Johnny Carlson talks about Gophers and new stadium

Minnetonka (MN) Hopkins quarterback Johnny Carlson did not attend Minnesota's 48-7 win over Troy State. However, the Minnesota commitment did have a good excuse as he was still recovering from bruises he suffered in the Royals' 23-14 loss to rival Minnetonka on Friday. Carlson was the first player to commit from the Class of 2004, but in a exclusive, Gopher fans may not have to wait a year to see him in Maroon and Gold.

Johnny Carlson told me tonight that he plans to graduate early and enroll in time for spring practice.


"I met with Coach Mason and he asked me about graduating in January. I have to take 12 credits. I was able to get a lot of credits taken as a freshman and sophomore. This is something that I want to do."


Carlson said that his parents were in favor of him graduating early.


"As long as I can do it, they are for it."


Carlson said that he will be ready for Friday's game against Robbinsdale Cooper this Friday, but admits that he was sore after last week's game.


"They blitzed throughout the game and we had a hard time picking them up. One of our lineman was hurt, so we were a bit short-handed. They did a good job defensively against us and I did not have much time."


Carlson said that an early season loss might not necessarily be a bad thing for the Royals.


"Hopefully, we can learn from this, especially before our homecoming game against Edina, our big rival. It might be good to lose early. We had four chances to get into the end zone against Hopkins."


I asked Carlson about the possibility in playing in a new outdoor stadium and he was excited about a new campus facility.


"It would be a big positive. The only downfall about the U is the environment of the Dome. I've seen pictures of the old stadium and the fans. It would be a great experience. Hopefully, they can get it done by the time I graduate."


Carlson said that he talked with Mason about the possibility of redshirting when he met with the coach recently.


"Coach Mason said that if you are better than another player at your position, you'll play. It would not be a bad thing to redshirt, to get an additional year to learn and grow. Coach Mason told me that I would travel with the team even if I am redshirted."


Carlson has completed 22 of 47 passes this year for 330 yards. He has thrown for three touchdowns and two interceptions  Carlson has rushed 16 times for 92 yards and one rushing touchdown.


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