Sorry for the lateness, I went to bed early last night. On to the NUGZ!
I'm going to lead with our future Golden Gopher kicker, Kip Smith. Smith, if you don't know, is a current verbal commitment and is beginning his senior season in Colorado before he comes to Minnesota next fall. This article from Rivals tells us the kid has some pretty lofty goals for his senior season.
"I want to make 100 percent of my extra points, I want to make 100 percent of my field-goal attempts from 40 yards and in and unless they have me do an onsides kick, I should send 100 percent of my kickoffs back for a touchback," Smith said. "And I am aiming for about a 42-yard punt average."
Lofty goals, but according to Rivals Smith is the #3 kicker in the country and why wouldn't he be able to hit 100% extra points. He is kicking off from the same yard line and with the same tee as he'll be using in college so if he can hit the endzone 100% of the time in kickoffs no reason he won't be doing that as a true freshman in The Vault.
"Kicking off from the 30-yard line with a one-inch tee, which I'll be doing in college, I usually get it three or four yards deep in the end zone with about a four second hang time," he explained. "On a good day, I can get them seven or eight yards deep in the end zone."
Kickers are often an overlooked part of the the college game and recruiting, but according to reports like this we will all be very glad to have Smith on the roster for the next 4 years.
- ARE YOU KIDDING? Dick Vitale has always been annoying but I've always admired him more than most as he generally knows the game and when he wants to put his coaching hat on he can really break things down on the court. But he released his top 40 for next year and has the Gophers at 33rd! I don't expect everyone to have the Gophers nearly as high as I might, but when every other top 25 has them in the 15-20 range it sticks out to me when Dicky V doesn't have them in his top 30.
- Here are a couple of e-mail interviews I did for Gopher previews. This one at We Want the Lion and this one at Lake the Posts.
- California Golden Blogs has a roundtable discussion on their upcoming trip to Minnesota. The consensus is Cal will be the most talented team on the field (agreed) but that Cal has an ugly road record over the last few years. Too bad this game isn't schedule for late November.
- Troy Nunes is an Absolute Magician talks about Greg Paulus being named the starter at Syracuse.
- A couple Gopher hockey players are mentioned on Coming Down the Pipes top 5 American's on the rise.
- I didn't know there was such a thing but if you love Gopher Baseball you can join the Dugout Club.