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Continued: Hartman: Vikings, Twins require patience in new stadiums

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Last update: December 8, 2013 - 7:59 AM

Gophers football coach Jerry Kill was asked about the potential of some of the players he redshirted this season to come in and contribute next year, when they will still have four years of eligibility left.

“We have some players out of there,’’ Kill said. ‘‘We were smart. Redshirt-wise we feel like we have lightning in a bottle with [running back] Berkley Edwards. If he didn’t get hurt, he is a guy running the football who can get it over with. He’s a sprinter. That’s something I think we wish we had right now to help us out a bit because he’s a game-breaker.”

Edwards was ranked as the 63rd-best running back in the nation by ESPN before he signed with the Gophers last year. His brother is former Michigan and NFL star receiver Braylon Edwards.

But Kill said the team has more players in the wings, too.

“We have two or three defensive backs that will have an opportunity to step in and do great things. We have a big tight end [Nate Wozniak], 6-9, 6-8, 255, he’s done a heck of a job, proud of him. We have offensive linemen, we redshirted a lot of good kids and our future is bright. It really is. That’s the exciting thing about what’s going on right now.”

Sid's Jottings

• The Packers are the only NFL team that is owned by stockholders, so they are only team whose finances are made public. Well, the Packers earned $54.3 million in 2012 after operations. However the Packers don’t pay any dividends, and they invest the earnings. So they are expanding the capacity of Lambeau Field and remodeling their Hall of fame there.

• Former Timberwolves forward Derrick Williams has played four games with Sacramento after being traded by the Wolves and is averaging 9.5 points per game.

• Former Benilde-St. Margaret’s standout basketball player Sanjay Lumpkin is playing 25 minutes per game for Northwestern as a freshman and is averaging 5.1 points and 5.1 rebounds per game.

• Ronnie and J.D. Spielman, sons of Vikings General Manager Rick Spielman, are both Eden Prairie defensive backs headed to Ohio State, but they will play lacrosse. Ronnie is a senior and J.D. a sophomore.

• Russ Travis, former Chaska basketball player, is starting for Penn State and averaging 10.6 points and eight rebounds per game.

• Tyler Oakes, son of Gophers pitching coach Todd, was a volunteer pitching coach for the Gophers and is now the new pitching coach for North Dakota State.

• The San Francisco 49ers had to release former Vikings quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson to make room on their 53-man roster for receiver Michael Crabtree, but once Bethel-Thompson cleared waivers the team immediately signed him to its practice squad.

• The North Carolina football team, to which the Gophers paid $800,000 to get out of a home-and-home series this year and next, finished the season 6-6 after going on a five-game winning streak before losing 27-25 to Duke last week.
 

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