Depth at tight end no concern for Gophers

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 10, 2014 - 12:32 AM
hide

Duke Anyanwu (81) is among the tight ends showing promise.

Photo: File by RENÉE JONES SCHNEIDER • reneejones@startribune.com,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

When the Gophers started keeping Maxx Williams out of spring football practice March 13 to protect his injured left knee, they knew they would learn something about their tight end reinforcements. Heading into Saturday’s spring game, they like what they have seen.

Drew Goodger and Lincoln Plsek are back from last year, and Nate Wozniak, a 6-9 redshirt freshman, has emerged as a tall and nimble target in the passing game.

Then there’s Duke Anyanwu, a redshirt sophomore from Blaine High School. Coach Jerry Kill has called him “one of the more improved players.”

Quarterback Mitch Leidner hit Anyanwu with a pass on three of the first four drives against the first-team defense in last Saturday’s scrimmage.

“Maxx is going to be fine [by the start of camp, Aug. 1], so that’s the big thing,” offensive coordinator Matt Limegrover said. “But with [the trainers] being cautious with Maxx, it’s truly opened up opportunities this spring, and that position has gotten stronger.”

Anyanwu and Williams are both converted quarterbacks from the Class of 2012. Anyanwu tore an ACL that summer and broke a forearm last spring, slowing his development. But he has stayed committed in the weight room, adding at least 30 pounds of muscle to his 6-5 frame.

“Maxx is a great role model for me; I look up to him a lot,” Anyanwu said. “He’s given me a few pointers about what to do in games and what not to do, and that’s helped my game out a lot already.”

Spring game format

With other Big Ten coaches scaling back their spring games to prevent injuries, Kill said he has yet to settle on a format for Saturday.

“I’d say that I’m leaning towards a controlled scrimmage — offense vs. defense,” Kill said. “It will definitely be a scrimmage situation, and how long we go will be determined by how our kids handle it. The bottom line is we want to get things done, but we also want to stay healthy.”

Either way, the session at TCF Bank Stadium will be open to the public and televised on the Big Ten Network. The stadium gates open at 12:30 p.m., with an alumni game at 1 p.m. The Gophers will take the field at 2 p.m., with the spring game set to start at 2:30 p.m.

Secondary peak

The Gophers secondary has looked different this spring with Brock Vereen headed to the NFL, Briean Boddy-Calhoun working his way back from a knee injury and Derrick Wells out because of a shoulder injury. But Boddy-Calhoun and Wells are both expected to be a full strength by Aug. 1.

“I don’t think our secondary has really missed a beat,” Leidner said. “Jalen Myrick is a young guy who has stepped up and is playing really well, along with Eric Murray and a couple other guys back there at safety.

“They’re fast, and they’re only going to be that much more scary when Derrick gets back, too.”

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Cincinnati - LP: J. Broxton 1 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: T. Watson 2
Minnesota - LP: T. May 1 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: M. Gonzalez 9
NY Yankees 5 Bottom 8th Inning
Toronto 3
Philadelphia - LP: J. Diekman 1 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: J. deGrom 4
Boston 8 Top 7th Inning
Tampa Bay 3
Miami 2 Bottom 7th Inning
Atlanta 2
Cleveland 4 Top 6th Inning
Kansas City 0
Detroit 7 Top 5th Inning
Chicago WSox 1
Texas 7 Bottom 5th Inning
Houston 1
Chicago Cubs 1 Bottom 6th Inning
St. Louis 2
Colorado 0 Bottom 1st Inning
Arizona 0
Oakland - J. Lester 9:05 PM
LA Angels - J. Weaver
Los Angeles - D. Haren 9:10 PM
San Diego - A. Cashner
Washington - J. Zimmermann 9:10 PM
Seattle - F. Hernandez
Milwaukee - W. Peralta 9:15 PM
San Francisco - R. Vogelsong
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
(21) Texas A&M 52 FINAL
(9) So Carolina 28
Wake Forest 10 FINAL
ULM 17
Boise State 13 FINAL
(18) Ole Miss 35
Tulane 31 FINAL
Tulsa 38
Rutgers 41 FINAL
Washington St 38
Weber State 14 FINAL
(19) Arizona State 45
Temple 37 FINAL
Vanderbilt 7
BYU 28 4th Qtr 11:48
Connecticut 10
(6) Jacksonville St 7 3rd Qtr 2:18
(8) Michigan State 45
Bowling Green 10 3rd Qtr 11:24
Western Ky 38
TX-San Antonio 7 2nd Qtr 14:54
Houston 0
Colorado State 0 2nd Qtr 12:23
Colorado 10
UNLV 9:30 PM
Arizona
Penn State 8/30/14 7:30 AM
UCF
Troy 8/30/14 11:00 AM
UAB
(7) UCLA 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Virginia
Western Mich 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
(5) Ohio State 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Navy
Appalachian St 8/30/14 11:00 AM
Michigan
Ga Southern 8/30/14 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 8/30/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
West Virginia 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 8/30/14 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Marshall 8/30/14 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
UC Davis 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 8/30/14 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 8/30/14 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 8/30/14 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 8/30/14 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 8/30/14 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 8/30/14 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 8/30/14 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 8/30/14 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 8/30/14 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 8/30/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 8/30/14 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8/30/14 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 8/30/14 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 8/30/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Houston 0 1st Half 28:00
Sporting Kansas City 0
Ottawa 3 9:49
Montreal 13
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Minnesota 9:00 PM
Phoenix
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 pm
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pm
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. TBA
Sep 27 - at Michigan TBA
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern TBA
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: Grade the Gophers in their season opener

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close