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.
Our Sunday profile of MarQueis Gray and his determination to win the job he now owns is online, complete with photos of the power-suited quarterback.
I didn't get offensive coordinator Matt Limegrover's opinions into the story, due to limited space, but he had some interesting things to say, particularly about Gray's time as a wide receiver.
"That's a double-edged sword. The fact that he's had to wait has made him hungry," Limegrover said. "We had a Navy Seal in here to talk to the kids, and he said it took him two years to learn to swim. He wanted it so bad, he wasn't going to stop. So that can be a good thing."
The flip side is more obvious, though. "There's such a rust factor. Coach Kill gets nervous when he gives guys one day off, that they'll lose their timing and all that stuff. Now compound that by four years -- that's tough," Limegrover said. "To jump back in at the highest level of college football, and be expected to read everything and understand everything and make every throw, after just 20 practices -- well, that's just putting an awful lot on a college kid."
That said, Gray has developed the proper mentality, Limegrover said. He's turning into a perfectionist, which is what they want.
"He's the first guy when things don't go exactly right to say, 'That wasn't good enough.' He'll go to Coach [Zebrowski] and say, 'We've got to do this better,' " Limegrover said. "It's not an attitude like, 'Oh, I'll be fine, I'll get it fixed.' He really works at being perfect, and that comes from his desire to be that guy."
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