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

Ryan Burns answers your questions in this week's football mailbag...

lirianofan asks: I played a pickup game recently with McKinley Wright, and the kid is one of the best I have ever seen play from Minnesota, keeping in mind I am 24(Yeah I know my gf has already told me I need a life) and that I have seen/played with Tyus, Rodney, Royce, Trent Lockett, Coleman, Reid, Jarvis, Etc. What is the hold up on the Minnesota end, why haven't they offered? He has the tools to be a star player on P5 conference, I'm afraid we'll lose out shot at him if they string him along. Also any updates on the other big names from the MN 2017 class, Theo, Mar, Davison, El-Amin, etc. and where they stand when it comes to getting a Gopher offer? 2017 is a very deep in-state class, maybe the the deepest ever, hopefully the staff can capitalize on it. 

First question on why Minnesota hasn't offered yet, I think it's just about the Gophers trying to get some other point guards who they believe are higher on the board right now. Guys like Isaiah WashingtonNajja Hunter and Darius Perry are all guards that the staff has offered and are going after, but the staff is very aware of McKinley Wright. I can guarantee you that as the staff has seen him play many times and they really like him as a player. Before the question is asked, no the Gophers would not just offer Wright to try and get his teammate Theo John, who is arguably their top target for the 2017 class. Wright is a great player in his own right, but as you know lirianofan from playing with him, he's not 6'0", he's more about 5'10" ish. That is a concern and yes I know Minnesota just had DeAndre Mathieu on the team who was smaller than him, but it's something to look at. Again, Minnesota is definitely still very interested in Wright, I just believe they're doing their due diligence else where right now. 

As far as updates on the 2017 in-state basketball class, you could make a serious argument that Minnesota won't have to leave the start to get what they need this class. From what I've been told the Gophers are looking at a point guard, a big man and potentially a wing next class and the in-state class is deep. You have guards like McKinley Wright (Illinois and Iowa State offers), Brad Davison (Nebraska and Northern Iowa offers) and Jack Sorenson (Ole Miss offer), wings like Gary Trent (Minnesota, Duke and Kentucky offers) and Simon Wright (Providence offer) and bigs such as Theo John (Minnesota, Illinois and Iowa offers), Goanar Mar (Nebraska and Iowa State offers) Jericho Sims (Auburn and Nebraska offers) and Nathan Reuvers (Craighton and DePaul offers), so there's a lot of talent out there. Still have heard that the Gophers are sitting well for Theo John and that Gary Trent is an obvious long shot. 

BobbyBoucherJr asks: In your preseason football prediction, you predicted the Gophers would be where they are right now with a 4-3 record. Even though your predicted scores have been a little off, I'm impressed that you have correctly predicted the winner of each game to this point of the season. I'm hoping that you stay 100% with the rest of the season, where you predicted the Gophers would finish 4-1, plus win a bowl game. However, considering all the injuries and how the first part of the season has gone, do you still think the Gophers will finish the next five games 4-1?

Appreciate the compliment Bobby. 

Sadly, I don't believe I'll maintain that 100% accuracy going forward here and it's all because of the injuries. Next week's game again Michigan on Halloween night is one I had a lot of confidence in heading into the season, but with a battered offensive line and secondary, I'm a lot less optimistic. If Minnesota's able to get Cody Poock, Damarius Travis and a healthier Briean Boddy-Calhoun, I think the game will be close, but the offensive line is going to have to bring it for the Gophers to win. Ohio State isn't going to happen, but I can see two wins from the last three games between Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin. Not sure which ones they'll surprise people on, but I still believe a bowl game is achievable. 

GummoMarx asks: I think the mystery LB is Brock Miller, whoever it is should just come clean now that the visit is 2 weeks in. RB--Will they sign one? Is Weber 100%?, will he visit Okie State? IS Green still  committed to the Ducks?? Any of the new Ol guys going to be moved to Center? Is Weyler and Mayes going to be healthy this year?

Let's do this one by one. 

It's not Brock Miller and I'm seriously hoping I can "come clean" about who it is sooner than two weeks, but that's up to the recruit and my source. 

I believe they will sign a running back this class and the top two targets are Georgia's Arkeem Byrd and Michigan's Martell Pettaway. Byrd has Coach Anderson by today and Reeves will be by to see Pettaway's game on Friday. And for those for play the who follows who on Twitter game, it's interesting to note that Kansas State RB commit Tre Bryant, a one time top RB target this summer, followed the majority of the Gopher coaching staff in the last 24 hours. Working on seeing what's there.

Gophers JUCO DE commit Tralund Webber expressed to GopherDigest following his Oklahoma State offer that he wanted to visit there, but I'm told he's been the complete opposite with the Minnesota coaching staff. He's told them how excited he is to be a Gopher and Sawvel will be seeing him in person tomorrow, so we'll see what comes of that.

The Seth Green situation is very murky right now, but it's probably the worst kept secret that Green is no longer committed to the Oregon Ducks. Green hasn't gone public with that yet, but it's done. There is a lot of smoke coming from the Minnesota fire right now, but somethings have to be worked out behind the scenes. Something I'll definitely have my pulse on going forward.

The center position is one I've been wondering about as well, with walk-on Matt Leidner being the back-up right now with Brian Bobek out. Of the guys Minnesota has committed, I believe Conner Olson is the one most likely to make a transition to center.

Jared Weyler and Alex Mayes are both recovering from injuries and I'm skeptical they'll be playing this year for the Gophers. Weyler is getting very close to 100% off a knee injury from fall camp last year and Mayes has been dealing with a concussion. No timetable on his return, but I don't think it's likely.

Hondodo asks: The staff has been following several juco WRs lately - is there going to be a mass exodus of WRs from the team?  And what other positions might see players leaving? Would they move Gibson or any other players to defensive line?

I've only seen Minnesota follow a couple of JUCO WR's on Twitter of late, but I'm not expecting a "mass exodus" by any means. Not sure which of the guys who leave, but I'm not expecting anything drastic. It's so tough to predict what guys are going to transfer and I don't really feel comfortable speculating about that as I don't want to put anyone is a touchy spot, but some guys I'm wondering about are Duke Anyanwu and Lincoln Plsek. Anyanwu has had three knee surgeries and Plsek is a senior with a significant back injury. You wonder if they'll ever be able to get close to 100% again. If Gibson moves positions, it wouldn't be to defensive end, it'd be to outside linebacker. I don't see a lot of potential guys besides maybe Colton Beebe going to DL, but Minnesota will need to find some tight ends this class first. 

Mini War Room

Instead of giving paragraphs here, I'm just going to run down the top targets for an update on each. 

  • QB Seth Green - Smoke is there, but no fire yet. 
  • RB Arkeem Byrd - Anderson visits him today and Minnesota is a strong front runner for Byrd heading into his visit next week. Would be on commitment watch then. 
  • RB Martell Pettaway - Reeves visits him on Friday and is scheduled to visit Minnesota next weekend. He and Byrd and the top two RB targets.
  • JUCO OL Garrison Wright - Limegrover will see him practice tomorrow and the Gophers will evaluate from there.
  • DE Terrell Lucas - DL Coach Jeff Phelps visited him yesterday in Florida, look for him to visit in late November, early December
  • DE Terrance Corbett -  Phelps will see him today and if he likes what he sees, Corbett will visit Minnesota next weekend and he'd be on commitment watch.
  • DE Will Evans - Phelps will see him this week and if he likes what he sees, expect an offer/visit to be set up
  • DE Noah Fant - Iowa's DE commit will have Phelps by to see him Thursday. Stay tuned there.
  • DE Amir Watts - Phelps will be by to see him Friday. I expect an official visit to be set up then.
  • DB Kiondre Thomas - Sawvel will be by to see him today and he'll visit Minnesota next weekend. Commitment watch.
  • DB Antoine Winfield - Sawvel will be by to see him Wednesday and yes, the Gophers still want him. Spots will be limited though.
  • DB Coney Durr - Sawvel will see him Thursday and he'll visit Minnesota next weekend. Commitment watch.

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