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Continued: Gophers football feels ahead of pace

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Last update: March 31, 2013 - 12:08 AM

The Gophers also need to replace two starting linebackers and two starting cornerbacks, but Kill said he thinks they have the personnel to do it.

Junior college transfer Damien Wilson is off to a good start and will challenge redshirt freshman Jack Lynn for the starting middle linebacker job.

The Gophers also moved Derrick Wells from safety to cornerback, knowing they had other good safeties returning in Brock Vereen, Cedric Thompson and Antonio Johnson.

It didn’t take long for the battles between the first-team offense and first-team defense to emerge at full speed in spring practice. Kirkwood, a fourth-year junior, said the group is “more disciplined” and “more knowledgeable.”

What excites him most?

“How far we were along on just the first day of spring,” Kirkwood said. “It’s somewhat scary because I’ve never been a part of anything like this.”

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  • Gophers coach Jerry Kill got his players fired up last week during the first day of spring practice. Kill and the team seem very optimistic about the upcoming season.

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