The Daily Gopher Fix 8.14.08

I'm not sure if anybody here remembers but the Gopher defense was last in the nation last year.  That defense was led by Everett Withers. 

ESPN.com's Heather Dinich was able to sit down with Withers and talk to him about Minnesota and moving on to North Carolina.

"Don't take this the wrong way," (Dinich) said, "but Minnesota's defense last year ..."

"Awful," he said, finishing my sentence.

No kidding. 

The bottom line is this: Withers thinks he has more talent to work with at UNC and is convinced it's enough for the Tar Heels to be a legitimate contender in the ACC.

"This place is on the right track," he said. "It's on the right track, getting the talent you need to compete and be a BCS team. This program is on that track."

He didn't completely throw the U under the bus he did take a little blame for leading a defense that gave up 518 yards per game.

Withers took some blame, saying he might have tried to compensate for a lack of talent with a complicated defense, but probably confused the players instead of helping them.

I'll be the first apologist to say we were lacking in talent, but clearly Withers was not capable of making them better.  And most notably it seems clear that he was not on board in turning around the Gopher program.

Usually in the world of coaching you need to demonstrate some success before you move on to a new job of your choosing.  Withers somehow managed to parlay the nation's worst defense into a raise.  I for one hope Roof makes a big difference and we won't give Withers another thought.

  • Osseo 3-star PF, Sam Dower made an unofficial visit to the U (scout membership required) Wednesday afternoon.  Dower is a new name on the recruiting scene but has reportedly been offered a scholarship.  Tubby and staff were luke warm on Dower until he exploded on the summer AAU circuit and picked up offers from Cal, Marquette, Gonzaga and George Mason.  Expect PJS to offer up a full recruiting evaluation in the near future.
  • Bob Sansevere was given time to chat with Coach Brewster in his office.  The conversation is fascinating as it covers how much TB sleeps in his office, what color sheets he has and how dark it is when he takes his AM run.  It did get interesting when Brewster refused to take the bait and once again wouldn't commit to two wins this year.  Instead giving the standard coach line of "I'll say this: We are going to be a much-improved team."
  • Yesterday was the Ilini's annual trip to the water park.  Nothing says bonding like playing marco polo with other enormous men with taped ankles.  Don't be surprised to see a BHGP post if picture ever surface.
  • Michigan's quarterback competition was thought to be Steven Threet's to lose, but the former walk-on Nick Sheridan might be edging the favorite.
  • Ohio State freshman and former Eden Prairie star Willie Mobley will miss his first season as a Buckeye due to a shoulder injury likely suffered last year.  Mobley joins Gopher Sam Maresh as former Minnesota high school players who carried injuries into college and are missing their first year.  Notre Dame should take a good look at Michael Floyd to make sure he doesn't have a nagging injury.
  • Ned Tevale eats a LOT.  The Gopher Football Preaseason Blog has his daily diet.  You'll have to scroll down to see the detail but he begins and finishes each day with 4 raw eggs.  Don't get sick big man.
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