Joe Christensen covered Major League Baseball for 15 years, including three seasons at the Baltimore Sun and eight at the Star Tribune, before switching to the college football beat. He’s a Faribault, Minn., native who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1996. He covered Jim Wacker’s Gophers for the Minnesota Daily and also wrote about USC, UCLA and the Rose Bowl for the Riverside Press-Enterprise before getting this chance to cover football again.

Email Joe to talk about the Gophers.

Shortell confident he'll find better fit for his skills after amicable departure

Posted by: Phil Miller under College football, Gopher quarterbacks, Gophers roster moves Updated: December 5, 2012 - 10:18 AM

     The Gophers begin workouts for the Meineke Car Care Bowl on Friday, and will spread the 15 sessions out over three weeks until the Dec. 28 Meineke Car Care Bowl.
     Max Shortell won't be taking part. Instead, he will spend the semester break, once final exams are finished, touring schools that invite him for unofficial visits, a list that the Shortells are optimistic about. The 20-year-old sophomore couldn't inquire about possible destinations until receiving his release from the Gophers, but he has studied schools that run offenses that better fit his 6-foot-6 frame and pocket-passer arm.
     "There are some pro-style offenses there," said his father, Tom Shortell, "and there are people who know Max would be a good fit."
     That's as opposed to the Gophers' zone-read offense, which frequently calls for the quarterback to tuck the ball away and scramble downfield. While his son is "sneaky fast," Shortell said, "they like to run a shorter, more mobile style of quarterback."
     The quarterback's experience at such a young age -- 15 games played, five starts, 53.5 completion percentage, eight touchdowns and seven interceptions as a freshman and sophomore -- should earn him a scholarship somewhere.
     Shortell preferred to remain vague about potential matches, saying his son expects to hear from recruiters now that the Gophers have announced his departure.
     But he did say that the family has reason to believe that a handful of Midwestern teams, and perhaps a few in the SEC, might be interested.
     So consider this paragraph to be mere reporter's speculation, nothing more. But the coach who originally talked Shortell into coming to Minnesota is at an SEC school. Former Gophers coach Tim Brewster, who spotted Shortell at Bishop Miege High in suburban Kansas City, now coaches wide receivers at Mississippi State, where Tyler Russell has quarterbacked the Bulldogs to an 8-4 record and berth in the Gator Bowl. Russell, a tall, accurate pocket passer like Shortell, will be a senior next season; Shortell must sit out the 2013 season under rules governing NCAA transfers. Hmm.
     Wherever Shortell ends up, his father wanted one point to be made very clear. Max Shortell threw three of the passes that A.J. Barker carried into the end zone this season, but that connection didn't extend to their departures from Minnesota.
     "I just want people to know, Max absolutely loved it there. The city, the university, the people there, his teammates, his coaches -- he had a great experience," Shortell said. "Our whole family loved it up there. We got to know some of the other parents, too. ... We're sad about the decision, but we're going to support whatever Max wants to do."
     Barker also announced his intention to transfer recently, but ignited a controversy over Kill's coaching methods by writing a 4,000-word blog post that lambasted the coach for yelling at him in front of his teammates, among other things.
     The Shortells' opinions are different, Tom Shortell said.
     "Coach (Jerry) Kill is a great guy, and he was always very supportive of Max," Shortell said. '"He tried to talk Max out of transferring. I know Max really wishes it had worked out there."

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Portland 0 Postponed
Brooklyn 0
Sacramento 0 Postponed
New York 0
Philadelphia 74 FINAL
New Orleans 99
Minnesota 84 FINAL
Oklahoma City 92
Orlando 94 FINAL
Memphis 103
Boston 99 FINAL
Utah 90
Denver 98 4th Qtr 0:02
LA Clippers 100
Army 68 FINAL
American Univ 66
Wright State 64 FINAL
Detroit 53
Syracuse 83 FINAL
North Carolina 93
Cleveland State 56 FINAL
Oakland 59
Delaware State 54 FINAL
NC Central 55
High Point 63 FINAL
Presbyterian 54
Howard 45 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 42
Coppin State 84 FINAL
NC A&T 71
Nicholls 51 FINAL
Northwestern St 80
Hampton 56 FINAL
SC State 65
Gardner-Webb 59 FINAL
Campbell 78
MD-Eastern Shore 72 FINAL
Florida A&M 65
Stephen F Austin 82 FINAL
Lamar 65
Central Arkansas 67 FINAL
New Orleans 87
Norfolk State 70 FINAL
Savannah State 54
TX A&M-CC 70 FINAL
SE Louisiana 61
Sam Houston St 80 FINAL
Abilene Christian 63
McNeese State 84 FINAL
Incarnate Word 86
Milwaukee 48 FINAL
Valparaiso 73
Alcorn State 66 FINAL
Alabama A&M 78
Southern U 59 FINAL
Alabama State 63
Prairie View 68 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 105
Texas 86 FINAL
Iowa State 89
Texas Southern 85 FINAL
Miss Valley St 84
Long Island 85 FINAL
Bryant 88
Central Conn St 51 FINAL
St Francis-NY 49
Fairleigh Dickinson 0 Postponed
Sacred Heart 0
St Francis-PA 87 FINAL
Wagner 74
Delaware State 59 FINAL
NC Central 66
Howard 53 FINAL
Bethune-Cookman 61
Coppin State 49 FINAL
NC A&T 67
Hampton 88 FINAL
SC State 53
Norfolk State 54 FINAL
Savannah State 56
MD-Eastern Shore 54 FINAL
Florida A&M 64
Angelo State 55 FINAL
Abilene Christian 70
Samford 32 FINAL
(25) Chattanooga 49
Prairie View 83 FINAL
Ark-Pine Bluff 66
Alcorn State 58 FINAL
Alabama A&M 55
Southern U 53 FINAL
Alabama State 49
Texas Southern 63 FINAL
Miss Valley St 52
(12) Texas A&M 61 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 79
Robert Morris 68 FINAL
Mount St Marys 44
East Tenn St 72 FINAL
Mercer 70
Wofford 56 FINAL
Furman 58
Morehead St 64 FINAL
Tenn Tech 54
Illinois 57 FINAL
Michigan 70
Quinnipiac 0 Postponed
Manhattan 0
Saint Peters 0 Postponed
Rider 0
(18) Miss State 59 FINAL
Auburn 48
(15) Nebraska 72 FINAL
(20) Iowa 78

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How optimistic are you about the 2015 Twins?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

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

ADVERTISEMENT