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.
A few extra notes from stories that have run this week:
-- Gopher fans are going to love transfer student Brian Bobek, if my interview with him was any indication. He was talking about how he has no regrets about his year at Ohio State, how he enjoyed the people there and the experience of playing in Ohio Stadium. And when I asked him what his favorite memory of playing for the Buckeyes was, he didn't hesitate:
"The weekend we beat Wisconsin. That whole weekend was great. It was a fun game (the Buckeyes handed the Badgers their second straight loss, 33-29, ending any national championship aspirations the Badgers had). The whole experience was fun, in the stadium and having fun afterward."
So already the sophomore center has had an experience that the Gophers would like to draw upon.
-- Speaking of best memories, Harold Legania had a fun one from his high school days. I wrote about Legania in Wednesday's paper, about how he's been through a lot in his life and is looking forward to being able to play football again, after two seasons on the sidelines.
The Gophers' defensive tackle was describing his days at Edna Kerr High in New Orleans, and recalled one surprising way he helped win a game. "It's my best football memory -- catching an interception in high school," the 20-year-old sophomore said. "Got in the backfield and picked off a screen pass."
Not bad for a 300-pounder. It's also part of the reason he believes this will be a good year for himself and the Gophers. See, it happened again last week, in an intrasquad scrimmage. That has to be an omen, doesn't it?
"When I caught one last week, I was really happy," Legania said. "I feel we've been doubted. I've been doubted all my life, and this school is definitely an underdog, and I love that. That way we can surprise a lot of people. Now, people think 'Minnesota, that's a win, easy.' But that's going to turn."
-- And updating a blog post from earlier in the week: UNLV has chosen redshirt freshman Nick Sherry as its starting quarterback for next Thursday's opener against the Gophers, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Sherry beat out Caleb Herring, a junior who started most of last season for the Rebels. It creates a matchup of huge quarterbacks, because Sherry, like Minnesota starter MarQueis Gray, is 6-foot-5.
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