Sorry for the late post, but I had to write my daily story first, and practice ran a little late today. This was the first time this spring the Gophers were forced inside by weather.
Here are some updates, observations and opinions.
--Defensive end Ra'Shede Hageman (hamstring) was back in pads and full-go Tuesday. Fellow defensive end Matt Garin (ankle) did some early work in pads, but didn't take part in contact. It's unclear when Garin will be ready go to full-out.
--Running back Duane Bennett, who was knocked a bit woozy by a hit Friday, was back in pads and working out, but he was also held out of full-contact drills. The relatively low number of available running backs forced Shady Salamon to return, briefly, to the position in practice.
--With safety Kyle Theret on indefinite suspension, Kenny Watkins has been taking most of the reps with the first team. But junior college transfer Christyn Lewis has been working some at safety, too. Especially in nickel situations. Coach Tim Brewster said Lewis has the height necessary to play inside.
--Middle linebacker Gary Tinsley has not missed much work, but he has been banged up a bit, lately battling a sore toe. Sam Maresh appears to have taken advantage of the reps he's gotten. Tuesday he looked very good in a goal-line drill near the end of practice, making a tackle and getting an interception.
--I have to agree with what offensive coordinator Jeff Horton said for our paper on Sunday: Moses Alipate does have a very strong arm. And his footwork looks good too. I think he has impressed coaches this spring.
On the issue of quarterback: I know the position is officially up for open competition, but I just don't see any way Adam Weber doesn't start on opening night at Middle Tennessee State. He has, by all accounts, been very sharp this spring, and he has loads of experience under his belt.
--I don't necessarily think the Gophers starting running back is currently practicing. True, it will be hard for one of the three incoming freshmen to unseat either Bennett or DeLeon Eskridge. But running the ball better is job 1 this season, and I think fall camp will feature one heck of a competition at the position.
--Here are some others having strong spring workouts: Offensive lineman Ed Olson, who I predict will see extensive action this season; wide receiver Bryant Allen, whose quickness could make him a big-play threat; tight end Eric Lair, who has, I'm told, caught just about everything thrown in his zip code.
Saturday the Gophers will hold a scrimmage at TCF Bank stadium that will be open to the public.
That's about it. Have a good night.