The annual media gabfest that is Big Ten Media Days will take place on Monday and Tuesday July 28th and 29th at the Chicago Hilton. Each team is invited to bring three players to the event, where they will be interviewed and promoted by every Big Ten media source known to man. Of course all of the Big Ten coaches will also be present and have their own press conference, along with individual media interviews.
The Gophers have elected to bring three players who will be expected to play a large role in the success of the team this fall. The three players are Sophomore Quarterback Mitch Leidner, Senior running back David Cobb, and senior safety Cedric Thompson. Unfortunately Antonio Thompson had personal issues to attend to and could not attend.
Leidner will obviously have a massive role in the success of the Gopher offense. He is the starting quarterback, and barring injury will play a vast majority of the snaps this season. There is no more competition for the starting spot, it is his for the taking, and he needs to take advantage. Form all accounts he has been working hard this summer both with his teammates and individually, attempting to get better. He will be asked about this plenty in Chicago, so he should have it down by the time the Twin Cities media get a hold of him in August.
Cobb is coming off of a huge season for the Gophers, and will be expected to put it together once more. He will anchor a rushing attack that may be the best the Gophers have had since the Maroney/Barber/Tapeh days. Not only will be be expected to produce, but as a senior he will also have the responsibility to help get the younger running backs such as Berkley Edwards, Rodney Smith, and maybe (hopefully) Jeff Jones ready to become Big Ten caliber players.
Thompson will attempt to step into the hole left by Brock Vereen. Thompson has taken over as a leader of the Gopher defense, and will anchor arguably the strength of the Gopher team in their secondary. Thompson has always been a solid player, but a break out senior year would be a huge step towards continuing to move the Gophers towards the top of the Western Division of the Big Ten.
Of course Jerry Kill will also be there to give his opinions on his 2014 squad. With luck he may actually have more then two or three people in the room unlike last season. The Gophers are on the rise, and we will see if the rest of the Big Ten media cares to recognize it as well.
Other Big Ten players of note attending the event include Devin Gardner from Michigan, Shilique Calhoun and Connor Cook from Michigan State, Braxton Miller from Ohio State, Mark Weisman from Iowa, Ameer Abdulah and Kenny Bell from Nebraska, Trevor Siemian from Northwestern. and Melvin Gordon from Wisconsin.