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GopherDigest's Ryan Burns answers our subscribers questions in this week's edition of the mailbag

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

Rostovgold asks: Seeing that bashing Mitch is in season on some boards (not this one) everyone says its Croft is next up, give me your take on the pecking order for the QB's?

1) Mitch Leidner

2a) Demry Croft

2b) Chris Streveler

3) Jacques Perra

Still believe first and foremost that Leidner is the starter this week. I have Croft and Streveler both at number two, but think that Croft is ahead of Streveler now. I believe that Croft gets snaps on Saturday at some point, especially if Leidner commits a turnover or two early on. Minnesota has to figure out how far along Croft is and he is the true back up. So where does this leave Chris Streveler? That's a great question. He's one of the best athletes on the Gopher Football team and really hasn't been used for an offense that could seriously use a spark. Seeing what the staff does with him going forward is something to watch. 

benthere2 asks: Burns- Where are all the promising recruits we had in 1-2 classes ago that we needed to burn the red shirt off of Brooks? Where is Edwards is his injury going to keep him out all season? Are our injuries in line with other schools? It seems like 15% of the team is a lot to recover from.

Guessing you're asking specifically at running back. The Gophers signed one running back in 2013 in Berkley Edwards and two in 2014 in Jeff Jones and Rodney Smith. Berkley Edwards is a definite mystery right now as he hasn't even seen a snap anywhere through three games. Maybe it's injury related or some other issue, but definitely something to watch going forward. Jeff Jones switched positions this past spring to wide receiver and looks like it'll be long term thing as he hasn't seen a rep at running back since then that I've seen. That'd be why Shannon Brooks is getting reps and kudos to him, he's been very good in practice and looks to be a special player for Minnesota down the line. 

As far as injuries compared other schools, it's tough to say. Everyone is dealing with injuries in some kind of capacity, but to keep in mind that the first two opponents that Minnesota played this year were a combined 22-4 last year, toughest in the country, so playing two tough games opposed to cupcakes will make a difference. 

benthere2 asks: How bad will a win like this hurt us in recruiting. I am not asking about if we win the rest of the games this season, but a game like this with other Big Ten teams? How do good WR's look at the play calling and get convinced this is the place to go?

Obviously on the defensive side of the ball, this win only helps as it was a dominating performance. On the offensive line of the ball, still don't think it hurts much, if at all. The reality is most recruits don't want every game and Minnesota can sell them on the stats at the end of the year. Phillip Howard and Derw Hmielewski will be Gophers regardless as they're in-state players, but still don't think even Dredrick Snelson would be detered. The Gophers receiver commits will only have Leidner for a season before Croft takes over, so I'm not pressing the panic button at all. Play calling is limited by the players you have and I'm bigger fan of Croft through the air than I am Leidner, so I think once he gets himself established back, whether that's 2015, 2016 or 2017, it'll be a different kind of offense. 

fencejumpers asks: 1) I didn't notice any new injuries last week (thankfully), did I miss anything or did we finally have a week where we didn't go backwards health wise?  Best projections at expected return date of current inured players:  1) Travis this week? 2) Ace? 3) Christenson? 4) Lingen? 5) A. Mayes? 6) Lauer?

Finally had a pretty healthy week, so didn't miss too much other than it was announced that starting LG Joe Bjorklund has a knee injury that's preventing him from practicing more than one day a week, so that's not good. 

1) Damarius Travis: Ohio 

2) Ace Rogers: Northwestern 

3) Jon Christenson: Michigan

4) Brandon Lingen: Ohio

5) A. Mayes: TBD

6) B. Lauer: A 100% Lauer? Not sure we'll see that this season unless he gets to rest for a few weeks

fencejumpers asks: 2) So far we have not seen Mitch run as much, and I've noticed when he does, he seems more tentative.  I've heard some speculate he may still be gimpy from knee, but I've wondered if he hasn't overcorrected on ball security.  Your thoughts on why we haven't seen as much runs by Mitch yet, and why he may not look as dangerous on the ground?

As far as why Minnesota hasn't run as much read option, I'd guess it's game plan dependent. It may be that Minnesota is trying to protect Leidner more as they want him as healthy as possible knowing Chris Streveler probably isn't a long term answer and Demry Croft is a true freshman. I haven't heard anything about a Leidner injury, so may be a little nicked up, but nothing serious.

lirianofan asks: McKinley Wright is starting to get a lot of attention nationally, do you see the Gophers eventually offering and would doing so help in the recruitment of Theo? I was also at the Benilde - St Margaret's game last week the rb they have there is something special, what can you tell us about him, will he be P5 conference recruit?

2017 Champlin Park (Minn.) guard McKinley Wright is someone Pitino and his staff definitely have their eye on as the focus shifts now toward the 2017 class. Expect Minnesota to grab at least a point guard and center next class, and obviously Wright fits right into that. I could definitely see Minnesota offering Wright down the line as I think he's a talented kid, but there are a few names ahead of him on the list right now. As far as offering Wright to get Theo John, I have serious doubts they'd do it because they want John that bad. What I'm trying to say is Minnesota is sitting really well with Theo right now without the offer to his teammate, so no need to offer Wright to entice Theo. If the Gophers do offer Wright, it'll be because they want him, and not just Theo. 

2017 Benilde-St. Margaret running back Ricky Floyd is definitely someone I think be a power five recruit by the time signing day comes around in February of 2017. Minnesota definitely has noticed Floyd and he was at the Gophers game this past weekend, both Allen Trieu and I had stories on him in the past week and you can click those here and here. He's got very good straight line speed and is someone I could also potentially see at corner because of that. A definite name to keep an eye on. 

noamfromm asks: Scout currently ranks the Gophers 2016 basketball class as 15th in the nation. We have filled our scholarships, but there are many talented players who have yet to commit. Once signing day has come and gone, where do you see this Gophers class standing nationally?

I see the Gophers 2016 class as a definite top 25 class when it's all said and done. Pitino grabbing two top 100 players in Amir Coffey and Eric Curry, plus a very solid player in Michael Hurt as well, leaves little doubt to me that this is Minnesota's best class in the Pitino era. While as you said, there are a lot of talented players yet to commit, not all the schools will have the depth that this class has to boost them above Minnesota. 


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