Three Gophers Awarded Football Scholarships

Minnesota head football coach Tim Brewster announced Thursday that linebacker Kevin Mannion, place-kicker Joel Monroe and tight end Nick Tow-Arnett have been awarded football scholarships for the 2007 season.

"I am thrilled to offer scholarships to these three players for the 2007 season," head coach Tim Brewster said. "They all played big roles in our game vs. Bowling Green. We expect that they will continue to play major roles during the rest of the season."

Kevin Mannion, a junior from Germantown, Wis., appeared at both linebacker and on special teams for the Gophers in Saturday's season opener. During the 2006 campaign, Mannion saw action in all 13 games with starts in each of the final three contests of the season. He finished the year with 19 total tackles, two interceptions and a pair of pass break-ups.

Joel Monroe was a key performer on Minnesota's kickoff unit last week against Bowling Green and proved to be a major weapon in the field position battle. A junior from nearby Brooklyn Park, he averaged 67.8 yards on five kickoffs, with two touchbacks. Bowling Green's average starting field position on the three kickoffs that were returned was the 16-yard-line.

During 2006, Monroe handled kickoff duties in all 13 games, averaging 62.0 yards per kick with 27 touchbacks. He also scored 15 points on the season, connecting on all nine PAT attempts and converting 2 of 3 field-goal tries.

A product of Redwood Falls, Minn., Nick Tow-Arnett showed that he could be a weapon in both the pass and run games from his tight end position during the Gophers' opener. The sophomore hauled in the longest Minnesota catch of the contest vs. Bowling Green, snagging a 56-yard bomb from Adam Weber to set up the Gophers' game-tying touchdown. He also helped block for a Minnesota run game that piled up 246 yards on the ground.

Minnesota returns to action on Saturday at 11 a.m., when the Gophers host Miami (Ohio) at the Metrodome.

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