• With three home games going on Thursday night, the Vikings drew an announced 66,262, the Gophers football team drew 44,582 and the Twins drew 20,329. The Gophers allowed all freshman students into the game for free, which surely boosted the attendance numbers.
• Among more than 120 FBS head coaches last year, the Gophers’ Tracy Claeys was one of nine who didn’t play football after high school. Claeys attended Kansas State, where his former boss Jerry Kill is at now, and studied math. Thanks to Kill, Claeys was hired in 1995 at Saginaw Valley State and moved up with Kill through five programs before becoming the Gophers head coach.
• Among the Gophers’ 10 football commitments for 2017, Blaise Andries of Marshall High School is ranked the No. 42 offensive tackle in the country by Rivals, just missing four-star status. Andries turned down offers from schools such as Florida, Arkansas, Miami (Fla.), Michigan State, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Penn State, Oregon and Texas Christian. Meanwhile, Andries’ former Marshall teammate Drew Hmielewski is a freshman wide receiver on the Gophers and will play baseball as well.
• Chanhassen’s Frank Ragnow is now a junior at Arkansas. The 6-5, 319-pound center is starting and is on the watch list for the Rimington Award for the nation’s best center. Incidentally, the Gophers have one player from the state of Arkansas on their roster, freshman cornerback Kiondre Thomas.
• Matthew Hurt, the Rochester John Marshall boys’ basketball standout, is rated as one of the top sophomores in the nation. The 6-9 sophomore, whose brother, Michael, is a Gophers freshman, has offers from all the premier schools, led his AAU team DI Minnesota in points and rebounds and played at the Adidas Nations tournament in Los Angeles, where he was one of the few prospects from the Class of 2019 invited.