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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Gophers update: Jon Christenson, Tommy Olson, Cody Poock and Kill's picks to click

Posted by: Joe Christensen under Gophers spring football Updated: April 11, 2014 - 3:07 PM

Gophers coach Jerry Kill delivered a few news items today, during the taping of his radio show with Mike Grimm and Justin Gaard. The show will air tonight on 100.3-FM at 7 p.m., on the eve of the annual Spring Game:

- Center Jon Christenson, who broke his leg last Nov. 2, is expected to be ready to go “full-tilt” by June. Kill called Christenson "a critical piece" of the team and said the job he's done with his rehab is unbelievable.

- Tommy Olson has taken over as the starter at center and taken his game to a new level. “So that gives us flexibility to move Jon [Christenson] to guard,” Kill said. Christenson started six games at left guard in 2012.

- LB Cody Poock had surgery to repair his torn ACL on Thursday. The medical staff “said he’s got a chance to get ready for the Big Ten season, so we’ll just have to see,” Kill said.

- Asked to name a player fans might not know about now who has a chance to emerge this season, Kill listed redshirt freshman LB Rayfield Dixon, incoming freshman DL Steven Richardson, and T Jonah Pirsig.

Note: For the Spring Game (Saturday at 2:30 p.m., TCF Bank Stadium), the Gophers plan to pit the offense vs. the defense in a scrimmage format. It’ll be full-contact, except for the quarterbacks, of course. The team plans to keep stats but won’t be keeping score, with defensive points or anything like that. If it's anything like last Saturday's scrimmage, the starters will see a lot of playing time, and it's going to be a key test for players fighting for jobs.

Check back to StarTribune.com for full coverage, and follow along on Twitter: @JoeCStrib.

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