We have a palindrome number of days left before Gopher football returns. Number 44 belongs to Colton Beebe. Beebe is a freshman this year. Beebe is currently listed as a defensive end, though whether he stays there is potentially an open question. As TDG's own recruiting wizard Matt Humbert commented:
Tough to make ridiculous comparisons (like some I've seen roll across the Twitters, like Mike Alstott) when I really don't know on which side of the ball Beebe ends up playing. If he's a fullback, the truly absurd thing to say is he's akin to a cinderblock fired from a cannon. As a defensive tackle, he's a really mean tough guy type -- not unlike Cameron Botticelli.
That sounds awesome.
Colton is a bit of legacy in that his father played for Coach Kill at Pittsburg State University. He has three brothers named Collin, Cooper and Camden so it seems clear that his parents like the letter C. For reasons unknown, the Gophers did not give Beebe the number 45. Coach Kill keeps winning games and denying me free Afroman references.
The Other 44
Unequivocally, the most famous 44 in Minnesota history played basketball. Kevin McHale is one of the best power forwards in the history of basketball, and probably the best low post offensive player in history. The 6'10" monster from Hibbing played 112 games for Minnesota, averaging 15 and 8 over four seasons. At the professional level, McHale was a 7x All-Star, a 3x champion, 3x All-Defense 1st Team, and 3x All-Defense Second Team. The University retired his number in 1993.