Redshirt freshman offensive lineman Nick Connelly also has a great opportunity in front of him with Ben Lauer graduating and the Gophers needing a replacement at left tackle. Reports from Connelly's redshirt year are that he's progressing well and is one of the likely candidates to fill that new void at the tackle position.
Can the freshman from Red Wing be the starting left tackle for the Gophers come Oregon State, I think he has the tools to do so. Connelly is all of 6'7" and 290 lbs with a lot of athleticism, which is what you need at the tackle position to take on those edge rushers in the Big Ten. The thing working against Connelly is his lack of experience, but he has a shot to be a start for Minnesota in 2016.