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.
Gophers coach Kill confirmed after Tuesday's practice that Philip Nelson would be the starting quarterback for the Aug. 29 opener against UNLV – not that there was any doubt.
Mitch Leidner will be the primary backup, with Chris Steveler the No. 3 option and Donovahn Jones shifted to wide receiver.
“A kid I feel really good about right now is Chris Streveler,” Kill said. “[In scrimmages], he just plays, and the chains move and good things happen.”
* Defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys is preparing in case UNLV comes out running a no-huddle offense under first-year offensive coordinator Timm Rosenbach. With all the focus on who will start at middle linebacker – Damien Wilson or Jack Lynn – Claeys intends to play two units of linebackers a lot.
“We’re not going to know [the best starters to use] until after the first game,” Claeys said. “A lot of kids can practice, and all of a sudden, they get in the game, and they don’t play very well. So we’ll have two groups ready to go.”
* Freshman linebacker De’Niro Laster returned from his knee injury Tuesday, ahead of schedule. He’ll get several reps late in camp, with the coaches strongly considering playing him this year, at least on special teams.
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