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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Big Ten Media Days: Leidner's the only sophomore in the house

Posted by: Joe Christensen under Gopher quarterbacks Updated: July 28, 2014 - 8:50 AM

CHICAGO – Each Big Ten team brought three players to Big Ten Media Days, so there are 42 players here at the Hilton Chicago, and Gophers quarterback Mitch Leidner is the only sophomore.

The Gophers also brought senior running back David Cobb and senior safety Cedric Thompson. They could have kept their sophomore starting quarterback home, as Penn State did with Christian Hackenberg and Nebraska did with Tommy Armstrong Jr.

But the Gophers have made no secret that they are looking to Leidner now as a team leader.

“I’m really honored to be going,” Leidner said last week. “I’m really happy I get to represent Minnesota because I’m from here and I love this school more than anything.

“We’re just going to go there – me, Cedric and Cobb – with a lot of class and put a good name out there for ourselves.”

Big Ten Network will be airing each coach’s press conference. Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald is batting leadoff at 9:30 a.m, and Gophers coach Jerry Kill takes the podium at 11:15 a.m. After their time at the podium, each team has 30 minutes of media availability.

I’ll check back later with updates.

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