As everyone with a pulse knows, our content has been heavy on the off the field end of the University athletic programs lately....so lets try and get back on track with some on the field news in this version of the nugs.
- In football news, Gopher senior safety Damarius Travis accepted an invitation to play in the East-West Shrine Game. He joins his secondary teammate Jalen Myrick in the game. The East-West Shrine game is for graduating seniors to showcase their skills in front of NFL scouts and front office members. The game will air on the NFL Network on January 21 at 2:00.
Both Gopher defensive backs will be looking to have a chance to get drafted by an NFL team. If either one goes get drafted, it would be four seasons in a row that a member of the Gopher secondary would be selected in the NFL Draft.
- In basketball news, the Gopher women look like they might be getting their next stud player next season. Destiny Pitts plays for Detroit Country Day in Michigan, the same school that Chris Webber attended. She scored 50 points in a 78-56 win over Whitney Young last weekend and is one of four DI recruits on her team. Pitts is a 6 foot guard who should come in an start from day one as a freshman for Marlene Stollins’ squad next fall.
- The men look to have a couple studs incoming of their own. Everyone knows about Isiah Washington and his potential, but the Gophers could be getting a steal in shooting guard Jamir Harris.
- The Gopher Hockey team will restart their season next weekend with the Mariucci Classic, but a few members of the team have been busy in December. Freshman defenseman Ryan Lindgren and assistant coach Grant Potulny have been with the US World Junior Team camp in Buffalo this past week, and Lindgren is expected to make the team that will begin play at the World Junior Tournament next week in Toronto and Montreal.
- Meanwhile on the women’s side, two current Gophers, four former Gophers and a future Gopher all competed in a series of games between the US National Team and the Canadian National Team in Plymouth, MI and Sarnia, Ontario last weekend. Curren senior defenseman Lee Stecklein suited up for the US, while sophomore wing Sarah Potomak played for Canada. Her sister, Amy who will be a freshman for the Gophers next season also played for Canada. Meanwhile four former Gophers also played for the US team in Hannah Brandt, Megan Bozak, Anne Schleper, and Amanda Kessel.
- The Gopher softball team announced their 2017 schedule this week and it features matchups against several tough foes. Minnesota will begin the season in February and will spend the first eight weeks of the season on the road before finally opening at home on April 5th against South Dakota. Non-conference games in the first two months of the season will feature matchups against Texas in Austin, games against Notre Dame and NC State in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge in Raleigh, a game against Florida Atlantic who finished with over 50 wins last season, a game at LSU who finished #3 in the nation a year ago, and a trip to Seattle to rematch Washington who the Gophers lost two twice in the NCAA Regionals last season. Minnesota will once again miss last year’s Big Ten Champion Michigan in Big Ten play once again which should bode well for the Gophers chances at a Big Ten title