realize he's had concussion issues previously, but I just found the timing of this particular injury curious because it was prior to the first game and, by most accounts, there was very little contact in Fall camp this year. Can you provide any insight into how he sustained this most recent concussion?

Very untimely indeed. 

From what I heard Campion sustained the concussion about 10 days to two weeks before the TCU game, so it may have been in that last final scrimmage at TCF Bank Stadium, but I don't know for sure. Even if I did, I'm not sure I'd be comfortable sharing that as it's injury information for a collegiate athlete. The good news from all of this is that it doesn't appear the concussion will be as serious as Campion practiced on Monday and appears to be getting ready to go for Colorado State this weekend. 

TKGophFan asks: After week 1, my biggest concern is the health of the line. Concussions are difficult to get a handle on. Because the severity varies. So with Lauer and A Mayes seemingly always dinged up, is it a given Moore and Oseland will need to play this year? If so are they ready to play?

Need to play and will play are two totally different things. 

I had this same conversation with a source last weekend and what I gained from the conversation is that Tyler Moore is a lot closer to playing than Quinn Oseland right now. That isn't meant at all to say that Tyler Moore is ahead of Quinn Oseland, but more of position necessity. It sounds like as of a few days ago, if current center Brian Bobek were to go down with an injury, Jon Christenson would NOT slide back to center from his left guard spot, but that Tyler Moore would slide in at center. I had previously speculated that Christenson would move, but sounds like Moore would be the guy, which explains why Kill believes he'll have to burn his redshirt. I also asked that same source over the weekend how close Minnesota came to playing Oseland at LT on Thursday night and I was told not close at all. Minnesota wants to preserve Oseland's redshirt as best they can, but with injuries to Ben Lauer already and he hasn't practiced this week, Josh Campion on the way back from his concussion and Jonah Pirsig also having a history of lingering injuries, three things that could press Oseland potentially into action. That being said, between Lauer, Pirsig, Campion and Foster Bush, Minnesota shouldn't have to play Oseland unless another significant injury happens. Also to answer your question, I do believe both are ready to play, but I am heistant about starting a true frosh at left tackle. 

gmrb10 asks: I really thought that Mitch would have a break out year this season,could still happen, but it just seemed to me that he isn't enjoying playing no fire in his eyes, putting way to much pressure on himself, concerned?   Do you think that Coach Kill will use two QBs, one a running QB (Mitch) and one for passing (Perry or Croft) just to change things up? 

Not going to be concerned yet after one game, against the #2 ranked team in the country, with a head coach who traditionally has some pretty damn good defenses. Especially considering Leidner didn't throw an interception and had one turnover that really wasn't on him, as it was the left tackle. Do I think that Leidner is putting pressure on himself? Absolutely he is as I'm sure he hears about everything even if he doesn't have any social media. I thought he was a lot more composed than last year from that small sample size on Thursday night, so I'm encouraged going forward. To answer your second question, no I do not. Never thought I'd hear Leidner would be the running QB compared to Streveler, but I think Leidner is the guy going forward until he either gets injured, or seriously regresses. One of the options is only realistic and that's the injury to me at this point. 

fencejumpers asks: Celestin, did he play any downs other than special teams?  Was his limited play primarily due to mostly going with 2 linebacker sets? Bobek, any word on or hint on confidence levels of Bobek getting the 6th year?  It would be great having Bobek, C. Mayes, Pirsig, and Lauer coming back to the line with substantial experience next year. Cashman, did you have any idea he would break into special teams as a walk-on freshmen after watching practices?

Great questions here. 

I speculated about the same thing over the weekend in regards to Jonathan Celestin, but I believe he was just on the field for special teams. It's just one game and I think he'll start to see a lot more time here going forward as Minnesota will go back to their base defense of a 4-3 or 4-2-5, where Celestin saw some significant snaps last season, but I just believe the gameplan was better to have guys like Jack Lynn and Cody Poock out there against TCU, compared to Celestin. I talked with a very good source about the Brian Bobek situation yesterday and Bobek still hasn't heard back from the NCAA about a potential sixth year. There is a lot of optimism on both Minnesota's side and Bobek's side about Brian receiving a sixth year and coming back next year, but nothing concrete as been released as of today. With true freshman walk-on Blake Cashman, his burning of a redshirt snuck up on me and while I'd love to gloat and say I told you so, I didn't see this one coming. When I saw Cashman for the first two weeks of fall camp, I'd also just say to myself how I'm surprised they didn't move him to LB from safety already as he's a big guy. I can see why Minnesota wanted to use him on special teams because of his mature physical abilities, but kudos to the former Eden Prairie Eagle. 

Rostovgold asks: Ryan, so couple of questions, what's the inside scoop on Edwards & Jones? Read that Limegrover said that JJ needs time, wondering are there worries about his development? In regards to Edwards, he was DNP Thursday, correct? Why?

I have absolutely zero worries about the development of Jeff Jones at either wide receiver or running back, and I think Limegrover said it perfectly during his press conference yesterday when he said and I quote, " I know everybody wants Jeff to be a Heisman finalist right now, but he played a little bit of wide receiver in the spring, and we're doing everything we can to get him caught up, but there just happens to be some guys even in that younger group that have just played that position longer, played it through high school, and so there are times where he does some things that are really good, and then there are times where if he does what he did in practice, if he does that in a game, we're in trouble, and we're trying to eliminate that part of it. We're not trying to rush him in on anything, and believe me, when we feel like he's ready and feel like that's the best guy to have out there in a certain situation, there's no holding back."

He's basically a true freshman everyone as you'll remember that Jeff was allowed to practice with the team starting in the spring of this past year, so he's basically an early-enrollee for the 2015 class who is moving positions and everyone needs to give him time to develop. He's got a lot of natural talent and just needs to keep playing to develop, which he's getting every day in practice. 

With Berkley Edwards, I looked at the participation report this morning and remembering what I saw from my own perspective on Thursday, I don't believe he got on the field. At running back, I think he's probably 3rd/4th on the depth chart with Shannon Brooks and he's the backup returner at kick return, so he's just got some work to do on the depth chart. 

lirianofan asks: I know there are only 3 spots open as of now, but it seems like Pitino is recruiting as if there 4 spots, was wondering if he strikes out with one of the big 3 targets, will he continue to recruit as if he has 4 spots? Also what is your gut feeling on how the class turns out?

Finally a recruiting question. Sweet. 

From talking with someone extremely in the know last night, I believe Pitino and staff would be willing to make room for four guys in 2016, IF they're the right four. That "right" combination of four would be to me Michael Hurt, Amir Coffey, Eric Curry AND Shamorie Ponds. If all four wanted to be Gophers, I'd bet a lot of $$ that Pitino would find a way to make it happen. Curry looks to be the top target at PF, Coffey at SF and Ponds at PG, and Minnesota has a good shot with all three as of September 9th, so we'll see what happens here in the next two weeks. 

My guy feeling is that first and foremost, barring a significant offer from a place like North Carolina, that Hopkins small forward Amir Coffey will be a Gopher shortly after his Texas visit next weekend. There's a significant amount of positivity and momentum after a great official visit with Minnesota over the weekend. So stay tuned for shortly after his Texas official visit on the 18th/19th. I also think that Eric Curry and his mother were very impressed with the Gophers after their official visit over the weekend, plus Curry's mother works in the medical field and the Minneapolis market would be very good for her to move up with her son. Curry is scheduled to visit Iowa State this weekend and Arkansas next, but I wouldn't be surprised to see a decision sooner. Shamorie Ponds is the interesting case here as if he visits Minnesota in nine days, I think the Gophers have as good a shot as any. If he commits before the visit, and Minnesota gets Curry and Coffey into the fold soon, I think Minnesota is done. 

TkGophFan asks: I know that Huff has been talked about all spring, and Game 1 we all can see why now. Tough kid, and fast. How is his brother progressing, and do see him contributing in the future.

Jacob Huff, Julian's twin brother who plays safety, is progressing and developing as a true freshman should. He's just got a lot of talented upperclassmen above him right now, so a redshirt year is perfect for him in 2015. I can see him developing yes as he reminds me some of Antonio Johnson, never a bad thing there. 

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