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.

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Claeys tells WCCO that Kill's epilepsy is not affecting Gophers recruiting

Posted by: Joe Christensen under Gopher coaches, Gophers injuries Updated: October 6, 2013 - 10:11 AM

Gophers defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys filled in for head coach Jerry Kill for the weekly appearance with Sid Hartman and Dave Mona on WCCO 830-AM.

Claeys said Kill is home resting, doing fine, and visiting with his doctors. Kill, who has epilepsy, missed the trip to Michigan and suffered a seizure at home on Saturday morning. It was the fourth time in Kill's three seasons at Minnesota that he has missed part of a game.

Asked if Kill's seizures are affecting recruiting, Claeys again said no. He said the staff is open and honest with recruits about Kill's epilepsy, adding that a player has never told them that he's going to another school because of the situation.

"Everybody gets to express their own opinion," Claeys said. "As I've said before -- and I think Coach [Kill] would say -- if it ever got to a point where he thought it was doing something to damage the University of Minnesota, the football program, or anything like that, he would step aside.

"And I've known him for a long time -- and some of you who've known him -- that's not a line of bull. He would do that. I just know from a reality standpoint, being on the road and on recruiting visits that it's not affecting our recruiting. We think recruiting's going very well.

"We have a lot of young kids in the program that we believe can compete at the Big Ten level, and we're looking forward to finishing out the rest of the season. We still have six Big Ten games left and ... we'll have a chance in every one of them, and then get on to the recruiting season, and we'll sign a good class."

Injury update: Claeys also told WCCO that cornerback Martez Shabazz suffered a separated shoulder against Michigan. The Gophers have a bye next week before facing Northwestern on Oct. 19.

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