Cornerbacks Vereen, Murray excite U coaches

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 27, 2013 - 11:43 PM

Michigan State has an All-America at one cornerback, in senior Darqueze Dennard, and another cornerback with that type of upside in sophomore Trae Waynes.

But heading into Saturday’s game in East Lansing, Mich., the Gophers feel pretty good about their two starting cornerbacks, too.

Senior Brock Vereen moved from safety to cornerback at midseason, when injuries began to eat into the team’s cornerback depth. NFL scouts have Vereen on their radar, knowing he’s a quick, versatile and intelligent player whose brother, Shane, is a running back for the New England Patriots.

And the Gophers continue to rave about the performance of sophomore cornerback Eric Murray.

“He’s gotten better as the year’s gone on,” coach Jerry Kill said. “We’ve got a lot of [NFL] general managers and people coming in to see Brock and Ra’Shede [Hageman], and every one of them goes, ‘Who’s that guy [Murray]?’

“Because he’s got length, he’s got strength and he can really run.”

Murray has handled himself well against several of the Big Ten’s top receivers, including Penn State’s Allen Robinson and Wisconsin’s Jared Abbrederis. Murray has yet to get an interception, but he has 44 tackles and nine pass breakups.

“We think Darqueze Dennard is the best corner in this conference,” Gophers defensive backs coach Jay Sawvel recently told ESPN.com. “I know Bradley Roby [Ohio State] gets a lot of publicity, and we think he’s really good, too. But outside of those two, we wouldn’t trade Eric for anybody in the conference.”

Thanksgiving plans

The Gophers will have a morning practice Thursday, followed by an early Thanksgiving feast. Kill said several of the players from Minnesota invited out-of-state teammates over to their houses for the rest of the day.

The menu for the team feast includes the usual Northern fare — turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing — along with some Southern dishes.

“We’re very cultured,” Kill said, laughing.

Dance marathon set

Gophers kicker Chris Hawthorne has organized a fund- raising event called the Unlimited Dance Marathon to benefit the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital.

The 12-hour, no-sitting, no-sleeping dance marathon will take place Feb. 22-23 at Mariucci Arena. Hawthorne set a goal of raising $75,000 through donations and pledges for the participants.

“It’s been a lot of work, but it’s finally coming to fruition,” said Hawthorne, who’s received help from others throughout the athletics department. “We’re at $14,000 now. We still have a long way to go.”

To donate online, go to gophersports.com/ot/unlimited.html.

Etc.

• Gophers right guard Caleb Bak, who has missed the past two games with concussion symptoms, won’t play against Michigan State this weekend but could return for the bowl game.

• Gophers defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys is one of 40 nominees for the Broyles Award, given to the nation’s top assistant coach.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Buffalo 12/28/14 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Dallas 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Washington
Indianapolis 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Jacksonville 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Chicago 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 12/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Denver
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Brooklyn 109 FINAL
Boston 107
Cleveland 98 FINAL
Orlando 89
Indiana 109 FINAL
Detroit 119
Milwaukee 107 FINAL
Atlanta 77
Houston 89 4th Qtr 6:07
Memphis 87
San Antonio 80 4th Qtr 3:03
New Orleans 88
Charlotte 63 4th Qtr 7:56
Oklahoma City 90
LA Lakers 49 3rd Qtr 6:03
Dallas 62
Minnesota 47 2nd Qtr 0:01
Denver 53
Philadelphia 9:00 PM
Portland
Phoenix 9:00 PM
Sacramento
Illinois 18 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 35
Rutgers 40 FINAL
North Carolina 21
NC State 17 3rd Qtr 15:00
UCF 10
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
(15) Arizona State 12/27/14 1:10 PM
Duke
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 2:30 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
Stanford
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
(19) Auburn 1/1/15 11:00 AM
(17) Wisconsin
(7) Michigan State 1/1/15 11:30 AM
(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
Minnesota
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama
Houston 1/2/15 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Iowa 1/2/15 2:20 PM
Tennessee
(11) Kansas State 1/2/15 5:45 PM
(14) UCLA
Washington 1/2/15 9:15 PM
Oklahoma State
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

<
Gophers Football 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 pmX30-14
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern 11 amX24-17
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 amX39-38
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 amX28-24
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa 11 amX51-14
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State 11 amX31-24
Nov 22 - at Nebraska 11 amX28-24
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin 2:30 pmX34-24
Jan 1 - vs. Missouri noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: What's your favorite Gophers football uniform colors?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close