Joe Christensen covered Major League Baseball for 15 years, including three seasons at the Baltimore Sun and eight at the Star Tribune, before switching to the college football beat. He’s a Faribault, Minn., native who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1996. He covered Jim Wacker’s Gophers for the Minnesota Daily and also wrote about USC, UCLA and the Rose Bowl for the Riverside Press-Enterprise before getting this chance to cover football again.

Email Joe to talk about the Gophers.

Hageman still waiting, but another former Jerry Kill player lands in the first round

Posted by: Joe Christensen under Gopher recruiting Updated: May 9, 2014 - 10:12 AM

Thursday night had to be bittersweet for Gophers coach Jerry Kill.

He and his wife, Rebecca, were at Radio City Music Hall, as special guests of Ra’Shede Hageman, who was one of 30 players invited to the green room for the first round of the NFL Draft.

Thirty-two names were called, and Hageman wasn’t one of them. The Gophers haven’t had a first-round pick since Laurence Maroney went 21st overall to New England in 2006, so this extended that drought.

But Hageman is a likely second-round pick. And former Gophers safety Brock Vereen could go by the end of the third round Friday night, especially after nine defensive backs went in the first round.

Kill will enjoy those Hageman and Vereen picks whenever they happen, and Thursday brought a special treat for his old school, Northern Illinois. With the 30th pick, the 49ers took Jimmie Ward, a safety Kill’s staff brought to Northern Illinois in 2010 out of Mobile, Ala.

Here’s a tweet from Gophers recruiting coordinator Billy Glasscock:

And here’s a tweet from Ward on Jay Sawvel, the defensive backs coach who recruited him to Northern Illinois:

Sawvel has continued unearthing hidden gems for the Gophers, including Cedric Thompson and Eric Murray. The secondary figures to be a big strength this fall, despite the loss of Vereen. And as I wrote last month, Sawvel has continued cultivating Alabama for the Gophers, landing recruits such as Jerry Gibson and Gary Moore.

So Thursday wasn't all bad for Kill. And there was another reminder that there could be brighter days ahead for the Gophers.


Atlanta 7 FINAL
Pittsburgh 5
Miami 5 FINAL
St. Louis 3
Baltimore - LP: K. Gausman 4 FINAL
Detroit - WP: J. Nathan 6
Minnesota 4 FINAL
Boston 5
NY Yankees 5 FINAL
Tampa Bay 6
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Toronto 4
Cincinnati 13 FINAL
Cleveland 2
Los Angeles 9 FINAL
Chicago WSox 6
Kansas City 3 FINAL
Seattle 0
Seattle 1 FINAL
Milwaukee 15
San Diego 3 FINAL
Arizona 3
Washington 3
LA Angels 8 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 4
Colorado 3 FINAL
Texas 6
Oakland 6 FINAL
San Francisco 4
Indiana 107 FINAL
Milwaukee 111
Pittsburgh 2 FINAL
Carolina 5
New Jersey 2 FINAL(OT)
Washington 3
Los Angeles 3 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
Arizona 4 FINAL(OT)
Buffalo 3
Anaheim 3 FINAL(OT)
Boston 2
Nashville 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay 2
San Jose 6 FINAL
Detroit 4
NY Rangers 5 FINAL
Ottawa 1
Florida 4 FINAL
Toronto 1
Montreal 2 FINAL
Winnipeg 5
Colorado 4 FINAL
Vancouver 1
Wichita State 70 FINAL
Notre Dame 81
North Carolina 72 FINAL
Wisconsin 79
Evansville 89 FINAL
Louisiana 82
West Virginia 39 FINAL
Kentucky 78
Xavier 60 FINAL
Arizona 68
St Johns 55 FINAL
Villanova 63
NC State 79 FINAL
Temple 80
Missouri 55 FINAL
Michigan 65
Oral Roberts 64 FINAL
Louisiana 65
Duquesne 39 FINAL
West Virginia 60
Ole Miss 70 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 82
Northern Colorado 60 FINAL
St Marys-CA 77 FINAL
Sacramento St 69
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