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The Daily Gopher Mailbag - Now Coming To You Live From 1-39 Southbound

We answer recruiting, facility, and tailgating questions while also comparing Kate Upton to bourbon.

Jonathan Ferrey

Sorry for the delay on the answers everyone. I forgot to get this post done last night, I was besieged by a monumental case of stupid people this AM, and now I'm on the road to Tennessee for vacation. To make up for delay, I've got a mailbag full of answers from people besides just me. I know, weird. But first, a reminder on how this whole thing works:

There are three ways to contact the The Daily Gopher staff with your questions. You can post them in the comments of the "Calling All Questions" post on Monday (currently the most popular option). You can tweet them at us on Twitter using the hashtag #AskTDG (please use it because then we can search on it and everything becomes easier) or you can email them to DailyGopher (at) or GoAUpher.TDG (at) If you email it to us we'll use your first name unless you request otherwise, for Twitter/comments we'll use your respective handle or moniker.

On to the answers!

Elliot: While your reasoning is correct that there's no such thing as a "good" knee injury, it's important to remember that Pirsig is only a redshirt freshman this year. Ideally, he wouldn't see the field much anyway at this age. There are plenty of players who suffer injuries more severe than this and end up recovering to play several full seasons. Thinking that he's going to be done with football already is probably an overreaction; Pirsig still has a lot of football left to play.

Matt: Probably. In all seriousness though, Pirsig still hasn't played a snap yet and was doubtful to crack the rotation at LT or RT. He can recover from his knee cap injury fully without rushing him to the field for depth reasons. He's a big part of the future at tackle, along with Alex Mayes and Ben Lauer, so I doubt Limegrover is going to push their development before they're ready.

GopherNation: I think it is too early to be overly concerned. He is young and assuming the rest of the OL stays relatively healthy he won't be counted upon in 2013. He'll have a full year to recover and strengthen his knee.

On the practice facility...

GoAUpher: At this point we know it's almost done and that they already have images of the new football IPF. Outside of that? Well, I have an active imagination if that's worth anything.

GopherNation: Teague was recently quoted as saying their original estimated release date was too aggressive. When it will be released is still TBD.

On fishing...

GopherNation: Canada. I rarely am afforded the opportunity to fish and when I do it is usually a trip to Canada. Vermillion is also an excellent choice.

GoAUpher: Fishing is boring as all hell. That is all.

What are the chances we land JC Hasseneur, Ragnow, and Mayes the Younger? Would that be one of our strongest offensive lines classes in modern history?


Matt: In the time since this question was written, Connor did in fact commit, while JC pledged to Alabama. The Gophers currently lead for Ragnow, though he intends to milk his recruitment a bit. There's still an off chance Bama will flip an Auburn center commit and drop Hassenauer, though I won't hold my breath.

GopherNation: Mayes is in the fold and I'm very excited about his commitment. Ragnow would also be a nice get adding some talented youth to an already talented and young stable of offensive linemen.

Does the Connor Mayes commitment help recruiting for this class?


JDMill: Without question. Every commit is sure to make other as-yet-committed recruits take notice. The HIVEMIND of high school kids is off the charts and if a highly regarded recruit thinks Minnesota is worth a look, or better yet, a commitment, other recruits are going to get curious.

Elliot: I'd have to speculate that it does, although I have no experience as a high level college football recruit. (Or even a high level flag football recruit.) But to speculate: If a school wanted me to come play football, I would ideally want to go somewhere that is recruiting other good players, too. I would think the only thing it would detract from would be recruiting other centers, but that's kind of obvious.

Matt: Certainly. Other recruits/soft commits (ahem Jeff Jones) have noticed... and approve.

GopherNation: Yes.

What is the circumference of a moose?


GopherNation: Pi.

Any news on new initiatives to improve the gameday/tailgating experience? I'd like to see Teague push beyond the inflatable goldy in the alumni building entry. Will the Vikings be able to re-establish the standard of what is allowed and how the MPD will view the subject? It's very frustrating seeing 1/2 empty lots around the stadium up until the hour before the game when they finally fill up.

Backhand Becky

JDMill: Are you sure those lots aren't half FULL? Regarding improving the gamedeay experience, I don't have any specific news, but let's keep in mind that last fall was Teague's first real "season" at the helm. He and Kill became very active trying to get students to the stadium earlier, which is the #1 way that the gameday experience can be enhanced. I would assume those efforts will continue this fall.

GoAUpher: I also don't have anything specific other than the previously reported news that the students will be getting their own tailgate lot right next to the student entrance. If anything, Parking and Transportation Services really screwed Teague over and hurt the game day atmosphere by pulling their little West Bank lot closure BS. How Teague handles these sorts of conflicts moving forward will tell us a lot.

Half empty lots are definitely frustrating, but that's more of indictment of the lack of tailgating culture in our fanbase than anything. The people who spend/give enough to earn access to those lots are more likely to be late arrivers than tailgaters and I don't know that there is anything the U could/should be doing about that. Those lots have to be donation because the athletic department needs the money. The bigger issue is that the U hasn't opened up other surface lots farther away from TCF to tailgating (C72 or whatever it is south of the Oak St. Ramp is a good example). Combine that with the City's prohibition on tailgating in private lots (which is fucking ridiculous) and that's the true killer of the tailgate party atmosphere on campus. FWIW, I've been pondering a post about this for a long while now, as I've been mulling over ideas for things the U could try to improve the pregame experience on campus. If that's something that you all would be interested in, let me know.

How does having the Vikings play in TCF Bank change tailgating ordnances around Stadium Village?


GoAUpher: Answering both Backhand and Marshmoose...I'd love to believe that the having the Vikings on campus might convince the City to stop being so stupid about the rules on tailgating in private lots but honestly I don't think that'll happen. Thanks NIMBY Neighborhood Associations! It's not really the MPD that's the problem here (both because the UMPD are in charge of game days and because the true issue is the City's ordinance structure).

Incoming class - Who’s your pick for immediate impact players from this incoming class on both sides of the ball?


Elliot: "Damien Wilson walks into a starting position at the heart of the defense. If Wilson struggles, the run defense will have some major problems. In my opinion, it's imperative that he plays and plays well.

Offensively, I have to agree with MV. I'd intrigued to see how Limegrover and Kill use Berkley Edwards, and if Edwards is able to grasp the offense in fall camp. I'm also really interested to see Donovahn Jones in practice and if he ends up playing some receiver. He's a raw athlete who wants a chance to play QB, but his athleticism might be hard to keep on the bench if the wide receivers aren't progressing. In reality, the incoming freshmen probably won't have too large of an impact this year on the field, but there's never more excitement surrounding a recruit than a few weeks before he makes his debut on the practice field."

Matt: Week1: DCT/Fruechte/Engel; Week 6: Engel/Fruechte/Harbison; Bowl: Engel/McDonald/Harbison

GopherNation: I think by the end of the season Harbison will be our biggest offensive weapon and I also believe that McDonald will be a major factor on the outside, but his contributions will come later.

DCT is kind of at a crossroads, maybe he becomes a playmaker, maybe he is just another guy with good speed. I'm currently not willing to list him as one of our top 3, but I bet he'll be starting at the beginning of the year before giving it up to McDonald eventually.

Engel is going to be this year's Barker. Someone who nobody will fear but he'll know how to get separation and find openings in the defense becoming a favorite target of Nelson's.

Best food trucks in the Cities?


GopherNation: Red Rover Pizza! Can be found at Maple Grove Farmer's Market and is hugely popular for grad parties and things of that nature.

It is a brick oven on wheels. Excellent stuff.

GoAUpher: I've never had this pizza GN mention's but I'm voting for it because BRICK OVEN ON WHEELS DUH!

Why do you guys rave about bourbon when Irish Whiskey is clearly superior in every single way?


Elliot: My dad is a Bushmills guy. I've had a couple go-rounds over the years with Jameson and I've just recently gotten into bourbon. I'm a gin guy when push comes to shove, even though that totally goes against Ron Swanson's "Clear alcohols are for rich women on diets" rule.

GopherNation: There are some great Irish Whiskys, they tend to be very smooth. I absolutely love Power's John's Lane! For my money, bourbons have more complexity to them and I cannot get enough. My question back to you is, "Why are you so un-American?"





If Williams Arena is called "The Barn" why isn't TCF Stadium called "The Pasture?"


GopherNation: TCF could use a better nick-name but that is not on the mark.

What will it take to get this on the Scoreboard during the Goldy Bucky game in 2013?


GopherNation: Um...Flula may not approve.

GoAUpher: Disagree, I think he'd love it. What we need is someone in the AD's office with the right sense of humor and the willingness to pay royalties (if required).

If Jerry Kill were a whiskey, which one would he be?


GopherNation: Old Grand Dad 114. It is strong, it is cheap but it is really good if you give it a chance.

Matt: Old Crow Bourbon

If Kate Upton were a whiskey, which one would she be?


Matt: George T. Stagg bourbon. Full-bodied and expensive.

GoAUpher: the Stagg choice but I'll go with a different's high proof means it's hot as hell and water doesn't cool it down.

GopherNation: Pappy Van Winkle 23 yr, it is absolutely impossible to get unless you have a LOT of money. The Stagg is also a great choice here.