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Minnesota Football: Gophers release depth chart for Week 1

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No surprises here

NCAA Football: Buffalo at Minnesota Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Golden Gophers have released their depth chart for Thursday night’s season opener against New Mexico State.

Minnesota Depth Chart Week 1

If you’ve been following the team through fall camp, there are no real surprises here, but I have a few observations of note:

  • Redshirt freshman Mohamed Ibrahim and true freshman Bryce Williams will serve as the primary back-up running backs to starter Rodney Smith.
  • The lone new starter on the offensive line is redshirt freshman Blaise Andries, as expected.
  • Wide receiver Rashod Bateman is one of two true freshmen starting on offense, the other being quarterback Zack Annexstad.
  • The second-string linebackers are almost all true freshmen, with the exception of senior Julian Huff. Hope for good health for Thomas Barber, Kamal Martin, and Blake Cashman.
  • It’s no secret the Gophers are going to get creative in the secondary, hence the use of “Defensive Back” rather than breaking them down into cornerbacks, safeties, and nickel. True freshman Terell Smith has capitalized on a strong fall camp and earned himself a spot among the starting five. There are 14 defensive backs listed in total on the depth chart, and 10 of them are either freshmen or sophomores.
  • Mohamed Ibrahim will be joining Rodney Smith on kickoff returns. Antoine Winfield, Jr. will be handling punt return duties.
  • Redshirt junior Jacob Herbers will be the starting punter.

Anything else that catches your eye?