Note: We're going to try and bring you interesting reading from around the media and blogosphere on as often as possible. Feel free to add your own links in the comments section. We're going to try and have a featured item in each daily round-up.
Kent Youngblood takes a look at the wide receiver position in a piece in today's Star Tribune. There's no question that in order for Tim Brewster and OC Mike Dunbar to have success in their spread offense, they need playmakers on the outside. Last season, Ernie Wheelright was a disapppointment, which left Eric Decker as the only trusted wideout.
The one thing we know will change is the names Adam Weber will be throwing to. Aside from Decker, the only other Gopher with any quantifiable experience is Ralph Spry, who amassed just 23 catches last season.
So, get ready for some new names. Brandon Green is the most highly touted of the newcomers. He'll be fighting for playing time with Brodrick Smith and Xzavian Brandon, among others. Youngblood's article posits that the Gophers new wideouts are "raw, but an upgrade." Time will tell on that score, but for the sake of the Dunbar and Brewster's spread coast dreams, they better be an upgrade.
We'll be having more thorough position breakdowns in the days and weeks to come, but the camp battle I'll be watching the closest is the wide receivers.
- Jaymes Langrehr of MVN.com previews the Gophers' 2008 football season here. His take? Outlook bleak. "In short, things look really, really bad for the Gophers this year. They should be able to do better than 1-11, though, and they may even find a way to win a conference game or two, with Indiana and Northwestern traveling to the Metrodome this year."
- The Chicago Tribune last week put together a nice preview of Brewster's second season and the young ball coach came off rather well in the article, stating bluntly that the Gophers were horrible defensively last season and have worked to improve in that area. Outlook? "Minnesota will contend for a Big Ten title if … Brewster's 21 new defensive players contain enough impact difference-makers under new coordinator Ted Roof and it still gets elite-level play out of Weber, who threw for a school-record 2,895 yards and 24 touchdowns."
- Somehow, Chris Burke at MLive.com found a way to put Tim Brewster's Gophers into its list of "The 20 worst teams in America," but in doing so found hope. "If there's a team on this list that could move up, it's the Gophers. They have sneaky talent on offense and the typical cakewalk nonconference schedule."
- ESPN's Big Ten football blogger Adam Rittenberg has a nice piece here about Wisconsin's reluctance to hang with the in-crowd and convert to the high-flying spread offense. With the majority of the Big Ten now running some version of the spread, I tend to agree with the Badgers' thought process on this.
- This Rittenberg character is busy. On the verge of the football season, he helped fill the need for Big Ten basketball chatter with this look at the team formerly dubbed the Baby Boilers. I think Purdue is going to be the team to beat next season, but Rittenberg also suggests the Gophers "could be the chic pick to be the league's surprise team in Tubby Smith's second season." (H/T-Spartans Weblog)
- Incoming basketball recruit Devoe Joseph is mentioned by the Toronto Sun as one of the up-and-coming basketball players who have the currently bleak Canadian basketball scene looking up.