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.
MarQueis Gray is a quarterback, a receiver, and perhaps the Gophers' best all-around athlete.
But you can just call him "Coach."
As if his summer isn't busy enough, full of preparations for his new role as Minnesota's starting quarterback, Gray will serve an internship at DeLaSalle High, helping run workouts and drills for the Islanders' football team. It's part of a summer-school class in youth studies, and good experience for the day, presumably many years from now, when his playing career ends.
"I'd like being a coach, or anything working with kids," Gray said.
Gray has remained in Minneapolis while many of his teammates have left town for a between-semesters break, in order to keep training for this fall. "I just like being up here to get things done," said the Indianapolis native. "I have a schedule to keep up with."
For now, it includes lots of running to maintain his conditioning, then weight-lifting several days a week, plus a little playbook study on the side. Summer school begins next week, and Gray plans to take an online course in addition to the youth-studies class. And he's already arranged with teammates to conduct regular practices once they return for summer school, workouts that under NCAA rules cannot involve their coaches.
It may seem like a packed schedule, but Gray said it won't be a problem. After all of coach Jerry Kill's warnings about "finding out who can handle the load" of spring football last month along with a full class schedule, the quarterback-to-be said it wasn't much of a challenge for him. He made it to all his classes, turned in all his term papers, and figures his grades, due out any day, should be good.
"It wasn't that hard to get everything done. I've done it before -- this was my third spring," Gray said. "Some of the other guys coming in, they may have not known what to expect, but it went pretty smooth."
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