To say the Gophers are glad to have Damarius Travis back is an understatement. The safety injured a hamstring on the final play of last year's season opener against TCU and wound up missing the rest of the season. But he received a medical redshirt and will be a captain this fall.
I touched on that earlier this month, but defensive coordinator Jay Sawvel summed it up even better Thursday.
"In 2014 -- people won’t always believe this -- we always said, '[Travis] was the guy on defense we couldn’t afford to lose,'" Sawvel said. "He played nickel, he played safety, he was our best overall player -- great cover guy, good in the box.
"But he was also our best special teams player, too. Once we lost him, we had to replace him with three different guys on special teams. And we had to find a way to replace some of his production on defense which we couldn’t quite do.
"He played 110 plays against TCU between defense and special teams. That’s who he is that’s what he does. When you lose a guy like that, you can’t replace it."