The Big Ten Network is sending its studio crew on a bus tour of training camps around the conference, and they arrived in Minneapolis in time for Saturday's two-a-day practices. Since it's always interesting to hear how the local team is viewed by outsiders, here's a selection of some of the observations tweeted by BTN talent after watching Gophers practice, beginning with a tweet about the team's daily moment spent remembering linebacker Gary Tinsley:
Tom Dienhart (@BTNTomDienhart):
-- Gophers all kneeled and had a moment of silence before practice. I never had seen that.
-- If there is a bigger QB in captivity than Minnesota's MarQueis Gray, show him to me. Looks like a DE!
-- Ra'Shede Hageman. Remember the name. Minnesota DT. A monster.
-- Minnesota OC Matt Limegrover is one of the more vocal and intense coaches I have seen thus far on the tour. He also is a good coach.
-- Great to talk with @go4coop at Golden Gopher practice, the best LB for Minnesota.
Gerry DiNardo (@gerrydinardo):
-- This has been the 4th time we've been to Minn since J. Kill has been the HFC-Every time things get noticeably better.
-- Just finished watching morning practice. Best way to describe it would be very productive and very smart. Veteran HFC.
-- LB depth has also improved drastically; not sure coaches could rank them 1 thru 6 at this time - good competition
-- M. Gray - perfect fit for this Off - If he plays at a high level - post season honors - Minn goes bowling in 2012
-- 1 of the keys mayb biggest key 2 season-TB position Minn will beat all match ups if the opponent has 2 defend QB/TB run game
-- Offensive line is so much deeper than it was J Kill's first spring - they are deep; developing as physical uni
-- D Line better which is major indication when building program - they will be challenged vs. down hill run in Legends
-- L. Edwards talented young LB looked good - James Manuel move from safety to LB has been a great move
-- 3 O Lineman that jumped out-I. Hayes, B. Lauer, J. Pirsig are big part of future - Hayes furthest along - could play
-- Overall what J. Kill brings is a template 2 win by maximizing his resources-this becomes more obvious with every visit
Howard Griffith (@HowardGriffith):
-- Ran into One of the all-time greats in Gophers history RB. Darrell Thompson at practice this morning.
-- DT. Ra'Shede Hageman at 6'6 300 has all the ability to be the most disruptive player on the field in 2012.
Dave Revsine (@BTNDaveRevsine):
-- Hard not to be blown away by MarQuies Gray physically. Showing some nice touch in pass shell drill.Shortell 2nd QB taking snaps.
-- To those asking about RB's - will ask coaches - but seems like "by committee." Cobb, Wright, Kirkwood have all had nice moments
-- Howard likes the looks of Jonah Pirsig - frosh OL. Also very impressed w Hageman's athleticism - maybe he puts it together this yr
-- Yes - they are definitely improved.Would be shocked if their win total doesn't go up.