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Golden Nugz 1.27.11

A few things to get to here, as we've had a couple days without the beloved Nugz...

We'll be talking A LOT about MarQueis Gray returning to the QB position in the coming months, and until we see otherwise, we shall talk about it with glee and unabashed joy. At least I will. The first of many stories to come on his switch from wideout back to quarterback from E! Big Ten blogger Adam Rittenberg.

And if that doesn't get you excited enough Gopher football, Marcus Fuller of the PP has a two part Q&A with new defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys. Part I is here, part II here. It's impossible for me to read that and come away not totally impressed with the guy. I love that this man is running our defense, and I can't wait to see the results. I love the talk of being more aggressive and how he preaches competition from the get-go. It sucks we lost Jewan, but with Royston anchoring the secondary and so many guys returning, how can you not love the prospects for the defense in 2011?

Former Gopher interim coach Jeff Horton landed at San Diego State, where he'll serve as running backs coach and assistant head coach. I had hoped someone would give him an offensive coordinator position, but at least he's staying in college football instead of heading back to the NFL to be a special assistant, or whatever he was for Scott Linehan before he was hired by the Gophers. I wish Horton nothing but the best with the Aztecs.

FBT runs through his recruiting checklist, as we're less than a week away from Signing Day!

Because Marcus isn't busy enough with football, he has a couple of basketball articles too. One is a thorough breakdown of the Gophers' lineup options without guard Al Nolen, and the other is an interview with Nolen himself, who believes his teammates will step up in his absence.

Myron has Five Questions in his Strib blog revovling around how the Gophs will fare without their injured guard. If his latest Big Ten Power Poll is any indication, then the Gophs should be optimisitc on their chances to make the Big Dance without Nolen.

Roman chronicles Gopher hockey's penalty killing woes as they get set to face UAA this weekend, and also talks with senior forward Jacob Cepis about needing to beat the best.