Many options behind Leidner to fill Gophers QB role

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 19, 2014 - 9:19 AM

Philip Nelson’s departure doesn’t leave the cupboard bare for the Gophers at quarterback by any means.

hide

Mitch Leidner will go into spring practice as the probable starter at quarterback now that Philip Nelson has left the program.

Photo: TONY DING • Associated Press,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Gophers football players sit in assigned seats matching their uniform numbers for team meetings. When the squad reconvenes from winter break Monday, there will be a notable void in the front row: seat No. 9.

That’s where quarterback Philip Nelson sat the past two years, and where he was expected to sit through 2015 — until Thursday, when he suddenly announced he was transferring.

In seat No. 7 will be Mitch Leidner, who now seems the clear choice to start at quarterback. The question now becomes if three younger players — No. 5 Chris Streveler, No. 15 Connor Rhoda and No. 2 Dimonic Roden-McKinzy — can push Leidner this spring.

Coach Jerry Kill has been careful not to say much publicly about the quarterback battle so far this offseason, but here’s a closer look at his post-Nelson options:

Mitch Leidner

Year/height/weight: Redshirt sophomore; 6-4; 230 pounds

Stats: He completed 43 of 78 passes (55.1 percent) for 619 yards last season, with three touchdowns and one interception. He also rushed for 498 yards and seven touchdowns.

Background: Leidner enrolled in January 2012, just like Nelson, but arrived with far less hype. Leidner was a pocket passer who seldom ran at Lakeville South, but he transformed into a dual-threat option on the scout team.

After redshirting in 2012, Leidner pushed Nelson throughout spring practice last year. When Nelson injured a hamstring in September, Leidner got his chance and wound up starting four games. Leidner was inconsistent as a passer, much like Nelson, but showed his potential when he nearly rallied the Gophers to a bowl game victory with two fourth-quarter touchdown passes against Syracuse.

Best hope: Leidner builds off this experience, takes over as the clear leader of the offense, hones his passing and stays healthy despite a punishing running style.

Chris Streveler

Year/height/weight: Redshirt freshman; 6-2; 209 pounds

Stats: As a senior at Marian (Ill.) Central Catholic, he completed 68.8 percent of his passes for 2,662 yards with 26 touchdowns and just four interceptions. He also rushed for 1,276 yards with 22 touchdowns.

Background: Streveler has the speed, but he might not have the arm strength to be an effective Big Ten quarterback. He is such a good athlete, there was talk of moving him to receiver last summer. The accuracy and strong decision making that made him a good high school quarterback started showing during fall camp. Then he suffered a hand injury that required surgery. So it’ll be interesting to see how well he’s throwing the ball in spring practice.

Best hope: Streveler makes the same jump that Leidner made after his redshirt season, giving the Gophers someone they can count on immediately if needed.

Dominic Roden-McKinzy

Year/height/weight: True freshman; 6-0; 213 pounds

Stats: As a senior at Wyandotte (Kan.) High School, he completed 53 percent of his passes for 2,560 yards, with 26 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He also rushed for 528 yards and eight touchdowns.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Milwaukee 6:00 PM
Orlando
New York 6:00 PM
Indiana
Denver 7:00 PM
Memphis
Chicago 9:30 PM
LA Lakers
Montreal 6:00 PM
NY Rangers
Winnipeg 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Boston 6:00 PM
NY Islanders
Arizona 6:30 PM
Toronto
Dallas 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Detroit 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Columbus 6:30 PM
Florida
Nashville 7:00 PM
St. Louis
Minnesota 8:00 PM
Calgary
Buffalo 8:30 PM
Edmonton
Anaheim 9:00 PM
San Jose
DePaul 1:00 PM
Providence
Michigan State 5:00 PM
Rutgers
Boston Univ 6:00 PM
Army
Fla Atlantic 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Youngstown St 6:00 PM
Detroit
East Tenn St 6:00 PM
Furman
Saint Louis 6:00 PM
George Mason
USC Upstate 6:00 PM
Jacksonville
High Point 6:00 PM
Liberty
Central Conn St 6:00 PM
Long Island
Western Ky 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Dayton 6:00 PM
Massachusetts
Chattanooga 6:00 PM
Mercer
Wofford 6:00 PM
UNC Greensboro
Maryland 6:00 PM
Ohio State
FIU 6:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fair-Dickinson 6:00 PM
Robert Morris
Mount St Marys 6:00 PM
St Francis-NY
Bryant 6:00 PM
St Francis-PA
Northern Ky 6:00 PM
Stetson
Coll of Charleston 6:00 PM
Towson
Western Carolina 6:00 PM
Va Military
Sacred Heart 6:00 PM
Wagner
Lipscomb 6:00 PM
Fla Gulf Coast
Kennesaw St 6:00 PM
North Florida
Appalachian St 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
Holy Cross 6:30 PM
Loyola-Maryland
Eastern Ill 6:30 PM
UT Martin
Jacksonville St 7:00 PM
Belmont
Connecticut 7:00 PM
Cincinnati
Rider 7:00 PM
Saint Peters
SIU Edwardsville 7:00 PM
SE Missouri St
Marshall 7:00 PM
Southern Miss
Tenn Tech 7:00 PM
Tennessee St
Middle Tennessee 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Ill-Chicago 7:00 PM
Milwaukee
Weber State 7:00 PM
North Dakota
Denver 7:00 PM
North Dakota St
IUPU-Ft Wayne 7:00 PM
South Dakota
Louisiana 7:05 PM
South Alabama
Georgia State 7:15 PM
Texas-Arlington
Ark-Little Rock 7:30 PM
Arkansas State
ULM 7:30 PM
Troy
Portland 8:00 PM
Gonzaga
Kentucky 8:00 PM
Missouri
Eastern Ky 8:00 PM
Murray State
UAB 8:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Idaho State 8:00 PM
Northern Colorado
UMKC 8:00 PM
Grand Canyon
Chicago State 8:05 PM
Utah Valley U
Colorado 8:30 PM
USC
Cal Poly 9:00 PM
UC Irvine
Hawaii 9:00 PM
CS-Northridge
Pepperdine 9:00 PM
Pacific
Santa Clara 9:00 PM
San Diego
Utah 9:00 PM
UCLA
UC Santa Barbara 9:00 PM
UC Davis
Montana 9:05 PM
Portland State
Montana State 9:05 PM
Sacramento St
Long Beach State 9:30 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Loyola Marymount 9:30 PM
St Marys-CA
San Francisco 10:00 PM
BYU
California 10:00 PM
Washington St
Louisiana 42 2nd Half 3:25
South Alabama 50
Saint Josephs 33 2nd Half 11:20
Saint Louis 37
Appalachian St 4:00 PM
Georgia Southern
Niagara 4:00 PM
Saint Peters
Old Dominion 5:00 PM
FIU
Southern Miss 5:00 PM
Marshall
Georgia State 5:00 PM
TX-Arlington
Ark-Little Rock 5:05 PM
Arkansas State
ULM 5:15 PM
Troy
Pittsburgh 5:30 PM
(17) Duke
(6) Tennessee 6:00 PM
(10) Kentucky
(24) Oklahoma 6:00 PM
(14) Texas
Nebraska Omaha 6:00 PM
IUPU-Ft Wayne
UC-Riverside 6:00 PM
CS-Northridge
Army 6:00 PM
Boston U
New Orleans 6:00 PM
Nicholls
Charlotte 6:00 PM
Florida Atlantic
Towson 6:00 PM
Delaware
Hofstra 6:00 PM
Northeastern
New Hampshire 6:00 PM
Maine
Albany 6:00 PM
Vermont
Hartford 6:00 PM
Stony Brook
UNC-Wilmington 6:00 PM
William & Mary
Clemson 6:00 PM
Wake Forest
Alabama 6:00 PM
(1) South Carolina
(23) Syracuse 6:00 PM
(8) Louisville
Missouri 6:00 PM
Florida
Iona 6:00 PM
Fairfield
Manhattan 6:00 PM
Marist
NC State 6:00 PM
Virginia
(4) Notre Dame 6:00 PM
Virginia Tech
(22) Rutgers 6:00 PM
Purdue
(5) Maryland 6:00 PM
Michigan
Milwaukee 6:00 PM
Cleveland State
Wright State 6:00 PM
Oakland
Jacksonville 6:00 PM
USC Upstate
North Florida 6:00 PM
Kennesaw St
Stetson 6:00 PM
Northern Ky
Loyola-Maryland 6:05 PM
Holy Cross
Lamar 6:30 PM
Sam Houston St
Fla Gulf Coast 6:30 PM
Lipscomb
Vanderbilt 7:00 PM
(18) Miss State
IUPUI 7:00 PM
Western Ill
Abilene Christian 7:00 PM
Houston Baptist
Incarnate Word 7:00 PM
TX A&M-CC
McNeese State 7:00 PM
SE Louisiana
Oral Roberts 7:00 PM
South Dakota St
Louisiana Tech 7:00 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 7:00 PM
Middle Tennessee
Texas-El Paso 7:00 PM
UAB
Auburn 7:00 PM
Arkansas
Grand Canyon 7:00 PM
UMKC
Illinois 7:00 PM
(15) Nebraska
(20) Iowa 7:00 PM
Northwestern
Utah Valley U 7:05 PM
Chicago State
Green Bay 7:05 PM
Valparaiso
Ole Miss 8:00 PM
LSU
Portland State 8:00 PM
Montana
Sacramento St 8:00 PM
Montana State
North Dakota 8:00 PM
Weber State
Ohio State 8:00 PM
Wisconsin
Northern Colorado 8:00 PM
Idaho State
BYU 9:00 PM
San Francisco
St Marys-CA 9:00 PM
Loyola Marymount
Pacific 9:00 PM
Pepperdine
Cal-Irvine 9:00 PM
UC Santa Barbara
San Diego 9:00 PM
Santa Clara
UC Davis 9:00 PM
Cal Poly
Long Beach St 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which of these teams is the most frustrating to watch right now?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close