Minnesota Golden Gophers offensive lineman John Michael Schmitz has announced he will return next year for a sixth and final season. He has been the Gophers’ starting center for the last two seasons, and was a key contributor on the offensive line the previous two years.
Minnesota is awaiting a decision from starting right guard Blaise Andries, but the return of Schmitz means the Gophers at least won’t have to replace all five of their starting offensive linemen this offseason. Instead, Schmitz will anchor a line that will likely feature at least three new starters after fielding one of the most experienced offensive lines in the country this season. His return also bolsters a Minnesota offense that has seen quarterback Tanner Morgan, running back Mohamed Ibrahim, and wide receiver Chris Autman-Bell all opt to return next year.