Brylee Callender lands at Minnesota Mankato

Brylee Callender, a junior running back originally from Lakeville who has transferred to Nevada after having recently been suspended for a violation of team rules by Gophers football coach Glen Mason, has landed at Minnesota State Mankato, along with former Lakeville standout Vinny Flury. The two had transferred to Nevada, but decided to transfer back closer to home.

Brylee Callender missed his junior season at Lakeville High while serving a suspension for violating Minnesota State High School League rules. He returned as a senior and rushed 266 times for 2,132 yards as he led Lakeville (MN) High to a 14-0 record and a Class 5A state championship in 2003. He rushed 26 times for 226 yards and two scores in the championship game and 22 times for 266 yards with three touchdowns in the semifinals. Callender had 37 rushing touchdowns and three receiving scores as a senior and was named to the Minneapolis Star Tribune All-Metro Team, AP All-State and St. Paul Pioneer Press All-State team.

Minnesota had offered him a scholarship as a senior, but he was forced to spend two seasons at Feather River (CA) CC after failing to qualify academically out of high school. Minnesota continued to follow him in junior college as Callender rushed 97 times for 647 yards (6.7 yards per carry) with nine rushing touchdowns and caught 23 passes for 521 yards (22.6 yards per reception) with five receiving scores for the Golden Eagles in the regular season. He returned 12 punts for 146 yards. His 1,314 all-purpose yards were the second best in the Mid Empire Conference.

Callender signed with the Gophers this past winter, picking Minnesota over Nevada, Washington and Utah and enrolled in time to participate in spring practice and shined in the spring game after a so-so performacne in most of the spring practices. He was expected to supply depth to a thin running back corp.

Callender will be joined by former Lakeville teammate Vinny Flury at Mankato. Flury had considered walking on at Minnesota before landing at UMD. Flury caught a school-record 77 passes for 867 yards and five touchdowns last season. The two players will sit out the upcoming season and are expected to have two years of eligibility remaining for the Mavericks.

GoldenSports.Net caught up with Callender's mother, Traci Friedges, to learn the latest on his decision to transfer.

"They didn't like it and they wanted to be closer to home," she said.

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