Gophers offensive lineman Connor Mayes said Friday he has requested his release to transfer from the program.

A senior-to-be, Mayes played in all 13 games last season at guard, starting six. Without him, the Gophers will be thinner along the line. Center Tyler Moore transferred to Oklahoma State, and Jonah Pirsig has graduated.

Returning starters coming back for next season are Jared Weyler, Vincent Calhoun, Garrison Wright and Donnell Greene.

Mayes said he met with new coach P.J. Fleck to request his release. "Coach Fleck is an amazing man and coach," Mayes tweeted. "I am fully confident that the University of Minnesota football program will be elite. My Golden Gophers teammates are some of the most incredible people in the world. I wish them all the best."

• The Gophers landed a verbal commitment from Terell Smith, a three-star cornerback from Georgia who also had reported offers from Mississippi, Maryland, Missouri, Iowa State and West Virginia, among others schools.

The 6-foot, 170-pound Smith is a junior at South Gwinett High School, in Snellville, Ga. He is Minnesota's fifth commitment for the Class of 2018 and moved the Gophers into the top 20 nationally in the 247Sports Composite recruiting rankings.

Joe Christensen

U softball's win streak ends

After opening the season with 19 consecutive wins, the No. 7-ranked Gophers softball team lost its first game Friday. Host Washington edged Minnesota 3-2 on Morganne Flores' solo homer in the bottom of the sixth inning in the Huskies Classic in Seattle.

The Gophers took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning on Kendyl Lindaman's two-run single, but the No. 8 Huskies (18-3) tied the score on single runs in the first and second.

Sara Groenewegen (9-1) took the loss, giving up 11 hits. The homer she gave up was the first allowed by a Minnesota pitcher this season.

Earlier in their first tournament game, the Gophers beat Seattle 7-0. Freshman Amber Fiser pitched the first six innings for Minnesota and gave up only one hit, in the fifth.

Sydney Dwyer drove in the first run with a bases-loaded walk in the first inning and added an RBI single in a three-run fifth.


• Minnesota State Mankato's Michael Sandle, a junior from Eden Prairie, won the triple jump at the NCAA Division II Indoor Track and Field Championships in Birmingham, Ala. He went 52 feet, 10¼ inches. He also placed fourth in the high jump (6-11¾).

• The Augsburg wrestling team was in second place at the NCAA Division III Championships in La Crosse, Wis., after the semifinal round. The Auggies, with five wrestlers still competing, had 47 points. Defending champion Wartburg led with 83.

• Top-ranked St. Cloud State was in fifth place with 28.5 points after the first day of the NCAA Division II Championships in Birmingham, Ala. Brett Velasquez, at 125 pounds, was the only wrestler to advance to the semifinals for the two-time defending national champions. Three others were still alive in the consolation bracket.