CHICAGO -- Incoming Gophers freshmen Donovahn Jones and Chris Streveler will see time at wide receiver as well as quarterback when preseason camp starts Aug. 2, Coach Jerry Kill said Wednesday.
Jones was recruited as a quarterback, but the Gophers have been buzzing about his athleticism since he got to campus. He was a standout basketball player at Dutchtown (Ga.) High School and jumped so high in a recent pickup game at the Bierman facility that he touched his head on the rim.
Streveler, from Marian Central Catholic in Illinois, also was recruited as a quarterback, but he has good speed and has increased his weight from 205 pounds to 218 since getting to campus as an early enrollee in January.
The Gophers are hopeful that Philip Nelson and Mitch Leidner will both stay healthy this season, allowing them to experiment with Jones and Streveler at receiver. Even with Andre McDonald returning to the team, wide receiver is a big question mark this season. The Gophers don’t have a player on their roster who caught more than 19 passes last year.
"[Jones] will go to camp as a quarterback, but he also wants to play, and he could help us at receiver; I think he will," Kill said during Big Ten Media Days. "Streveler’s kind of in the same position. He’ll go to camp as a quarterback. We want both of those guys to learn both positions, if they can."
If Jones and Streveler want proof that players can start their college career at wide receiver and still take over at quarterback, they can look at Michigan's Devin Gardne,r or former Gopher MarQueis Gray.
"No question, they certainly are good examples of that," Kill said. "Some guys never move back, some do, but we’ll just see how it goes. Health’s got a lot to do with that. Hopefully we can keep Philip and Mitch healthy and that allows us to do a lot of things. At the end of the day, you’re trying to get your best athletes on the field."
(Note: Look for more Gophers notes and a story about the grilling Ohio State coach Urban Meyer took in tonight's first editions.)