Ed Bailey - Butler Student Sports Media

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...

5844cx asks: Seth Green? Albert O. ? Has the staff made any effort to evaluate and/or reach out to Patrick Kasl now that his senior season is over, and we are (apparently) open to taking 1 or 2 more offensive linemen?  Status of medical redshirts and redshirts? [Not directly recruiting, but affects number of scholarships].   We know Duke Anyanwu got one (but is he ever going to see the field anyway?).  What about Bobek...staff said 3 or 4 months ago they had requested one and Kill expected it to be granted.  Does the recruiting of additional offensive linemen mean that Bobek [and Campion] are gone after this year?  Do they plan to have Plsek back next year?  Is Durr still a take right now at db or are we going to try and string things out a little bit to see what happens with Butler, Winfield, or somebody else?

Only fit I start out with a question that has about ten questions within it, so let's start in. 

Haven't heard anything new on Texas QB Seth Green in a few weeks, so things are in a holding pattern obviously. With Minnesota looking at taking a few more offensive lineman, I wonder if they just take one quarterback this class.

With Mizzou TE/WR commit Albert Okwuegbunam, I've heard there's a chance that he opens things back up here in the next week or so following the Pinkel resignation. If that were to happen, I'm sure the Gophers will make a call and see what his interest would be. 

From talking with Forest Lake (Minn.) offensive lineman and Wisconsin commit Patrick Kasl this morning, he tells GopherDigest that he hasn't heard from Minnesota lately. I'm sure the staff has evaluated him as a senior, but just chose to go after other targets at this time. 

In terms of redshirts and medical redshirts, as you mentioned, Duke Anyanwu has already used his redshirt and medical redshirt so far, so just bad luck on his part. He has had two knee surgeries the last two years, so not sure how much can be expected out of him going forward. As far as Bobek goes, there's still a lot optimism that he gets a 6th year for 2016. Just playing the waiting game with the NCAA. 

With Minnesota looking at more offensive linemen, I believe that it's not out to think there's going to be some transfers from that group, or potentially seeing a guy like Isaac Hayes potentially graduate. In my eyes, I don't know how Campion could come back, just for his own health. Concussions have been a serious thing for him. Haven't heard anything concrete on Lincoln Plsek either, but anytime a back injury keeps you out the entire year, it's never a good sign. 

Louisiana defensive back Coney Durr is absolutely 100% a take for Minnesota. Durr visited for the Michigan game on Halloween and is expected to make a decision by the end of the month. The Gophers would love for him to choose Minnesota and I'd expect the Gophers to shut down DB recruiting then. There are back-up plans to Durr including one committed to an SEC school that wants to take an official visit here, but we'll see if Durr choose Minnesota or not.

billymarekguy asks: Any walk ons on scholarship? D line help? Gibson?

I'm interpreting the question as asking what current walk-ons are going to be put on scholarship the upcoming semester. Minnesota really never makes these public, but I'd expect safety Kunle Ayinde to be after starting the majority of the year. Wouldn't be surprised to see a guy like Blake Cashman as well after playing on a majority of special teams this year. 

Defensive line recruiting is still a bit of a mystery to me as to why more names aren't popping up here mid-November, but I know the staff is extremely picky about their defensive line. I don't anticipate Minnesota flipped Iowa DE commit Noah Fant after offering last week and they're sitting with one JUCO DL committed in Tralund Webber. Still think a few names to keep an eye on are Amir WattsWill EvansTerrance Corbett and MerRick Jackson.

Funny you ask about Jerry Gibson as I've learned recently that he's transitioned from tight end to defensive end in the last few weeks. He's still battling an ankle injury and learning a new position, but word is he's got some talent there.

fencejumpers asks: What are you hearing about the scout team players that are redshirted?  Who is shining and may leap frog some guys playing this year?  I saw Weyler made an appearance on the depth chart, is he fully recovered and do you believe he can he provide depth like Bush has down the road?  Gibson, Gant, Jones . . . 3 guys we hoped might have been bigger contributors already even though they are young.  Who do you predict breaks out the most next year?  Of the guys that have played some, but not necessarily a lot this year, who do you predict making solid jumps in play next year (E. Williams, Celestin, Hardin, Shenault, Duke McGhee, Still, Holland, Kafo, Huff bros, James?). 

Again with the many part questions. You guys love these. 

As far as scout team players that are performing well, the one guy I keep hearing over and over is walk-on wide receiver Adam Mayer. Had one person tell me that he's going to be a contributor sooner rather than later as he's giving the first team DB's a good look every day. Another name I've heard is freshman offensive lineman Ted Stieber as one of the most impressive freshman. Nick Connelly is another name on O. On defense, sounds like Gary Moore is tearing it up as he's redshirting this season. Gaining confidence, and more importantly is making strides with his technique and pad level. Also have heard very good things about Dior Johnson and Ray Buford. Johnson has the most physical talent of all the freshmen defensive backs and Buford has had a light come on in last couple of months and is playing like the guy Minnesota thought they'd get when they signed him. Disclaimer, only mentioning scout team players, which is why Quinn Oseland isn't being mentioned.

I'm not sure that Jared Weyler is that Foster Bush type of guy, just because I really haven't seen him get meaningful reps at practice yet. Wasn't 100% in the spring and I'm not so sure he was in August, but we'll see come spring ball. 

With Gibson, Desmond Gant and Jeff Jones, there's not question they have some of the most athletic talent on the roster. Still remains if they can stay healthy consistently and put it together on the football field in a productive way. As far as who breaks out next year, I think I'm riding the Desmond Gant train until we head over the cliff. He just has so much athletic ability, I'm hoping he can figure out his route running and hands because the guy works his tail off everywhere else. 

From that list of guys you listed, I'd be thinking that Jonathan Celestin comes in and replaces De'Vondre Campbell, KiAnte Hardin replaces Briean Boddy-Calhoun and Gaelin Elmore with Theiren Cockran of guys on the current roster. 

ALLDAYTP: Do you think this streak of losses puts a damper on recruiting or does the streak of contending with very tough opponents help recruiting?

From the recruits I spoken with, they're very aware that Minnesota has played the second toughest schedule in America and has gone through a ton of injuries. They're not too worried about the losses as Minnesota is playing tough and the recruits know that the Gophers will put more players in the NFL after the season, so they're looking at that as well.

daunte asks: Are we done at OL if Wright commits or are we open to more HS recruits? Do we have Mortell's replacement lined up?

If Garrison Wright commits, I think Minnesota still looks for one more high school recruit, but it's obviously got to be the right guy (ala Tyler Moore last year). Wright (if he comes) and Vincent Calhoun will be expected to compete at guard for Minnesota in 2016 with Joe Bjorklund and Jon Christenson graduating. Wouldn't be surprised to see a transfer at OL this off-season, so there may be another spot open. 

Yes and he may currently be on roster in current kicker Ryan Santoso. I know it didn't show in his one punt this season, but he's been very impressive in practice and has a bigger leg than Mortell. Minnesota will also bring in some PWO candidates in January I'm sure, but nothing much to note further at this time. 

dalefriesen asks: Who is possibly transferring out?

I'm not going to release names at this time as it's not fair to the players if they choose to stay to have that label attached to them. I do anticipate some. 

Hondodo asks: Jaqua Daniels, Dae Williams, Jo-El Shaw, D'Vontae Brown and juco Kobe McCrary - all big backs that the staff is following - Why?

With JaQua Daniels, Dae WilliamsJo-El ShawD'Vontae Brown and Kobe McCrary, they're just guys that Minnesota is doing research on at this time. The Gophers are losing they're big back in Rodrick Williams, so they're looking at back-up plans. 


Gopher Illustrated Top Stories