I'm all caught up on college FB and ready to deliver a Hump Day Nugz.
I want to open with a pair of profiles on 2 Gophers who can hopefully make a big impact this season. The first is Isaac Fruechte. Amelia Rayno leaves the basketball beat to deliver a nice look at how happy Isaac is to be playing for his favorite team.
The Gophers football practice field is nothing new to Isaac Fruechte -- he's been going there for most of his 21-year-old life.
Most of the visits, of course, were as a fan: a young Fruechte who worshipped the team as a kid, and then an older Fruechte, who turned down offers from smaller schools in pursuit of playing at his house of heroes.
The dream was so built up that when Fruechte -- who played one season at Rochester Community and Technical College and then redshirted at the school last fall to preserve a year of eligibility -- was finally offered a scholarship and reported to Minnesota this past spring for practice, the nerves of a lifetime spilled out all over the familiar field.
The early reviews of his play have been positive and I hope he continues to make an impact. It's always nice to see a local kid who wants to play for MN make his mark.
The second profile comes from Nate Sandell. He brings us the story of Brendan Beal and his recovery and return to the team.
Two days were all that separated Beal from finally playing in his first collegiate game. Three seasons of biding his time on the sidelines, waiting for clearance to play were almost in the past.
It took one false move to add another devastating wrinkle to his story.
I have to say, I didn't remember that Beal was injured on the last play of the last practice before USC last season. That had to have been heartbreaking for the kid, especially given how hard he worked to overcome his previous injury. I don't have a lot of expectations for him since I know 2 knee injuries is a lot to come back from. But I really hope that he has a chance to shine here. He deserves it after everything he's been through and the Gophers sure could use him. And according to Phil Miller, no one is more ready for pads to go on today than Beal.
It'll come as a relief to linebacker Brendan Beal, I'd bet, who was told in no uncertain terms by Jerry Kill on Tuesday to stop knocking offensive ball-carriers around. Beal has been one of the best stories of camp, moving extremely well just a year after his second major knee surgery, so his overeagerness probably comes as no surprise. The guy wants to play football.
That Miller blog post also has some nuggets about yesterday's practice, including QB struggles and general frustrations.
More football and the rest of the Nugz after the jump.
- Gopher Sports continues the profile bonanza with a look at senior WR Brandon Green. The story includes a video of BG at camp thus far.
- FBT does his stats analysis thing, this time projecting how the RB's might do. The biggest summary? RB production in recent seasons has been WELL below average. If Gillum is able to perform at even a moderate level (in advanced stats terms), then our offense should be very much improved. If you're looking for optimism, his take on Gillum should leave you feeling better about the possibilities at RB.
- FSN also looks at Gillum's battle for the starting job.
- Gaardsy offers a nice summary of yesterday's practice. Yesterday was a tougher day, with more mistakes across the board and less accurate play from the QB's. KJ Maye is looking good, Carter continues to impress, and secondary coach Jay Sawvel isn't throwing his hat (which I guess he does a lot when he's PO'd). So good news?
- Gopher Gridiron gives us Day 4 in pictures. And Kill talks about the hot weather.
- Fox Sports takes a look at the Gopher LB corp, including how the loss of Gary Tinsley has affected this group.
- Bennett offers up the B1G LB unit ratings over at the WWL blog. He bucks tradition and rates the Gophers #10 this time.
- New commit Jalen Myrick seems very high on the Gophers in this local GA paper article on his verbal.
- CBS Sports looks at how Minnesota's players might fare in the NFL Draft.
- Need more tickets for this fall? The Gophers have announced their Pick-Your-Packs deals for the home schedule.
- Gopher Sports has announced the winner of their Countdown to Vegas video contest voting. Sadly, it was not TDG member SWMplsGopher's video.
- Fuller looks at Tubby's deal and how it offers him increased protection and incentives.
- NBCSports gives their opinion on the deal, "short-term vote of confidence disguised as a long-term vote of confidence."
The Daily comes through with a mix of stories outside the world of Gophers FB and BB.
- Here's a look at Maturi's transition from AD to adviser.
- Gophers swimmers who missed out on the Olympics prepare for the US Open Swimming Championships.
- The Olympic dreams of former Gophers Lindsay Whalen and Lindsey Berg continue.
- Former Gophers thrower Barbora Špotáková will try to defend her Olympic gold medal.
- The ESPN B1G Blog Players Poll continues. Part III names BADger Chris Borland as the "dirtiest player in the B1G." He was in a tie with others you say? Nonsense. All I saw was his name. Goon.
CNNSI delivered 3 really good college football on TV related stories yesterday.
- Andy Staples takes a in depth look at the history of TV and college football. Hard to believe, but there was a time when expanded TV coverage was decried as something that would "kill non-revenue sports" by losing schools money. That proved to be more than a bit wrong. It's a long read, but well worth it.
- Various SI college FB and media writers offer her take on what they love and hate about college football on TV.
- Stewart Mandel offers a great profile of one of the things they love, announcer Joe Tessitore. If you didn't watch many of his games last season then you missed some of the best moments of the season.
- ESPN takes a look at the locker room signs of college FB teams across the country.
- SB Nation Notre Dame blog One Foot Down offers up a great "hot seat" ranking system, based on Scoville Scale for ranking the hotness of peppers. See what coaches were Ghost Peppers and which were Green Bells. On the B1G front, Kirk Ferentz and Danny Hope were both listed as "Cayenne" while Kevin Wilson earned a "Green Bell" ranking.
It's the most wonderful time of the year! The approach of college football means that it is almost time for Every Day Should Be Saturday to announce the winner of the Fulmer Cup! Arkansas has a commanding lead and seems to be a shoe in, but the real news is that this has been the most felonious off-season in Fulmer Cup history. Congratulations to all the players who's stupidity and poor decisions made this record possible.
- BTN offers a roundup of all the B1G team uniform changes. The more I see the new Gophers jerseys the more I love them.
- Not listed in that roundup were the changes that PSU announced yesterday.
- Maryland has slightly less garish unis for this season. I like that they toned down the flag pattern, but I agree with Testudo Times that the loss of the shell pattern helmet is lame.
- Michigan State will play a basketball game in their historic arena this season.
- Illinois will play Washington at Soldier Field next season.
- PSU and Wisconsin are talking about adding a rivalry trophy for some reason. How about we grant them the rights to the Governor's Victory Bell and be done with that generic POS for good?
- Missouri celebrates their entrance into the SEC with a sweet corn maze.
- Colorado players idiotically had an AirSoft gun shootout between 2 cars on a Boulder road. This understandably freaked out people on the street, who called the cops. Outcome? Police show up, draw their guns, and hold the players at gunpoint. Morans.
- Vanderbilt O-Line coach does the worm during an impromtu dance contest in the team meeting room.