Marcus Jones might have been the fastest player on the Gophers last year. But now the receiver is exhibiting speed that Jerry Kill never has witnessed before.
Less than five months since undergoing surgery to repair a torn ACL, the sophomore-to-be is "kind of going against science," the Gophers' coach marveled. "Running full speed right now, cutting full speed."
But the Gophers will take no chances with the 18-year-old, Kill said, and will hold him out of spring practices. Kill provided updates on several injuries and position changes on Wednesday:
• Senior LB Keanon Cooper had wrist surgery and will be held out of contact during the spring. He's not the only linebacker out of action, either; redshirt freshman Quinn Bauducco had offseason back surgery, and Brendan Beal still is recovering from his second knee surgery, which cost him all of last season.
• FB Mike Henry suffered a concussion in a car accident during spring break, "and he'll be slowed up early on," Kill said. Same for Jimmy Gjere, who missed the second half of last season because of a concussion.
• Redshirt freshman DB Steven Montgomery will miss the spring after tearing a pectoral muscle. Meanwhile, shuffling in the secondary will move starting CB Brock Vereen, recovering from minor knee surgery, to safety, along with sophomore Derrick Wells, while S James Manuel moves to weakside LB.
• DE Kendall Gregory-McGhee and former Bloomington Jefferson QB Moses Alipate, both juniors, will try out at tight end. Gregory-McGhee weighs roughly 260 pounds, Kill said, and Alipate is at 290, so "if both work out, it's really good. You've got some big, athletic tight ends."