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Four-star offensive lineman Sean Foster won't play for Gophers

The Gophers lost the fourth player from their 2016 recruiting class Tuesday, when Sean Foster, a consensus four-star offensive lineman from Illinois, announced he won't be coming to Minnesota.

The 6-8, 285-pound Foster is ranked as the nation’s 19th best offensive tackle in this class by He had offers from Nebraska, Virginia Tech and Kentucky when he committed to the Gophers last April.

Foster posted a statement on Twitter: “After speaking to the coaching staff at the University of Minnesota it is in my best interest to decommit immediately and explore my options. I greatly appreciate all that the Mn staff has done for me. I am saddened by the recent departures of some amazing coaches and look forward to becoming a part of a great university.”

Gophers coach Tracy Claeys fired offensive coordinator Matt Limegrover and quarterbacks coach Jim Zebrowski on Sunday. Hours later, Tony Poljan, a consensus three-star quarterback from Michigan, decommitted, citing “ever changing leadership at the University of Minnesota.”

Anytime a coaching staff changes, brace for recruits to flip to other schools. Jerry Kill retired for health reasons on Oct. 28, and Claeys took over, with the school removing his interim tag two weeks later.

Last month, two defensive players decommitted. Andre Polk, a linebacker from South Fort Myers High School, flipped to South Florida, and Tralund Webber, a junior college defensive end, flipped to Oklahoma State. Both are consensus three-star recruits.

The Gophers still have 14 players committed in this class, with signing day coming Feb. 3. Foster had been one of two four-star recruits in the class, along with Eden Prairie linebacker Carter Coughlin.

After Foster made his announcement, Coughlin tweeted his support for Claeys.

Bowl chances improve for 5-7 Gophers; say they'd welcome bid

At 5-7, the Gophers know they might not deserve a bowl berth. But it’s looking more and more like they’ll get picked, and coach Tracy Claeys said Monday that they would welcome the opportunity.

With 40 bowls, the NCAA has 80 spots to fill, and only 75 teams have qualified with six wins. Three more current 5-6 teams – Kansas State, Georgia State and South Alabama -- can qualify Saturday, though all are underdogs.

At least two, and up to five 5-7 teams will be needed to fill bowl spots. On Monday, the NCAA announced that the replacement teams will be picked based on highest Academic Progress Rate (APR) scores.

Of the potential pool of 5-7 teams, the Gophers are tied for fourth in APR. The top of the list goes Nebraska (985), Missouri (976), Kansas State (976), Minnesota (975), San Jose State (975), Illinois (973) and Rice (973).

Missouri announced that it would forgo a bowl if selected, which moved the Gophers up a peg. This means, if Georgia State and South Alabama lose Saturday – and both are at least 16-point underdogs to Georgia Southern and Appalachian State, respectively – the Gophers will get a bowl bid.

One advantage to a bowl game is teams are given 15 additional practices.

“I visited with the kids [Monday] night, and our kids coming back are excited about if we would get that opportunity,” Gophers coach Tracy Claeys said.

 “We are going to continue to lift weights and condition,” he added. “I think it would be great news, if we would have an opportunity to go to a bowl for our younger players.”

TV Listings

Local Schedule

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  • Wild at Chicago

    7 pm on NBCSN, 100.3-FM

  • Orlando at Timberwolves

    7 pm on FSN, 830-AM

  • Gophers women's basketball at Duke

    6 pm on 1500-AM

  • Toronto at Wild

    7 pm on FSN, 100.3-FM

  • Ohio State at Gophers men's hockey

    7 pm on FSN, 1500-AM

  • Gophers women's hockey at Wisconsin

    7:07 pm

  • South Dakota at Gophers men's basketball

    2 pm on 1500-AM

  • Gophers women's hockey at Wisconsin

    3:07 pm

  • Colorado at Wild

    7 pm on FSN, 100.3-FM

  • Ohio State at Gophers men's hockey

    7 pm on ESPNEWS, 1500-AM

  • Portland at Timberwolves

    7:05 pm on FSN PLUS, 830-AM

  • Seattle at Vikings

    12 pm on Ch. 9, 100.3/1130

  • Towson at Gophers women's basketball

    7 pm on 1500-AM

  • L.A. Clippers at Timberwolves

    7 pm on FSN, 830-AM

  • Wild at Colorado

    8 pm on FSN PLUS, 100.3-FM

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