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.
The first steps toward the 2010 football season will be taken Friday morning at 6 a.m., and they'll be quick ones. The Gophers' first training-camp assignment is a series of 110-yard sprints, moments after sunrise, with coaches holding stopwatches.
Well, it's a start.
The more traditional part of training camp, the football part, gets under way a little later in the day, and there's a twist this year. Gophers coach Tim Brewster said Thursday that incoming freshmen will train separately from the returning players for the first three days, in order to give them a little special attention.
"It's going to allow us to do a better job of teaching the young freshmen," Brewster said. "It means totally spending meeting time with just the freshmen, and on the field-time (too), as opposed to them being in a line that's got four or five guys in it. It will really help the number of reps they get."
Freshmen will take the field at 9 a.m. each morning, and everyone else will practice at 3:30 p.m. After a weekend of coaching emphasis on fundamentals and technique, the newcomers will join the vets on Monday as regular two-a-days begin.
"It will help, most importantly, from a confidence standpoint," Brewster said of his 20-member freshmen class. "They'll go into the fourth day with the older guys much more confident."
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