Middle linebacker position firms up for Gophers

  • Article by: MICHAEL RAND , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 26, 2013 - 2:12 PM

Gophers defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys gave the strongest indication yet on Sunday that Damien Wilson will be the starter.

hide

Linebacker Damien Wilson, a junior college transfer, likely will start at middle linebacker for the Gophers' season opener against UNLV, but redshirt freshman Jack Lynn could see some in the middle, too.

Photo: David Joles, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

 

Junior college transfer Damien Wilson and redshirt freshman Jack Lynn have been in a lengthy battle for playing time at middle linebacker. While that battle remains ongoing, Gophers defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys gave the strongest indication yet on Sunday that Wilson will be the starter when the Gophers take the field in their opener Thursday against UNLV at TCF Bank Stadium.

“Damien has played in a college football game before,” Claeys said. “I think the first group … you’d like to be able to show the younger players how they’re going to attack us before we get too many of them in there.”

Claeys said he can envision using Wilson for the first three series of the game before the pair goes into a rotation. Wilson has primarily been working with the Gophers’ top defensive unit in practice, Claeys said, though Lynn still gets reps with that group.

And, as always, nothing is certain until game day.

“Like I’ve always said, if [Wilson] doesn’t practice well the next few days and Jack ends up starting, that’s the way the ball bounces,” Claeys said. “We don’t decide until the morning of the game.”

Offensive line udpate

Offensive coordinator Matt Limegrover said three offensive linemen have separated themselves as starters — right tackle Josh Campion and guards Caleb Bak and Zac Epping.

Tommy Olson has been pushing Jon Christenson for the starting center job. Ed Olson is pushing Marek Lenkiewicz for the starting left tackle job, though head coach Jerry Kill said Saturday that the team needs to be cautious with Ed Olson coming back from major ankle surgery.

Jones in the mix

When the Gophers use a three-receiver set, their first unit will be Derrick Engel, Isaac Fruechte and KJ Maye. Limegrover said true freshman Donovahn Jones has been working in with that group, too.

 

“With that group of three of four guys, we’re really starting to develop a comfort level,” Limegrover said.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Atlanta - WP: E. Stults 4 FINAL
Detroit - LP: J. Chamberlain 2
Washington - LP: X. Cedeno 2 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: M. Wacha 6
Philadelphia 4 FINAL
Pittsburgh 18
Baltimore 6 FINAL
Tampa Bay 6
Miami - LP: D. Haren 1 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: R. Montero 7
San Diego 6 FINAL
Cincinnati 3
San Francisco 5 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 8
Colorado 2 FINAL
Oakland 11
LA Angels - LP: N. Tropeano 3 FINAL
Seattle - WP: T. Walker 5
Cleveland 4 FINAL
Chicago WSox 1
Kansas City 11 FINAL
Texas 7
Los Angeles 4 FINAL
Arizona 2
Toronto 7 FINAL
Houston 4
Minnesota - LP: C. Johnson 2 FINAL
Boston - WP: J. Masterson 14
Boston 116 FINAL
Charlotte 104
LA Lakers 113 FINAL
Philadelphia 111
Houston 96 FINAL
Toronto 99
Milwaukee 88 FINAL
Atlanta 101
Sacramento 83 FINAL
Memphis 97
Utah 104 FINAL
Minnesota 84
Phoenix 37 2nd Qtr 2:51
Portland 53
Tampa Bay 5 FINAL
Montreal 3
Vancouver 4 FINAL
St. Louis 1
Calgary 4 3rd Prd 10:24
Dallas 3
Los Angeles 1 3rd Prd 6:54
Chicago 4
Edmonton 2 3rd Prd 18:23
Colorado 1
Buffalo 0 2nd Prd
Arizona 1
ULM 58 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 65
Dayton 70 FINAL
(1) Connecticut 91
(6) Tennessee 48 2nd Half 0:40
(4) Maryland 52

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who are you rooting for in the NCAA Final Four?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

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

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close