Gophers football coach P.J. Fleck told junior Seth Green playing quarterback is like riding a bike, in that no one ever really forgets how.
The high school quarterback-turned wide receiver-turned sometimes wildcat QB didn’t quite buy that.
“He kind of looked at me like, ‘Really?,’ ” Fleck said. “ ‘Riding a bike? I think it’s a little bit easier than playing quarterback.’ ”
And yet, Fleck said Green has impressed him with his ability to switch hats quickly, especially in the wake of sophomore quarterback Zack Annexstad’s foot injury last week. Green has worked his way into the quarterback room a bit more now because of that, considering the depth at that position is now presumed sophomore starter Tanner Morgan and two true freshman, Cole Kramer and Jacob Clark, battling to be his backup.
Green endured his own lower-leg injury that limited him during spring football, so he hasn’t done much work at quarterback this offseason. Last season, Green checked in at wildcat often, adding a running dynamic to the position that Annexstad and Morgan lacked. Green scored eight rushing touchdowns last year.
“I feel our depth on offense is just a product of our work,” Green said. “That depth just gives us options, which I feel is very important, so that way you’re not limited to doing one or two specific things, and you can sort of open everybody up.”
Green was a signal caller for East Ridge as well as Texas powerhouse Allen in his preps career. And his wildcat aptitude certainly will factor into Fleck’s game plan this season as well.
“The wildcat gives you the ability to have an extra blocker with your tailback, one,” Fleck said. “Two, I think Seth is a really good runner. He’s big, he’s strong. Three, he can throw the ball. So he comes in the game, whether he’s playing wideout or whether he’s playing tight end or whether he’s playing quarterback … it keeps people honest.”
Coy about Morgan
Fleck said Annexstad was originally scheduled to have surgery Monday, but instead will undergo an operation on his foot Wednesday. Annexstad was on a scooter at practice, his right foot booted, and is out “indefinitely.”
Considering Annexstad and Morgan were in a battle for the starting job, all Fleck has to do is decree Morgan QB1.
“I don’t know if you want me to officially name Tanner a starter, but I don’t know if I should do that,” Fleck teased. “Maybe I’ll hold off until tomorrow or something … just to keep everybody in suspense. But I think it’s pretty obvious.”
Fleck said Morgan has stepped up “big time” in the wake of the injury, especially considering how his reps have doubled. Now it’s a matter of monitoring his output to make sure Morgan, who practices like it’s a game every session, doesn’t wear himself out before the season starts.
Morgan, though, was genuinely disappointed for Annexstad, who he said is now assuming the role of “assistant quarterback coach.”
“It’s very unfortunate, what happened. He’s an incredible competitor and pushed me to be better every single day,” Morgan said. “Injuries are a part of the game, and now we have to respond as a team.”
Fleck said when it comes to his three-technique inside defensive lineman spot, it’s still a bit of a carousel.
“It’s a competition right now,” he said. “We want to be able to have guys in there that can continue to rotate.”
He pointed out junior Keonte Schad and graduate transfer Micah Dew-Treadway as two players who practice with passion and energy. He also said senior Sam Renner is coming off a big season playing all 13 games at the outside and inside positions and is also up to 278 pounds.