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Gopher Football: A brief look at some departing Seniors

Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE

With another Gopher football season drawing to an end, it's time for the yearly discussion of players whom we know are leaving the program.

Sometimes it's a bitter thing to see a player leave (See: MarQueis Gray). Sometimes the fanbase is happy to see a player leave (See: *Redacted*). And sometimes it's a mixed-bag, a veritable glass case of emotion (See: Adam Weber).

This was a Gopher football team that doubled its win total from a year ago, that exceeded win total expectations, and that had one of the better pass defenses in the entire country (currently ranked 12th, even after the bowl game).

As much as the Gopher coaching staff has made an incredible and relatively quick impact on this program, these Seniors have been through a shit-storm and are a big part of this turnaround.

My focus here will be on Gophers who are graduating, but I'd encourage you to use the comments section to discuss any other players leaving, or those who you think may be on their way out.

Sayonara MarQueis Gray. Man, it sucks to have to see you go.. It still pains me to think that you could be our starting QB going into next fall. It might be the single most egregious error that Tim Brewster made during his brief stint in Dinkytown, and I hope if you ever see him in public you kick him in the Menards. I have to wonder, when you and The Ginger were both injured and the staff chose to remove Nelson's redshirt, would they have made the same decision if they knew you were coming back in 2013?

Good luck Mike Rallis. It's unfortunate that your three years of solid play from the OLB position have to be sullied by the memory of your senior year at MLB. A season that could favorably be described as "meh." In any case, you've been an energetic and emotional leader for the Gophers for 3 years, and for that you will be missed.

So long Troy Stoudermire. An extraordinary Kick Returner throughout your career, a shifty receiver to start, and a serviceable CB to finish out. A gracious medical redshirt by the NCAA gave you a 6th year of eligibility. You were at times brilliant, and at others maddening, but we loved your abilities and your leadership. We also loved the old pronunciation of your name. We barely got used to the new pronunciation of your name before you had to go.

Happy Trails D.L. Wilhite. My goodness did you benefit from the arrival of Tracy Claeys. You are proof of what a D-lineman can become when a coach allows him to pin his ears back and go get the QB. What a memorable senior season: 30 tackles, 8.5 sacks, 11 tackles for loss, and so many more disruptions. Sweet Sassy, what I wouldn't give to see you and Hageman play another year together in Maroon & Gold.

And Michael Carter. Michael, Michael, Michael. How about your roller-coaster of a career? You're not going to be a Gopher, you're going to be a Gopher, you get in trouble, you struggle in the classroom, you seemingly fall off the face of the earth... but then something clicks. I don't know what you did, or what the coaching staff did, but you just completed one of the best single seasons by a Gopher CB and it was a joy to watch. You've got a real shot at doing something on Sundays.

So what about your, TDG Community? I'd like to read your thoughts on the Gophers leaving the program. And feel free to comment on others I haven't mentioned. John Rabe? Max Shortell? Keanon Cooper?