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.
I'll be back at Ridder Arena tonight to see if the Gophers women's hockey team can extend its 44-game winning streak, as they play Ohio State in the semifinals of the WCHA Final Face-Off.
Meanwhile, with 18 days remaining until spring practice, let's take a look at another returning member of the Gophers' receiving corps:
Position: Wide Receiver
Eligibility: Redshirt junior
High School: Caledonia
Recruiting flashback: Fruechte (pronounced Freck-te) was a standout receiver for Caledonia but didn’t receive any D-I offers out of high school.
Early college: He landed at Rochester Community and Technical College, where he caught 30 passes for 800 yards and nine touchdowns as a freshman in 2010. Fruechte sat out the 2011 season and transferred to Minnesota in time for spring practice last year.
2012 rewind: Fruechte is deceptively fast and started making his mark in spring practice. While other receivers higher on the depth chart fell off the grid, he started nine of the team’s last 11 games and finished with 19 catches for 256 yards and two touchdowns. His production did trail off over the final three games, however, as he combined for just one catch for four yards against Nebraska, Michigan State and Texas Tech.
2013 outlook: Of Minnesota’s returning receivers, only Derrick Engel had more yards (375) last season. Fruechte still has two years of eligibility remaining and will look to build off 2012. Jamel Harbison should be back from his knee injury, but Andre McDonald will miss spring practice while working through some personal issues. Fruechte will get more chances to show what he can do at the Division I level.
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