Minnesota Golden Gophers starting left tackle Donnell Greene announced via Instagram that he has signed with an agent, signaling that he will not participate in the team’s upcoming trip to Detroit for the Quick Lane Bowl. Instead, he will presumably begin training for the NFL.
While Greene has every right to sit out the bowl game and start preparing for the next chapter of his life and career, his departure is a significant blow to the Gophers’ offensive line. Since arriving from Coffeyville Community College as a sophomore, the 6’7’’, 320-lb. offensive lineman has claimed the left tackle position as his own, playing in 36 games and starting 29 of them.
It’s uncertain who offensive line coach Brian Callahan will turn to to start in his place against Georgia Tech. Redshirt sophomore Sam Schlueter has the most experience at tackle, but was pulled from the starting right tackle position at midseason in favor of true freshman Daniel Faalele. On the depth chart, redshirt junior Quinn Oseland and redshirt freshman Kyle Sassack have been listed as Greene’s primary backs-up, but neither of them saw the field much this season.
Another possibility would be to shift freshman right guard Blaise Andries to left tackle and insert freshman Curtis Dunlap at right guard. Dunlap played in three games in the regular season, meaning he can play in the bowl game and retain his redshirt.