Greetings. Here's an update from media availability today:
Gophers coach Tim Brewster said it was Ra'Shede Hageman's idea to take a stab at defensive end.
''It's something he was interested in,'' Brewster said after Monday morning's practice. ''He wants to help this team. He's a good teammate. He's very positive.''
Hageman came to the Gophers as one of the most highly-regarded high school tight ends in the country. According to some reports, his decision to come to Minnesota was influenced by his being able to stay at the position in college. Monday Brewster said there hasn't been an official switch of position. Indeed, Brewster said there's a chance Hageman could play both defensive end and tight end.
''He's a big, physical guy,'' Brewster said. ''He's really shown some natural abilities as a defensive end. ...For us to become an elite defense, which we want to become, you have to take athletes like that and expose them to the defensive side of the ball. We'll see how it works.''
Brewster said the physical requirements for the two positions are similar. ''You want quick-twitch guys who do a good job of getting off the ball and use their hands,'' he said. ''He's shown a knack for doing that.''
The decision to give Hageman at look at defensive end was facilitated by how Brewster feels about the depth at the position. Nick Tow-Arnett is having a strong camp and Collin McGarry has really improved. Eric lair is still in the mix and Curtis Hughes could be a punishing blocker on rushing downs.
Other tidbits from Monday:
--Brewster said the Gophers have shifted into Syracuse mode two weeks before the opener. ''We're working hard on what we think we're going to see with Syracuse,'' Brewster said. Tough job, considering there is a new coach, a big turnover in the roster and a starting senior quarterback who hasn't played in a real football game since high school.
--Brewster said one point of emphasis with his defense during camp has been cutting down on penalties.
That's about it. Late practice tomorrow afternoon.