It's April Fool's Day, and Friday, and the first day of April. A lot going on, apparently. For the Gophers? We've got a few things for you...
The Strib's Phil Miller steps off the gridiron and onto the diamond as he talks some Gopher baseball. For those who missed yesterday's Nugz (I can't think of a good excuse why you would have, but things do happen) the Big Ten opener double-header against Purdue that was originally scheduled for today is instead going tomorrow. Here is ticket info for the Gophers at Target Field.
Miller then gets back to football with a story about senior TE Eric Lair, and his adjustment to a new offense. As we've mentioned here the past few months, Coach Kill's offense has traditionally used bigger TE's and had them do far more blocking than pass catching. However, Lair is one of the Gophers most trusted and experience pass catchers, so while he's bulking up for the blocking assignments (up to 240), it sounds like Kill and OC Matt Limegrover are also going to give him more chances to catch the ball than they have with other TE's. That's definitely a development to keep an eye on.
Marcus Fuller has a good story on redshirt freshman tackle, and Irondale grad, Jimmy Gjere. In just about any other recruiting year, Gjere would have been the top rated offensive linemen in Minnesota, and perhaps the top rated overall player in the state. Of course, last season Gjere happened to graduate at the same time as Seantrel Henderson, who wasn't just the top lineman or player in Minnesota, but was the consensus #1 player in the country. The Gophs didn't get Seantrel, but they should be very glad they got Jimmy, as he should develop into a VERY good Big Ten tackle.
Marcus also has a blog post on DC Tracy Claeys, who is still waiting to be impressed by his defense.
FBT has been busy as usual with a review of spring practice Day 5, and video Q&A's with coach Kill and safety Kim Royston.
Shooter Now says recent Gopher hoops transfer Colton Iverson could end up at Colorado State.
Isaiah Thomas is entering the NBA draft. No, that's not an April Fool's joke, it's the University of Washington guard who's going to test the draft waters, not the former all-time great Piston and all-time worst GM of the Knicks.
In college hockey, Denver has lost a young defensemen to the pros just like the Gophers did. Also like the Gophers, DU has had their fair share of kids turn pro early. Unlike the Gophers, the Pioneers find ways to keep winning and going to the NCAA tournament despite the early departures.