Gophers finding hidden gems in the heart of SEC territory

  • Article by: PHIL MILLER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 14, 2012 - 9:03 AM
hide

Freshman Jamel Harbison, center, has quickly made an impression on Gophers coach Jerry Kill.

Photo: Genevieve Ross, Associated Press

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Jamel Harbison was an outstanding baseball player at Mallard Creek High in Charlotte, N.C. K.J. Maye was a point guard on the Murphy High basketball team in Mobile, Ala., when he wasn't running the single wing as Murphy's quarterback.

Each is an inch or two short of 6 feet tall, meaning they didn't fit the normal profile of a BCS-level recruit. But each ended up 1,000 miles from home, playing football for Jerry Kill. And each might step right into a role with the Gophers before his 19th birthday.

"Our recruiting class that we brought in [last February] has really shown up. They've done some really good things in camp," Kill said Saturday after directing two-a-day practices. "We've been able to find kids in the southern part of the [United States]. We had to find a niche there."

That niche has turned out to be quick, explosive skill players who might not be big enough to attract attention from Southeastern Conference schools and some of the national powers. Harbison had high school teammates who were recruited by SEC schools, but "I don't know how he got under the radar," Kill said. "He's probably the best skill player" to come out of that area last year, judging by his start in Minnesota, the coach added. "Both the kids we got from [the South] are ballers. Harbison has just had an unbelievable camp."

The 18-year-old freshman caught four passes, from three quarterbacks, during Friday's public scrimmage, totaling 39 yards.

Then there's Maye, who's only 5-10 but is amazingly elusive and quick. He carried the ball six times Friday for 34 yards, but tailback might not be where he ends up.

"We've talked about some of his receiving skills, playing him some there, because he's a smart kid," Kill said.

Versatile, too. Playing the single wing in high school probably cost him some attention from recruiters, because he doesn't look big enough to play quarterback in Division I. "He's got good vision, because he was a quarterback," said Kill, who first scouted Maye by watching him play basketball. "The toughest thing is being able to get kids like that to come this far away from home."

Etc.

•The Gophers have been hesitant about making offers to recruits for next year's class, because they have only 12 to 14 scholarships available next February. But the pace will pick up soon, Kill said. "We really needed to get out here and see how this [year's class] is gonna work out before we can really go forward. We've offered some kids in for-sure needs [positions], but until we got out here and got to see kids like [freshman cornerback] Eric Murray, see how these new guys are gonna do, we have to see how much more we're going to need at each position," Kill said. "I think a week from now, we'll know a little bit more about what we need to do, and then maybe get into it pretty hard."

•Sophomore receiver Devin Crawford-Tufts has not taken part in practice for four days, and "he's probably five or six days away," Kill said. The Gophers are being especially cautious with him, given his history of hamstring injuries.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

San Francisco - WP: M. Bumgarner 8 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: E. Volquez 0
Minnesota 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Atlanta 10/5/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Tampa Bay 10/5/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Houston 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Denver
Kansas City 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
NY Jets 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Diego
Cincinnati 10/5/14 7:30 PM
New England
Seattle 10/6/14 7:30 PM
Washington
Washington 1 FINAL
Buffalo 6
Carolina 3 FINAL
Columbus 6
Pittsburgh 2 FINAL
Detroit 0
Montreal 3 FINAL
Chicago 1
Arizona 2 FINAL
Edmonton 3
Fla Atlantic 6:00 PM
FIU
UCF 6:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Syracuse
San Diego St 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Utah State 10/3/14 9:15 PM
(18) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(12) Miss State
Ball State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Army
Iowa State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(21) Oklahoma State
Marshall 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Old Dominion
Southern Miss 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
(20) Ohio State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Maryland
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
SMU 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(22) East Carolina
Virginia Tech 10/4/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Eastern Mich 10/4/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Indiana
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Tulsa 10/4/14 2:00 PM
Colorado State
New Mexico 10/4/14 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(3) Alabama 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(11) Ole Miss
(14) Stanford 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(9) Notre Dame
(17) Wisconsin 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Texas
(4) Oklahoma 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(25) TCU
Wake Forest 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
NC State 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Clemson
Buffalo 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio U 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich
Oregon State 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Colorado
Vanderbilt 10/4/14 3:00 PM
(13) Georgia
Kansas 10/4/14 3:00 PM
West Virginia
Kent State 10/4/14 4:00 PM
Northern Ill
South Alabama 10/4/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St
Texas-El Paso 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
(15) LSU 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
UAB 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Ky
Texas Tech 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(23) Kansas State
Michigan 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rutgers
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rice
Toledo 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Mich
ULM 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Kentucky
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Virginia
Miami-Florida 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
(19) Nebraska 10/4/14 7:00 PM
(10) Michigan State
UNLV 10/4/14 7:00 PM
San Jose St
Ga Southern 10/4/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Utah 10/4/14 9:30 PM
(8) UCLA
Boise State 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Hamilton 10/10/14 6:00 PM
Toronto
Ottawa 10/11/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pmX35-24
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pmX30-7
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. 3 p.m.X24-7
Sep 27 - at Michigan 2:30 pm30-14
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern 11 am
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

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Gophers do against Michigan?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close