Gophers' Kirksey sees replacements lining up

  • Article by: PHIL MILLER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 22, 2011 - 11:50 PM

The senior expects a bright future along the U's defensive line.


Gophers defensive lineman Brandon Kirksey.

Photo: Kyndell Harkness, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Brandon Kirksey and Anthony Jacobs have been constants all season on the interior of the Gophers' defensive line, starters in all 11 games and the up-the-middle anchors for a relatively young defense.

Each will play his final collegiate game Saturday, leaving two of the bigger holes to plug in next year's squad.

But the Gophers are better equipped for the seniors' absence than it might appear, Kirksey said Tuesday.

"You can see the potential that we have here," the St. Louis native said. "Some of the mentality that the guys have ... They give Minnesota something to look forward to."

The veteran of 43 Gophers games specified a trio of players he said could step into his run-stopping role and thrive.

"You've got Eric Jacques, he's dealing with an [ankle] injury right now, but he's definitely promising," Kirksey said of the former offensive lineman from Florida. "He's really good."

Then there's Ra'Shede Hageman, the former All-State tight end from Minneapolis Washburn who has finally settled into his new role. The 300-pounder has contributed 11 tackles as a backup this year, and Kirksey, like plenty before him, sees big potential in the sophomore.

"He's showed in spurts what he's capable of, [he] just needs a little more technique," the senior said. "He's only been playing defensive end for what, a year and a half? If they can get him going, he'll be good, and I'm guessing Coach [Jerry] Kill can definitely" do it.

And one more teammate has impressed Kirksey.

"Harold Legania, he hasn't been able to play this year," Kirksey said of the New Orleans native. "But he has a high work ethic. He's shown a lot of potential in practice. ... [With those players], they won't be missing too much in potential next year."

As for the senior leader, he has one goal left, other than a victory in his finale.

"I haven't had a sack in my four years," Kirksey said. "That's what some of the D-line guys are working on -- 'Let's get you one.'"

Kill: I'm in good health

Three days after a minor, nearly imperceptible seizure struck him on the flight home to Minneapolis, Kill vowed that his medical condition "is not going to affect my job, and it hasn't."

Speaking at his weekly news conference, Kill said "I'm in pretty good health. You come out to practice [and see], I can still get after people's tail end pretty good. I'm pretty scrappy, so I think I'll be fine."

Kill was stricken near the end of the Gophers' Sept. 10 home game against New Mexico State, and wrestled with his condition for two weeks while doctors managed his medication to reduce the effects of his seizure disorder.

"My health situation is something that can be controlled, and every once in a while, something might happen. But I'm not going to let that define me," said Kill, who reportedly "blanked out" for only a few seconds on Saturday.

"My situation is going to be with me for the rest of my life, so I deal with it," Kill said. "... I'm not going to cheat the University of Minnesota, and I'm not going to cheat our fans. I'd walk away from it" before allowing it to affect the program, he said.

Raising the bar

Kill said he's obviously not happy with the Gophers' 2-9 record, though he believes the team has made huge strides over the past four weeks. Next year, though?

"I will tell you, we'll be better next year," Kill said. "Our goal is going to be set high."


    Up next: 2:30 p.m. Saturday vs. Illinois • TCF Bank Stadium • TV: BTN (100.3-FM)

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


St. Louis - LP: A. Wainwright 1 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: J. Locke 3
Texas 10 Top 6th Inning
Seattle 1
Washington - D. Fister 6:05 PM
Philadelphia - K. Kendrick
Tampa Bay - D. Smyly 6:05 PM
Baltimore - K. Gausman
Boston - J. Kelly 6:07 PM
Toronto - M. Stroman
NY Yankees - S. Greene 6:08 PM
Detroit - D. Price
Atlanta - J. Teheran 6:10 PM
NY Mets - Z. Wheeler
Chicago Cubs - J. Turner 6:10 PM
Cincinnati - M. Latos
Cleveland - C. Kluber 7:10 PM
Chicago WSox - H. Noesi
Minnesota - P. Hughes 7:10 PM
Kansas City - L. Hendriks
Oakland - D. Pomeranz 7:10 PM
Houston - B. Peacock
Milwaukee - Y. Gallardo 8:10 PM
San Diego - O. Despaigne
Los Angeles - C. Kershaw 8:40 PM
Arizona - W. Miley
Miami - H. Alvarez 9:05 PM
LA Angels - H. Santiago
Colorado - F. Morales 9:15 PM
San Francisco - T. Hudson
Atlanta 8/28/14 5:00 PM
Detroit 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Indianapolis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Kansas City 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Green Bay
NY Jets 8/28/14 6:00 PM
St. Louis 8/28/14 6:00 PM
Carolina 8/28/14 6:30 PM
New England 8/28/14 6:30 PM
NY Giants
Washington 8/28/14 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Baltimore 8/28/14 7:00 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Denver 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Minnesota 8/28/14 7:00 PM
San Francisco 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Arizona 8/28/14 9:00 PM
San Diego
Seattle 8/28/14 9:00 PM
(21) Texas A&M 8/28/14 5:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Wake Forest 8/28/14 6:02 PM
Boise State 8/28/14 7:00 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Tulane 8/28/14 7:00 PM
Temple 8/28/14 8:15 PM
Rutgers 8/28/14 9:00 PM
Washington St
Weber State 8/28/14 9:30 PM
(19) Arizona State
BYU 8/29/14 6:00 PM
(6) Jacksonville St 8/29/14 6:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Bowling Green 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 8/29/14 8:00 PM
Colorado State 8/29/14 8:00 PM
UNLV 8/29/14 9:30 PM
Penn State 8/30/14 7:30 AM
Troy 8/30/14 11:00 AM
(7) UCLA 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Western Mich 8/30/14 11:00 AM
(5) Ohio State 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Appalachian St 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Ga Southern 8/30/14 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 8/30/14 2:00 PM
West Virginia 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Marshall 8/30/14 2:30 PM
UC Davis 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 8/30/14 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 8/30/14 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 8/30/14 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 8/30/14 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 8/30/14 6:00 PM
Stephen F Austin 8/30/14 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 8/30/14 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 8/30/14 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 8/30/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 8/30/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8/30/14 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 8/30/14 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 8/30/14 9:30 PM
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
D.C. 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Ottawa 8/29/14 6:30 PM
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters


Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pm
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pm
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pm
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. TBA
Sep 27 - at Michigan TBA
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern TBA
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 am
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 am
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa TBA
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State TBA
Nov 22 - at Nebraska TBA
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin TBA




question of the day

Poll: Which football team will have the best record in 2014?

Weekly Question