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Claeys 'torn' about Gophers' backup QB; Tyler Johnson won't redshirt

Gophers football coach Tracy Claeys said at Monday's news conference that the staff was still finalizing the depth chart for the Oregon State game. The plan was to let the players know their roles ahead of Tuesday's practice.

The backup quarterback spot, however, will remain an open competition between Demry Croft, Conor Rhoda and Seth Green. Claeys said he's 'torn,' adding that starting QB Mitch Leidner is "ahead of everybody else."

This backup QB competition could linger for a while, though the coaches know they have to decide who it'll be for the Oregon State game, in case Leidner gets injured.

As for running back, Claeys didn't rule out Shannon Brooks' availability for Week 1. But the guess here is that the staff will be careful not to rush Books back from his foot injury.

Claeys also said WR Tyler Johnson will "definitely be a part of what we're doing this fall."

Claeys said Johnson has "done a tremendous job. I mean, for a true freshman, it's unbelievable. Just because you're talking about a kid who played every sport in high school --  including baseball, AAU basketball -- hadn't had much time in the weight room.

"If we wouldn't bring in freshmen in June, he probably wouldn't have a chance because of the strength thing. But he's added some strength, and he's gained some weight. I do think that the AAU basketball has given him a mentality of competing against older kids. So it didn't faze him to get out there and go against older kids. Tremendous hands, and he can jump and come up with the ball."

U linebackers coach Mike Sherels released from hospital

Gophers coach Tracy Claeys is holding a noon news conference today and said last week that he planned to have his depth chart ready to discuss. We'll have updates here on

Meantime, here's a recap of some of the news from the weekend.

Gophers linebackers coach Mike Sherels has been released from the hospital and sent home, Claeys said in his new "Sunday Night Overtime" show, with Justin Gaard, on the team's Facebook page. Claeys described it as light at the end of the tunnel for Sherels.

On that show, Claeys listed Tyler Johnson (WR from Minneapolis North) and Kamal Martin (LB from Burnsville) as two of the surprises of training camp.

Linebacker Carter Coughlin (knee) should be full-go for Tuesday's practice, Claeys told Sid Hartman and Dave Mona on WCCO (830-AM).

On Monday morning, released its preseason All-Big Ten team (11 on offense, 11 on defense, four specialists), with Gophers safety Damarius Travis making the list.

TV Listings

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