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Randy Johnson

Reporter | Gophers football
Phone: 612-673-7664
Recent content from Randy Johnson
The competition between redshirt freshman Tanner Morgan and true freshman Zack Annexstad to emerge as the Gophers starting quarterback for the Aug. 30

Fleck says he's still not ready to name starting quarterback

The competition between redshirt freshman Tanner Morgan and true freshman Zack Annexstad to emerge as the starter for the Aug. 30 season opener against New Mexico State goes on.
Gophers defensive linemen Jerry Gibson and Winston DeLattiboudere (46) appeared in football uniforms Monday but wore other uniforms over the summer. R

Gophers linemen find summer work at the zoo

Gophers defensive linemen Winston DeLattiboudere and Jerry Gibson spent part of the summer as security guards at the Como Park Zoo and Conservatory.
The Gophers’ Zack Annexstad, left, and Tanner Morgan have become potential starting quarterbacks despite their lack of experience.

Zeroing in: Gophers have two freshman QBs ready to start

One of two untested freshmen who have grown into the Gophers quarterback role will emerge as the new starter. But who will it be: Tanner Morgan or Zack Annexstad?
Gophers defensive back Chris Williamson, left, tried to elude a teammate at a recent practice. He can play several spots.

Two transfers from SEC teams hope to make impact with Gophers

Defensive back Chris Williamson transferred from Florida and defensive tackle O.J. Smith from Alabama.
Gophers offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca

Ciarrocca encouraged by progress of U offense: 'It's ... like an orchestra'

Six practices into Gophers training camp, Ciarrocca isn't ready to equate his offense to the New York Philharmonic, but he sees signs of his charges being capable of making some good music.
(Left to right) Maryland coach DJ Durkin, Gophers coach P.J. Fleck and Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald

College football coaches rush to agreement: New redshirt rule is good

Beginning this season, Division I players are allowed to play up to four games without burning a year of eligibility. Under the old system, playing even one game, in most cases, would have cost the player a year.
Coach P.J. Fleck took to the field for the Gophers’ first open practice, overseeing a team that he called more advanced at this time than the 2017 s

Fleck schooling Gophers on an accelerated curve

Four days into training camp, P.J. Fleck gave the public its first view of his second Gophers football team, with Saturday's open training camp practice at the new indoor facility.
Redshirt freshman Tanner Morgan, right, and early enrollee true freshman Zack Annexstad will compete for the Gophers' starting quarterback job.

Fleck's choice for Gophers starting QB? 'Whoever wins team' in camp

There's no sugarcoating the Gophers' finish of the 2017 football season, which ended with losses to Northwestern and Wisconsin by a combined score of 70-0.
Senior Blake Cashman was limited during spring practice because of a shoulder injury but is ready to compete for a starting job at weak-side linebacke

Gophers' Cashman is on the comeback trail

Senior Blake Cashman was limited during spring practice because of a shoulder injury but is ready to compete for a starting job at weak-side linebacker.
Badgers coach Paul Chryst said that expectations inside his team’s locker room are “really high” coming off a 13-1 season.

Badger breakthrough? Wisconsin well-positioned to contend for College Football Playoff

The Badgers return a wealth of talent from last year's team that went 13-1, the only blemish a 27-21 loss to Ohio State in the Big Ten title Game — a setback that likely cost Wisconsin a spot in the playoff.
Second-year Gophers football coach P.J. Fleck told the Big Ten media that he is excited about his team, which has bought into his high expectations.

Fleck says Gophers football team is young but has potential

Fleck's motto for the season is "Race to MAH-turity'' — a nod to Ski-U-Mah — and just how quickly youth and talent develop will set the tone for Minnesota's 2018 season.
The Gophers' Thomas Barber (41) was one of 51 players named to the Butkus Award watch list, which goes to the nation’s top linebacker.

Gophers linebacker Barber makes Butkus Award watch list

The junior from Plymouth led the Gophers with 115 tackles last year, including a Big Ten-best 76 solo stops.
Gophers football coach P.J. Fleck will be speaking Monday during Big Ten media days (1 p.m., BTN).

Gophers' Fleck among Big Ten football media days' top draws

The themes for the Gophers this year will be pragmatic — just how will Fleck's youthful team improve on his 5-7 Minnesota debut and when will the coach's reconstruction effort bear fruit?
Bob Motzko

NCAA hockey committee proposes keeping options for 3-on-3 OT, shootouts

After being on the chopping block for a little more than a month, 3-on-3 overtime and shootouts might be back in college hockey.
Antoine Winfield Jr. (left to right), Thomas Barber, Carter Coughlin and Kamal Martin share an apartment together and, as they showed above, it can ge

Key Gophers football players building bonds 'that cannot be broken' on and off field

Time together on and off the field has opened up four U players to a bond they say will last a lifetime.

NCAA standardizes college hockey's overtime format

  Shootouts for an extra point in the conference standings? On the way out. Three-on-three overtime? Likely kaput. Different overtime rules for different conferences? Going…

Gophers add quarterback from Texas for 2019 class

Jacob Clark is the 24th-rated pro-style passer in the nation.
Ben Brinkman of Edina celebrated after a goal during the Section 6AA tournament in March.

Edina star Brinkman leaving school early to join 2018-19 Gophers hockey

Defenseman Ben Brinkman, who was a junior this past season, accelerated his high school education to graduate early.
How has Temi Ogunrinde’s transition from sprint to hammer thrower gone? The Big Ten champion is eyeing another title, a national championship, this

Sprinter to thrower: U track star Ogunrinde makes dramatic change

To Temi Ogunrinde, the proposal seemed preposterous. She had been a sprinter her whole life, and that's what felt comfortable.
Gophers players celebrated at the end of the game on Sunday. Minnesota beat UCLA 13-8 to advance to a super regional at Oregon State.

Gophers outslug UCLA, win regional title

His eyes moist from tears and his voice cracking, coach John Anderson was at a loss for words after the Gophers won their first NCAA title in his 37 years of running the team.
Minnesota third baseman Micah Coffey (8) celebrated with teammates after their 3-2 victory over UCLA

Gophers outlast UCLA in 10 innings, advance to NCAA region final

Micah Coffey doubled down the right-field line to score Tanner Vavra in the top of the 10th inning for the winning run. The Gophers will play the winner of the UCLA-Gonzaga game on Sunday night.
Junior college import Vic Viramontes fumbled twice in the spring game and had fallen to third on the depth chart.

Quarterback Vic Viramontes to leave Gophers football program

He surfed into Minnesota on a big wave, the California cool kid with a flow of hockey hair, a sleeve of tattoos and an impressive…
Minnesota pitcher Reggie Meyer works against Canisius in the second inning Friday.

Meyer shines, Gophers stomp Canisius in NCAA baseball opener

Reggie Meyer gave up one run and five hits over eight innings while striking out six and the Gophers scored five runs in the second inning to breeze to victory.
The Gophers are making their 19th NCAA tournament under coach John Anderson, but their first at home since 2000.

U hopes to finally win baseball regional in Anderson's 19th try

In his 37th year as coach, John Anderson might have his best shot at advancing after the Gophers won both the Big Ten regular-season and tournament titles.
Eden Prairie rising senior quarterback Cole Kramer is among those who have committed verbally to play for Minnesota as part of the Class of 2019.

Fleck couldn't land the big one, but Gophers 2019 class is filling up

Minnesota's Class of 2019 is thought to be off to a good start, despite losing Edina offensive tackle Quinn Carroll, the state's top-ranked recruit, who chose Notre Dame.
Bob Motzko, the new Gophers hockey coach hired away from St. Cloud, did not appear with other U of M coaches at a stop in the Granite City on Wednesda

Too soon: Motzko skips Gopher Road Trip stop at St. Cloud

The annual trip of Gophers coaches appearing around the state had a noticeable absence in St. Cloud. "Next year, I'll be there," men's hockey coach Bob Motzko said.
Bob Motzko is making changes at the University of Minnesota, but he’s trying to do so with a thoughtful approach. “We’re not going to come here

Motzko driving hard (and long) nearly two months into U hockey job

With a new coach in charge, changes will come. But Bob Motzko, the former St. Cloud State coach, wants to be thoughtful as he goes forward.
Apple Valley's Gable Steveson

Apple Valley's Steveson to wrestle for World Championship spots on senior, junior teams

Gable Steveson, a reigning world champion at the junior level, will join 12 other Minnesota-based freestyle wrestlers in Rochester. Eight will compete at the senior level, four at the junior level.
Mike Guentzel hugged goalie Nick Lehr after a game in 2015.

Guentzel out at U as Motzko brings in assistant from St. Cloud State

Mike Guentzel, 55, spent the past seven seasons as associate head coach under Don Lucia during his second stint on the Gophers men's hockey staff.
Edina offensive lineman Quinn Carroll

Edina offensive tackle Carroll commits to Notre Dame

Quinn Carroll, a four-star recruit, was heavily recruited by the Gophers and had coach P.J. Fleck's squad as one of his six finalists, but he chose the Fighting Irish.
Nebraska head coach Scott Frost waved to fans while walking off the field after the Red/White football game in Lincoln, Neb., on April 21.

Nebraska 'won' spring football. But does that really mean anything?

Spring football ran hot and cold across the conference, but the temperature is way up in Nebraska.
Apple Valley's Gable Steveson

Future U wrestler Steveson takes fourth in U.S. Open tournament

Making his debut on the senior level, the 17-year-old senior from Apple Valley went 5-2 and lost to the top seed on a tiebreaker in the third-place match.
Apple Valley's Gable Steveson

Prep star Steveson wants to take down wrestling's best in Las Vegas

The Apple Valley senior, a future Gopher, will be taking on wrestlers 10 years older. But his record suggests he'll hold his own, and then some
Quarterback Tanner Morgan (2) attempted a pass during the spring game.

Quarterback buzz changes as Gophers spring football concludes

Entering spring football, sophomore transfer Vic Viramontes was the center of attention. But the focus has now shifted to a pair of freshmen in a still-unsettled quarterback situation.
Quarterback Tanner Morgan attempted a pass during Thursday's spring game.

Gophers football puts on a show before the snow in spring game

Zack Annexstad passed for 186 yards and a TD in the Gophers spring game but redshirt freshman Tanner Morgan of the Maroon team showed he's likely the front-runner to be the starter.
P.J. Fleck talked about his young Gophers team before spring practice began in early March.

Canceling spring game 'not an option' for young Gophers football

While other programs have canceled their annual scrimmage, Minnesota moved its spring game to get game-like experience. Calling off the game, P.J. Fleck said, "was not an option."
Gophers head coach P.J. Fleck addressed his team after the 2017 spring game, his first as Gophers coach. The game was played on April 17 last year.

Thursday night lights: U moves spring game because of weather

Gophers officials spent Tuesday rearranging their plans, including working with the Big Ten Network, determined to get their game in. Tickets are free.
Minnesota Duluth players huddled up around goaltender Hunter Shepard before their NCAA title game against Notre Dame.

Xcel marks the spot: UMD banded together to win hockey title

Periods of growing took place throughout an up-and-down season that saw Minnesota Duluth take early lumps as freshmen manned five of the top six defenseman spots, but ended with a title in St. Paul.
Bulldogs player from Saskatchewan grieving after Humboldt team tragedy

Bulldogs player from Saskatchewan grieving after Humboldt team tragedy

UMD's Blake Young played for the Battleford North Stars of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, of which Humboldt is a member
Notre Dame's Cam Morrison celebrates a goal by teammate Jake Evans, not pictured, against Michigan

UMD, Notre Dame both thriving in pressure games

Something's got to give between Minnesota Duluth and Notre Dame in this matchup of tightrope-walking hockey teams for the national championship in the NCAA Frozen Four.
Notre Dame goaltender Cale Morris

Notre Dame goalie Morris put great season together

Cale Morris, who played in only one game last season, backstopped the Fighting Irish to a 4-3 overtime victory over Michigan in the second Frozen Four semifinal on Thursday night
Ohio State players stretched together during practice Wednesday afternoon at the Xcel Energy Center. The Buckeyes face Minnesota Duluth in Thursday’

For this Frozen Four, it's Minnesota Duluth vs. the Big Ten

Whose side are you on? UMD will represent an assortment of regional hockey powers vs. three teams from the Big Ten, which shook up college hockey by starting conference play five years ago.
Wally Shaver has been the Gophers hockey voice for 17 years. His dad, Al, was a longtime voice of the North Stars.

Generations of Shavers leave mark on Minnesota hockey broadcasting

Al Shaver, who called North Stars games on WCCO Radio and rode it to a Hall of Fame career, is 90 and retired. Son, Wally, and grandson, Jason, carry on the family's broadcasting heritage.
Herb Brooks let a young Bob Motzko on his staff at St. Cloud State. “And then I knew I wanted to coach,” Motzko said.

Motzko's path to U hockey coach started in 4th grade

Every step in his career has led Bob Motzko to become the Gophers hockey coach. "This was a job that you only get one kick at the can, and it was there," Motzko said.
Seth Green looked for an open receiver during last season's spring game at TCF Bank Stadium. Green will be moved to receiver for 2018.

Green shifts positions as Gophers' QB battle down to three candidates

Seth Green, a third-year sophomore and former East Ridge standout, practiced with the tight ends for the first time Tuesday. P.J. Fleck said Green could play there or at wide receiver.
In his 13 seasons as Notre Dame coach, Jeff Jackson has led the Fighting Irish to four Frozen Fours, including the past two.

Frozen Four coaches are familiar faces to Minnesotans

With three of the squads coming from the Big Ten plus Minnesota-Duluth, Minnesotans in attendance shouldn't need to do too much digging on these guys.
Bob Motzko, the new Gophers hockey coach addressed the media, family, former players and coaches, during a press conference at TCF Bank Stadium, Thurs

Lure of the U brought Motzko from St. Cloud to Gophers hockey job

Bob Motzko promised an up-tempo brand of hockey, mixed with grit — something that at times was missing from the Gophers this season.
Bob Motzko

Motzko gets Gophers hockey job, beats out three others with U ties

Gophers players were informed of Bob Motzko's hiring at team meeting Tuesday, and the former St. Cloud State coach will be formally introduced Thursday.
ELIZABETH FLORES • liz.flores@startribune.com
Minnesota athletic director Mark Coyle, right, introduced Bob Motzko as the new Gophers hockey coach T

Motzko's deal with Gophers worth $2.9 million over five seasons

New Gophers hockey coach won't make as much as the old one, but he'll be nicely compensated.
Defensive tackle Steven Richardson was one of 11 former Gophers attending Wednesday’s Pro Day at the Athletes Village indoor practice facility.

Next level? Eleven Gophers show their stuff on Pro Day at the U

Defensive tackle Steven Richardson was frustrated that he didn't get an invitation to the NFL Combine. But he tried to turn it into a positive.
Casey Mittelstadt (21) was second on the Gophers in scoring this season.

Another Gophers hockey departure: Mittelstadt signing with Buffalo

The Buffalo Sabres said they have signed the talented freshman from Eden Prairie to a three-year, entry-level contract Monday.
Carter Coughlin (45)

U's Coughlin shows benefit of experience during spring practices

For Carter Coughlin, spring has offered an opportunity to make an impact both on and off the football field.
Bob Motzko watches St. Cloud State practice March 22, 2018, in Sioux Falls, S.D., while preparing for the Midwest Regional in the NCAA tournament.

Get to know Bob Motzko, the next Gophers hockey coach

The former St. Cloud State coach is also a former Gophers assistant. Motzko has been around Minnesota hockey for a long time.
Some of the candidates to replace Don Lucia as Gophers men's hockey coach include (clockwise from top left): Bob Motzko of St. Cloud State, Mike Hasti

Coyle says only a few have resume for U hockey job

Gophers athletic director Mark Coyle wouldn't say if the coach would have to have university ties, but he indicated the job and its demands aren't for everyone.
Ohio State forwards Tanner Laczynski (9) and Ronnie Hein celebrated the Buckeyes' 5-1 victory over Denver in the NCAA Midwest Regional final on Sunday

UMD only non-Big Ten team to crash hockey's Frozen Four

The college hockey conference that many in Minnesota love to hate will have three teams in the NCAA Frozen Four at Xcel Energy Center.
UMD’s Peter Krieger flipped the puck past Air Force’s Evan Giesler in the first period of the championship game in the West Regional in Sioux Fall

Back again:UMD edges Air Force to make return trip to the Frozen Four

The Bulldogs took a 2-0 lead in the first period and shut down the upstart Falcons.
Jeff Smith (1) consoled fellow St. Cloud State goalie David Hrenak following Friday's 4-1 loss to Air Force in the NCAA men's hockey tournament in Sio

Air Force ousts St. Cloud State, UMD edges Minnesota State Mankato in OT in NCAA hockey

Of the three Minnesota schools in Sioux Falls, only Minnesota Duluth survived the first round of the NCAA tournament.
Air Force's Trevor Stone (9) controled the puck in front of St. Cloud State's Judd Peterson on Friday.

Air Force victory marks 13th consecutive season a No. 4 has beaten a No. 1 in NCAA men's hockey tournament

Air Force also won a first-round game in last year's NCAA tournament.
Coach Bob Motzko watched his Huskies practice Thursday in Sioux Falls, site of a regional featuring three Minnesota teams.

Missing Lucia center of attention at NCAA hockey regional

Ties in the hockey community were on display at the NCAA hockey regional in Sioux Falls as coaches took turns sharing their views about former Gophers hockey coach Don Lucia.
Air Force coach Frank Serratore during last year's NCAA tournament against Harvard.

Air Force can't be overlooked in region with three Minnesota teams

The Falcons have had success as a low seed.
Gophers defenseman Ryan Lindgren, left, will leave the program and sign with the New York Rangers organization, forgoing his junior and senior seasons

Top defenseman Lindgren leaving U, Mittelstadt declines comment

More changes beyond Don Lucia's resignation are coming for the Gophers. Ryan Lindgren will turn pro and top freshman Casey Mittelstadt's future with the team is uncertain.
Don Lucia on Tuesday announced he is stepping down as Gophers men's hockey coach after 19 seasons. At right is U of M Athletics Director Mark Coyle.

Lucia steps down 'on my terms' as Gophers men's hockey coach

Don Lucia won two national titles at Minnesota, but his teams have failed to make the NCAA tournament in half of the Gophers seasons of the past decade. "It's someone else's turn now," the coach said Tuesday.
Some of the candidates to replace Don Lucia as Gophers men's hockey coach include (clockwise from top left): Bob Motzko of St. Cloud State, Mike Hasti

Who replaces Lucia? Here are some options

Perhaps the highest-profile job in college hockey, the Gophers men's hockey job will be attractive for many. Here's a list of more than a dozen potential candidates.
Don Lucia got a bath after his Gophers won their second national championship in two years on April 12, 2003 in Buffalo, N.Y.

Highs and lows: A look back at Lucia's 19 years at Minnesota

Two national titles early, disappointment late: a roller-coaster Gophers career for Don Lucia.
Gophers coach Don Lucia looked on from the bench before the start last year's NCAA tournament game against Notre Dame in Manchester, N.H. The Gophers

Frustrated Lucia faces future after U hockey misses NCAA field

After the outcomes of six games all went against the Gophers on Saturday, Gophers men's hockey coach Don Lucia said he was "as disappointed as I've ever been."
St. Cloud State coach Bob Motzko.

Three Minnesota college hockey teams converge on Sioux Falls for West Regional

St. Cloud State, Minnesota State Mankato and Minnesota Duluth are grouped in the West Regional.
Denver forward Kohen Olischefski scored on St. Cloud on Saturday night.

Denver wins NCHC title, UND takes third but season ends

North Dakota's victory over Minnesota Duluth shuffled the PairWise rankings.
Gophers head coach Don Lucia looked on during a game last month. His team will be left out of the NCAA tournament.

Series of unfortunate events leads to Gophers hockey missing NCAA field

Victories by Boston University, Princeton, Air Force, Michigan Tech, Denver and Notre Dame on Saturday dropped Minnesota to No. 13 in the PairWise Ratings and moved Minnesota Duluth to No. 12.
St. Cloud State Huskies forward Patrick Newell celebrates scoring the game's first goal against North Dakota on Friday.

St. Cloud State nips North Dakota, will play Denver for NCHC title

North Dakota hopes dim after OT loss to Huskies.
Party like it’s ... the early 2000s: Green-clad hockey fans will return to downtown St. Paul this weekend like they did for over a decade at the tur

College hockey madness returns to downtown St. Paul this weekend

The NCHC holds its Frozen Faceoff at the Xcel Center this weekend for the first time after a four-year run at Target Center.
Shane Gersich and the Fighting Hawks were in the Frozen Four in 2016, but will have to find some extra scoring punch against Omaha to keep this season

Barely .500 during season, North Dakota has big postseason hopes

The Fighting Hawks so far haven't lived up to their lofty standards of eight NCAA championships and playing "North Dakota hockey."
Gophers running back Shannon Brooks, left, will miss all of 2018 meaning Rodney Smith will carry a bulk of the load out of the backfield. But he'll ne

With Brooks out, Gophers in need of backfield complement to Smith

Shannon Brooks and fellow senior Rodney Smith have formed a solid 1-2 tandem for the better part of the past three seasons but it was announced Tuesday Brooks will miss all of 2018 in an injury.
Minnesota's Head Coach P.J. Fleck took to the field to chat with players including defensive lineman Steven Richardson during warm up before the Gophe

As spring football practices begin, Gophers face a boatload of questions

After a 5-7 record in his first year, coach P.J. Fleck and his coaching staff have plenty of questions to address with their team. Here are some of the biggest ones entering spring practice.
“I’m kind of personally excited we’re going back,” coach Don Lucia said of his team’s series at Penn State, “because it doesn’t have a v

Seething Gophers hockey eager for 'do-over' at Penn State

Embarrassed. Humiliated. Humbled. Choose your adjective, and it applied to the Gophers in a pair of one-sided losses to the Nittany Lions.

Can Gophers get their revenge? Big Ten hockey tournament preview

A new tournament format kicks off this weekend with the Gophers traveling to Penn State among the matchups.
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