College football is right around the corner. I'll be at Big Ten Media Days tomorrow and Friday in Chicago. First, a few quick notes:
* Gophers wide receiver Jeff Borchardt continues to make good progress after having surgery June 2 to remove a brain tumor. His father texted me this morning: "The 6 week mri looked really good. Lots of healing has taken place. No real visual signs of any tumor left. So future mri's every 3 months to monitor. If any sign of the tumor returns then radiation. Light to med weight lifting for next 3 months and back to more normal life of a 20 yr old. But very smart. Worse thing poss right now would be another concussion while brain heals. Jeffrey smiled yesterday realizing a new chapter started."
* Interesting story here from the Fargo Forum on Gophers running back James Johannesson, who was clocked running 22.2 miles per hour in a recent workout.
Fall camp for the Gophers begins Aug. 7, and the big question is whether Johannesson will play as a true freshman or redshirt. Another question that remains is whether he'll remain at running back or be moved to defense where his speed could be used at linebacker.
"I'm not sure what they have planned for me," Johannesson said. "If I could play and travel I would want to do that of course, but we'll have to see what the coaches think. I think it is more of a camp feel to see how that goes."
* I interviewed offensive coordinator Matt Limegrover yesterday for a few stories I'm working on for training camp. During one answer, he offered thoughts on the running backs, as the team needs to replace workhorse David Cobb:
"Rodrick Williams will be a guy that you want to turn around and hand it to him," Limegrover said. "He’s going to get you yards. And hopefully the combination of him and having a veteran offensive line who’ve been through that is kind of like ground zero. If all else fails, we’re going to pound you, and we’re going to bring 35 [Williams] 20 times.
"I don’t want to have to do that all the time, but then you say, 'OK, Berkley Edwards. Where does a more mature, more developed a more comfortable Berkley Edwards fit in?'
"And then Rodney Smith at tailback. What can we do with him? Because he’s got some it factor to him that’s a little extra special in my mind."
The Gophers will look for multiple ways to work Jeff Jones into the offense, and this spring, it looked like a big portion of that would be at slot receiver.
"He did great in the spring, but that’s the spring," Limegrover said. "The scoreboard wasn’t on, school wasn’t in session. I guess it was, but it wasn’t in that kind of grind that you have during the season. So who knows with him? But we’re going to try to figure it out in fall camp and get him in spots."