Minnesota Football: Gophers Depth Chart & Injury Report vs Wisconsin Badgers

Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

Who is in and who is out?

The depth chart and injury report for the Border Battle/HATEWEEK/Battle for The Axe vs Wisconsin. Kickoff at 230pm on E!SPN.

OFFENSE

Left Tackle

58 - Ed Olson 6-7 309 R-Sr. Mahtomedi, Minn. (Mahtomedi HS)
78 - Ben Lauer 6-6 302 R-Fr. Plymouth, Minn. (Wayzata HS)

Left Guard

52 - Zac Epping 6-2 321 R-Jr. Kenosha, Wis. (Tremper HS)
73 - Joe Bjorklund 6-5 288 R-So. Rosemount, Minn. (Rosemount HS)

Center

53 - Tommy Olson 6-4 301 Jr. Mahtomedi, Minn. (Mahtomedi HS)
52 - Zac Epping 6-2 321 R-Jr. Kenosha, Wis. (Tremper HS)

Right Guard

77 - Foster Bush 6-5 303 R-So. Menasha, Wis. (Menasha HS
68 - Isaac Hayes 6-2 304 R-Fr. Brooklyn Park, MN (St Thomas Academy)

Right Tackle

65 - Josh Campion 6-5 326 R-So. Fergus Falls, Minn. (Fork Union Military Academy)
79 - Jonah Pirsig 6-9 308 R-Fr. Blue Earth, Minn. (Blue Earth Area HS)

Quarterback

9 - Philip Nelson 6-2 215 So. Mankato, Minn. (Mankato West HS)
7 - Mitch Leidner 6-4 233 R-Fr. Lakeville, Minn. (Lakeville South HS)

Tailback

27 - David Cobb 5-11 225 Jr. Killeen, Texas (Ellison HS)
20- Donnell Kirkwood 5-10 233 R-Jr. Delray Beach, Fla. (Atlantic)
OR

35 - Rodrick Williams Jr. 5-11 235 So. Lewisville, Texas (Lewisville HS)

H-Back/Fullback

30 - Mike Henry 6-1 231 R-Sr. Mahtomedi, Minn. (Mahtomedi HS)
OR

88 - Maxx Williams 6-4 254 R-Fr. Waconia, Minn. (Waconia HS)

Y

83 - Drew Goodger 6-5 265 So. Shawnee Mission, Kan. (Northwest HS)
85 - Lincoln Plsek 6-4 265 So. Waco, Texas (Reicher HS)

Z

14 - Isaac Fruechte 6-3 204 R-Jr. Caledonia, Minn. (Rochester CTC)
1 - KJ Maye 5-10 197 So. Mobile, Ala. (Murphy HS)

H

17 - Logan Hutton 6-1 181 R-Jr. La Marque, Texas (La Marque HS)
14 - Isaac Fruechte 6-3 204 R-Jr. Caledonia, Minn. (Rochester CTC)

X

4 - Donovahn Jones 6-3 190 Fr. Stockbridge, Ga. (Dutchtown HS)
82 - Drew Wolitarsky 6-3 208 Fr. Santa Clarita, Calif. (Canyon County HS)

DEFENSE

End

98 - Michael Amaefula 6-2 244 Jr. Arlington, Texas (Bowie HS)
95 - Hank Ekpe 6-5 251 Fr. Lewisville, Texas (Lewisville HS)

Tackle

46 - Cameron Botticelli 6-5 290 R-Jr. Milwaukee, Wis. (Marquette University HS)
92 - Roland Johnson 6-1 286 Sr. Camden, S.C. (Butler CC)

Nose

99 - Ra'Shede Hageman 6-6 311 R-Sr. Minneapolis, Minn. (Washburn HS)
97 - Scott Ekpe 6-4 281 So. Lewisville, Texas (Lewisville HS)

End

55 - Theiren Cockran 6-6 238 R-So. Homestead, Fla. (Homestead HS)
91 - Alex Keith 6-3 237 So. Columbia, Mo. (Hickman HS)

Strongside Linebacker

57 - Aaron Hill 6-2 231 R-Sr. St. Charles, Mo. (Lutheran HS)
56 - Nick Rallis 5-11 227 R-Fr. Edina, Minn. (Edina HS)

Middle Linebacker

5 - Damien Wilson 6-2 254 Jr. Gloster, Miss. (Jones County CC)
50 - Jack Lynn 6-3 234 R-Fr. Lake Zurich, Ill. (Lake Zurich HS)

Weakside Linebacker

9 - James Manuel 6-2 225 Sr. Indianapolis, Ind. (Warren Central HS)
26 - De'Vondre Campbell 6-5 225 R-So. Fort Myers, Fla. (Hutchinson CC)

Cornerback

31 - Eric Murray 6-0 194 So. Milwaukee, Wis. (Riverside University HS)
3 - Martez Shabazz 5-11 172 Sr. DeSoto, Texas (Trinity Valley CC)

Safety

11 - Antonio Johnson 6-0 207 So. Cleveland, Ohio (Shaker Heights HS)
6 - Grayson Levine 5-11 202 Jr. Eden Prairie, MN (Eden Prairie HS)

Safety

7 - Damarius Travis 6-2 208 So. Pensacola, Fla. (Pensacola HS)
2 - Cedric Thompson 5-10 211 Jr. Calipatria, Calif. (Calipatria HS)

Cornerback

21 - Brock Vereen 6-0 202 Sr. Valencia, Calif. (Valencia HS)
13 - Derrick Wells 6-0 206 Jr. Lehigh Acres, Fla. (Lehigh HS)

SPECIAL TEAMS

Kicker

36 - Chris Hawthorne 6-6 200 Sr. Raleigh, N.C. (NC State)

Punter

37 - Peter Mortell 6-2 195 R-So. Green Bay, Wis. (Notre Dame Academy)

Holder

37 - Peter Mortell 6-2 195 R-So. Green Bay, Wis. (Notre Dame Academy)

Long Snapper

48 - Jake Filkins 6-2 240 Sr. Prescott, Wis. (Prescott)

Kick Return

15 - Marcus Jones 5-8 166 Jr. Wake Forest, N.C. (Wake Forest-Rolesville)
11 - Antonio Johnson 6-0 207 So. Cleveland, Ohio (Shaker Heights, Ohio)

Punt Return

15 - Marcus Jones 5-8 166 Jr. Wake Forest, N.C. (Wake Forest-Rolesville)
18 - Derrick Engel 6-2 187 R-Sr. Chaska, MN (Winona State)
1 - KJ Maye 5-10 197 So. Mobile, Ala. (Murphy)

INJURY REPORT

18 - Derrick Engel, Questionable
5 - Chris Streveler, Out
64 - Caleb Bak, Out
63 - Jon Christenson, Out for the season
29 - Briean Boddy-Calhoun, Out for the season

The big news this week is the status of Engel, who's been by far Minnesota's most productive receiver:

Kill has kept the status of Engel in question since the senior receiver suffered a knee injury in practice Sunday. Kill has declined from giving any updates on the severity of the injury, but did tell reporters Wednesday Engel had been on the practice field to take punt returns. While staying away from specifics, Kill would not rule the key "U" playmaker out.

This staff has a history of being sneaky with their lineup cards, and they look to be at it again by listing Engel as 2nd string punt returner, but not at all in the WR two-deep. Based on their history with this stuff, I'd assume Engel will get a snap or two in the first quarter and if he's able to keep going, he'll go. I have no idea how the extreme cold expected for Saturday affects an injury like this, but I'd be surprised if we DON'T see Engel make a go of it.

If he really can't play, then it's going to be interesting to see who steps up. Obviously the team's second leading receiver, TE Maxx Williams, should still get plenty of passes his way, but it'd be a mighty fine time for the "Caledonia Clipper" Issac Fruechte to have a big game, one we've been waiting for all season. He's the most experienced of the remaining receivers, and as you've probably noticed, is not only listed as a starter at the Z spot but also the #2 at the H receiver. Maybe we'll also finally see a few throws sent the way of the gentlemen listed behind him at Z in KJ Maye. Maye received plenty of reps in the spring and summer at the outside receiver spot, and remains a pretty dangerous offensive player when they get the ball in his hands. Yet he has just six catches for 70 yards this entire season. I know he has been used in the slot, and this offense barely- if ever- uses formations with a slot receiver anymore, but this could be a great opportunity to get a playmaker like Maye more involved.

The two other guys are the true freshmen Donovahn Jones and Drew Wolitarsky. From that Nate Sandell piece I was surprised to learn the following about Wolitarsky:

...Wolitarsky has been the Gophers' third-most targeted receiver (22), but he has reeled in only eight of those passes for 109 yards.

That's a lot of targets for a true freshman, and without seeing the tape I have no idea why he hasn't caught more of those passes, but it's at least a sign that Philip Nelson has confidence in the youngster. Ditto Jones, who in my opinion remains the most dangerous offensive threat on this team, as his workload has slowly increased the past few games. He's also becoming more than just their deep guy as he's running more and more routes each week. This is certainly a better team with Engel in the lineup, but if he can't go, let's hope somebody- and even several somebodies- from the wide receiver corps seize the opportunity to make plays.

I was also not aware of Bak's injury vs Penn State, and it looks like he will not participate at all vs the Badgers. The offensive line had been very healthy up until the past few games when C Jon Christenson was lost for the season with a broken leg, and now Bak is out with a concussion. Foster Bush gets the start but I'll definitely be keeping an eye on Isaac Hayes to see if the highly touted redshirt freshman gets any snaps tomorrow.

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