Golden Gopher Power Rankings

Minnesota Gophers defensive back Derrick Wells (13) tips the ball away. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE

Part of being a good blogger is ripping off ideas that you read elsewhere and using them as your own. I totally didn't do that here, I'm not stealing this from anyone, this was totally my idea. And I think it is a good one.

This is 100% arbitrary, it is voted upon by your TDG staffers and then I make the top 10 be whatever I want it to be (which may or may not be based on the votes of the others). You get the idea. So with our further adieu, here is your week 2 Golden Gopher power rankings.

#1 - Derrick Wells (last week: n/a) - 3 first place votes

  • Why He is Here - JDMill - "Guy is just ALWAYS around the ball making plays, hits, INT's, etc. He has turned into a true playmaker." The sophomore safety has easily been the surprise of the season. Leads the team in tackles, interceptions and pass breakups. True tests are coming in the next couple weeks and then of course the Big Ten games, but through two games it is hard to argue that he doesn't belong here.

#2 - MarQueis Gray (last week: n/a)

  • Why He is Here - There can't be any doubt who the leader of this team and the best player on the offense is. There were a couple misfires at UNLV but Gray was nearly perfect against New Hampshire scoring two touchdowns on the ground and throwing for two more.

#3 - Ra'Shede Hageman (last week: n/a)

  • Why He is Here - We were all hoping that Hageman would step up his game this year and so far he has done just that. Three sacks and 4.5 tackles for losses is great production from Bain. Granted, those numbers are against UNLV and New Hampshire but those numbers are also higher numbers than he produced all of last season (that's 12 games, my friends).

#4 - John Rabe (last week: n/a)

  • Why He is Here - How about three touchdown receptions and Rabe appears to be Gray's favorite target. He also should have been the recipient of a fourth touchdown on the team's opening drive at UNLV. As a junior Rabe had four receptions and two touchdowns. Like Hageman, Rabe has surpassed those numbers in just his second game of the season.

#5 - D.L. Wilhite (last week: n/a)

  • Why He is Here - Also applying good pressure on the quarterback. Wilhite is second to Hageman with 2.5 sacks and 3.5 tackles for losses. And he also managed to force a fumble that led to Gopher points. I find it hard to believe that Wilhite is a senior already but we will need his production for 11 more games.

5 more guys after the jump

#6 - A.J. Barker (last week: n/a)

  • Why He is Here - Another surprise, a guy I figured would barely see time on the field has become our most reliable wide receiver. Anyone here guess that he would lead the team in yards and receptions? Barker isn't your big-play guy, but it looks like we have found a possession receiver. Think this De La Salle grad can help Tubby land Reid Travis?

#7 - Donnell Kirkwood (last week: n/a)

  • Why He is Here - When most assumed that Kirkwood would be the change of pace back to give James Gillum a few plays off, he went out and started to look like a feature back. Kirkwood hasn't been perfect but his 4.9 yards per carry average is very good and most importantly he has shown some quickness that was previously hidden. I have been impressed and this week against Western Michigan, I hope we see more.

#8 - Troy Stoudermire (last week: n/a)

  • Why He is Here - At least on my ballot Stoudermire mostly earned a ranking because of his punt and kick returns. One could argue that he shouldn't be ranked after the muffed punt and subsequent PI penalty at UNLV. But statistically he is second on the team in tackles, but his big return against UNH set up our first touchdown. To be honest, I've been waiting for more from Troy so far this year but he'll have ample opportunity to make up for it in the next two weeks.

#9 - Josh Campion (last week: n/a)Josh_campion_medium

  • Why He is Here - Has been very good as the team's new right tackle. Pencil him in for four more years starting here. One false start call in the UNLV game but he made a couple noticeable blocks in the New Hampshire game including a nice seal on Gray's 75-yard touchdown run and blew open the hole for Gray's 11-yard touchdown run.

#10 - Ed Olson (last week: n/a)

Why He is Here - Has also been rather consistent and through two games is penalty free (unlike that screwball brother of his, j/k). Ed got a fairly high ranking from Jeffrick and none of the rest of us voted for him. But it was enough to sneak into the top 10.

Honorable Mention

Jordan Wettstein and Isaac Fruechte were close to cracking the top 10. Christian Eldred, Martez Shabazz, Mike Rallis and Roland Johnson received votes. Did we miss anybody? Who are your top 10?

A chance to see some of the names mentioned above in the New Hampshire highlights...


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