Players Of The Future, Far And Near

The Gophers have a couple of producers looking for big things now and other potential future impacts who are playing in their first spring game.

STARS OF 2005: RB Laurence Maroney - He appears to be a clear all-conference favorite and could win even more honors. Maroney should exceed 1,500 yards on the ground and could score 15 or more touchdowns this season. The Gophers have a tremendously soft schedule at the start of the year and Maroney could pile up huge numbers.

WR Ernie Wheelwright - He could be ready to step up after a very solid freshman season. Wheelwright caught 30 passes for 657 yards and seven touchdowns. He should team with Jared Ellerson to form a very productive and threatening WR duo.

TOP NEWCOMERS: LB Alex Daniels - The Gophers found a way to pry Daniels away from Ohio State. Daniels is a great athlete who may be able to make a sizable contribution as a freshman.

DB Dominic Jones - Jones has great hands and picked off 28 during his high school career. That's quite a bit for a team that has had a hard time holding on to potential picks in the past.

ROSTER REPORT: FS John Pawielski has recovered from a broken leg against Iowa and should be healthy again this year. He was one of the few consistent performers in the secondary. Terrance Campbell, Brandon Owens, Quentin White and Dominique Barber will also compete for playing time in the secondary.

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