NCAA kick return record on Stoudermire's mind

  • Article by: PHIL MILLER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 17, 2012 - 9:52 PM

The senior cornerback wants to return punts this season, too.

hide

Troy Stoudermire figures to set the NCAA record for kick return yardage this season.

Photo: Carlos Gonzalez, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

The Gophers are still a week away from firming up their depth chart, but Troy Stoudermire is willing to spoil the suspense.

"I will be the No. 1 kick returner. Definitely. I think everyone knows that," the senior cornerback said. "I feel really good this year. I'm ready to go out there and break this record."

That's the NCAA Division I record for most kickoff yardage in a career, a mark that, at his current rate, he should eclipse sometime in October. Stoudermire, who missed the last eight games of the 2011 season after breaking his arm, has 3,102 yards in his four seasons with the Gophers, just 415 yards behind the 3,517 that Tyron Carrier of Houston gathered from 2008 to 2011.

But there's a new element to his record chase this year -- the NCAA rules have changed. Teams will kick off from the 35-yard line, 5 yards closer than last year, and receiving teams get the ball at the 25, not the 20, if they down the ball in the end zone. Won't that greatly reduce the number of returns Stoudermire makes?

"I don't think it'll reduce my effectiveness," said the 22-year-old, who also will start at cornerback. "I talked to Coach [Brian] Anderson [who helps coach kick returners], and he told me if I feel good about it, bring it out. From anywhere. ... If my momentum is taking me back while the ball is in the air, then I'll stay put. But if I catch it and my momentum is going forward, I'm going to take it out."

Stoudermire has bigger plans to help with field position, too, as he wants to return punts as well. "I've done punts all my life. The only place I haven't is in college," the Dallas native said. "I love doing punts."

The more, the merrier at tailback

Fall camp is more than halfway over, and sure enough, the four-man battle to become starting tailback has changed.

"It's about a six-man race now, really," Gophers coach Jerry Kill said.

Freshmen K.J. Maye and Rodrick Williams have joined sophomores Donnell Kirkwood, Devon Wright and David Cobb and junior-college transfer James Gillum in being seriously considered for playing time this season.

"There's not a lot of separation there," Kill said. "K.J. Maye has been a tremendous surprise, and he can play some inside receiver, too. Rodrick has gotten better. Three days ago, I said, ehh -- then all of a sudden, he's had some strong, physical runs, and he's 237 pounds."

Williams had a touchdown run of more than 50 yards, judging by a video posted on the team's website, in Thursday's closed scrimmage.

The Gophers will scrimmage again Saturday night, and Kill anticipates all the tailbacks getting some work. "Our running backs will have a busy evening," he said. "That's a good thing. We needed some depth."

He might just use them all. At Southern Illinois in 2004, Kill pointed out, he gave Brandon Jacobs and Arkee Whitlock 150 carries each, and Terry Jackson another 90.

"If we get somebody that emerges, a dominant player, you're going to play him," Kill said. "But somebody's got to emerge to do that, and you're not going to find that out until you play on Saturdays."

Etc.

• The Gophers defense had a much better showing in Thursday's scrimmage than in their first outing a week ago, Kill said. "They played with much more speed. They felt really good about the progress they made," he said. "The offense didn't feel quite as good, because some things weren't executed as well as in the first scrimmage, because the defense played better."

• The scrimmage included an extended session of punting, and "we punted the ball better than we've punted it since I've been here," Kill said.

• Saturday's scrimmage, also closed to the public, will begin around 8 p.m. at TCF Bank Stadium, in order to simulate a gameday schedule. But Kill said most starters won't play; the session is a chance to get one more look at second- and third-teamers.

  • GOPHERS NOTES

    Season opener: 10 p.m. Aug. 30 at Nevada-Las Vegas • TV: CBS Sports Network (100.3-FM)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Oakland - LP: D. Otero 8 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: J. Frasor 9
Minnesota 10/2/14 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Atlanta 10/5/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Tampa Bay 10/5/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Houston 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Denver
Kansas City 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
NY Jets 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Diego
Cincinnati 10/5/14 7:30 PM
New England
Seattle 10/6/14 7:30 PM
Washington
NY Islanders 5 FINAL
Boston 3
NY Rangers 2 FINAL
Philadelphia 4
Ottawa 1 FINAL
Winnipeg 2
Carolina 1 FINAL
St. Louis 3
Tampa Bay 5 FINAL
Dallas 1
Colorado 0 FINAL
Calgary 2
Los Angeles 4 FINAL
San Jose 1
Fla Atlantic 10/2/14 6:00 PM
FIU
UCF 10/2/14 6:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 10/2/14 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Syracuse
San Diego St 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Utah State 10/3/14 9:15 PM
(18) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(12) Miss State
Ball State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Army
Iowa State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(21) Oklahoma State
Marshall 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Old Dominion
Southern Miss 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
(20) Ohio State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Maryland
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
SMU 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(22) East Carolina
Virginia Tech 10/4/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Eastern Mich 10/4/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Indiana
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Tulsa 10/4/14 2:00 PM
Colorado State
New Mexico 10/4/14 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(3) Alabama 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(11) Ole Miss
(14) Stanford 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(9) Notre Dame
(17) Wisconsin 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Texas
(4) Oklahoma 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(25) TCU
Wake Forest 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
NC State 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Clemson
Buffalo 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio U 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich
Oregon State 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Colorado
Vanderbilt 10/4/14 3:00 PM
(13) Georgia
Kansas 10/4/14 3:00 PM
West Virginia
Kent State 10/4/14 4:00 PM
Northern Ill
South Alabama 10/4/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St
Texas-El Paso 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
(15) LSU 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
UAB 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Ky
Texas Tech 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(23) Kansas State
Michigan 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rutgers
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rice
Toledo 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Mich
ULM 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Kentucky
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Virginia
Miami-Florida 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
(19) Nebraska 10/4/14 7:00 PM
(10) Michigan State
UNLV 10/4/14 7:00 PM
San Jose St
Ga Southern 10/4/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Utah 10/4/14 9:30 PM
(8) UCLA
Boise State 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Is Paul Molitor the best choice to be the next Twins manager?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close