It is hard to believe it has been five years since Jonah Pirsig and family made the surprise trip from Blue Earth to Minneapolis to give Jerry Kill his verbal commitment. The exact date was July 30, 2011 and it was a very important day for Golden Gopher football and an exciting day for Gopher fans. Pirsig decided to stay home and represent the maroon and gold despite several scholarship offers, most notably from conference rivals Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State.
Some in the media and some fans may have questioned Pirsig’s performance during his first three seasons at Minnesota, but in comparison to his colleagues on the Gophers offensive line, Pirsig has been a rock of stability.
In 2014, as a sophomore, Pirsig played in all 13 games (seven starts) at right tackle where he split time and reps with Ben Lauer. Last season, as a junior Pirsig was the only offensive lineman to start all 13 games for the Golden Gophers. That is so impressive I almost feel the need to type it again. It is not only impressive it is very important when you consider the injuries that the Gophers suffered on their offensive line over the past two seasons. Despite the fact that several other Gopher offensive lineman were suffering injuries and where in and out of the line-up on a consistent basis, it was Pirsig that was suited up and ready to report for work on 26 of the last 26 Gopher Game Days.
Pirsig can confirm his importance to the 2016 squad with another 13 starts and a lead by example approach. As a future Kindergarten teacher, Pirsig is not going to be an intense and in your face inspiration to a offensive line that is loaded with newcomers that are expected to contribute. However, if the newcomers know what is good for them they may wan to see how Pirsig prepares himself for practice daily and readies himself for another Saturday afternoon in the Big Ten trenches.
While Pirsig may no longer be the future of Gopher football and the offensive line, he is the present and he is accountable. I look for his performance to continue and for Pirsig to continue to be your typical Minnesotan. A hardworking young man who is ready to show up for work every day.
Top 15 MIG Countdown
15. Isaiah Gentry
14. Cody Poock
13. Julian Huff
12. Drew Wolitarsky
11. Rodney Smith
10. Merrick Jackson
9. Jonah Pirsig