Coach Speak: Gophers OL commit Brett Kitrell

Gopher Illustrated talks with Ashland (Neb.) Greenwood head coach Ryan Thompson about new Minnnesota OL commit Brett Kitrell and what Gopher fans can expect from Kitrell.

Q: What can you tell me about Brett as a player and as a person off the field?

RT: Brett is the type of player/person that you never have to worry about because he is going to do the next right thing both on, and off, of the field as he is one of our biggest leaders on our team and in our school.  He has a 4.0 and is involved in a lot of outside activities.  He does great with being a role model for kids as well.  He does this through many situations but most recently as a camp assistant for both the youth football and the youth track camp.

Q: How involved were you in the recruiting process with him and what'd you think of the Gopher coaches?

RT: My goal is to help get our players' names out there.  I did a lot of work behind the scenes but Brett's ability easily drew attention.  I was personally impressed with the Minnesota Coaching Staff.  Especially with Coach Miller who I was in contact with several times.  He was very honest, and open, on their process with Brett and it felt like everyone else was the same way on Brett's visit to the campus.  The staff seems like they have that "family" atmosphere going which is a huge thing for Brett as we really preach/follow the same here.

Q: What are his strengths as a player that will allow him to excel at the next level and what are something's he needs to work on?

RT: Brett has a tremendous work ethic and will always be prepared to compete at a high level.  He has a great first step and aggressive style of play.  He is a smart kid that allows him to soak up a lot of information and direct it on the field within our scheme. Brett will need to work on his pass blocking as we are not a team that relies heavy pass blocking fundamentals. He will also just need to adjust to the speed of the game as he makes the move to the next level.

Q: How is his work ethic and what's his role on the team heading into his senior season?

RT: As stated above, he has a tremendous work ethic.  He is the type of player that will be fully prepared for a meeting, practice, game, and season both mentally and physically.  His work ethic rubs off on others which allows him to lead as well by example. Brett will be the anchor of both our offensive, and defensive, lines.  He will be playing Left Guard and Nose Tackle for most of the season but could be used as a 5 technique on defense and an Offensive Tackle on offense in certain situations.  On another level, he will be one of our most experience leaders as he has been starting both sides of the ball since he was a freshman.  He has been through a lot over the years and will be asked to draw upon those experiences to help our team through the adversity we meet.

Q: What do you think Gophers fans can expect to see out of Brett these next four-five years as an offensive lineman?

RT: Gopher fans are getting a player in Brett that is determined to compete at a high level.  He will never put himself in front of the team and will do anything to make the Gophers better.  He will fit in with the offensive line and be known for his physical/aggressive play.  We wish we could keep him for a few more years.

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