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.
Philip Nelson and Mitch Leidner have clearly separated themselves as the top two quarterbacks in camp this spring for the Gophers, with Dexter Foreman getting few reps and freshman Chris Streveler working through some expected struggles.
Streveler is in the same position Nelson and Leidner were in last year, after graduating from high school a semester early so he could enroll at the University in time for spring practice. At this point, Streveler has so much to learn that it’s tough to get a good read on his quarterback skills.
Streveler, who had 48 touchdowns -- 26 passing, 22 rushing -- last fall for Marian Central Catholic in Illinois, has some definite speed. He's looked good passing on the run, but his passes from the pocket lack zip compared to Nelson and Leidner’s.
After the Gophers go through two-a-days this summer, they might consider moving Streveler or incoming freshman quarterback Donovahn Jones to receiver.
Streveler was among the players practicing returning punts Tuesday. But don’t look for him to get any reps at receiver this spring.
“Chris needs to work on being a quarterback,” offensive coordinator Matt Limegrover said. “We don’t have any plans [to move him to receiver] right now. That’s one of those things when you get into the season, if we could use a guy because we have a void.
"At the end of the day, [quarterback] is the much harder position. So it’s easier to go from quarterback to receiver than receiver to quarterback. So let’s get him the reps there. Then as the season progresses, if we need to, we’ll make those adjustments.”
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