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.
While Jerry Kill tries to add some depth to the Gophers' secondary through recruiting, there's another way -- albeit a long shot -- that Minnesota might find another safety for next season.
Kim Royston, who shattered his left leg during spring practice and missed his entire senior season, has petitioned the NCAA for a sixth year of eligibility, according to a source within the football department. No telling when the NCAA will rule on Royston's case, but the former Cretin-Derham Hall star is still in school and reportedly would like to play another season.
He would require a waiver to do so, because Royston sat out the 2008 season after transferring from Wisconsin, so his five years of eligibility are up. Sixth-year waivers are occasionally granted, though rarely in the case of a player who took a redshirt season for a non-injury-related reason.
Still, it's worth trying for both Royston, whose hopes of an NFL career were damaged by missing his senior year, and the Gophers, who could use the captain's leadership, not to mention his expertise in the secondary. Kill met with Royston shortly after being hired, and encouraged him to file the paperwork.
-- Tim Brewster interviewed for the Texas State head-coaching vacancy on Tuesday, but withdrew his name from consideration a day later, according to several reports in Texas. No reason was disclosed, but according to the San Antonio Express-News, the Bobcats have decided to hire former Alabama and Texas A&M coach Dennis Franchione, Kill's college coach and football mentor.
-- While Brewster looks for work, a couple of his former staff members apparently have had better luck. Former Gophers strength coach Mark Hill and his assistant, Will Peoples will soon be hired for similar positions at Indiana, according to university sources, making them the first members of Brewster's staff to find new jobs. Hill worked with new Hoosiers coach Kevin Wilson while both were assistants at Oklahoma.
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