Gophers football coach P.J. Fleck has the goal of getting more national exposure for his program, and Wednesday offered a prime example of that.

First, Fleck released a video on Twitter documenting the creative method he used to announce that senior kicker Justin Juenemann -- who has yet to see action for the Gophers -- was receiving a scholarship.

Fleck brought Kyle Tanner, a patient at the University of Minnesota's Masonic Children's Hospital, into his team's meeting room, handed Tanner an air cannon loaded with a T-shirt and had Tanner shoot the T-shirt to Juenemann, who had befriend the patient during hospital visits. The T-shirt read, "Justin, congratulations on earning a scholarship!''

The video is a big hit on social media, and a variety of national outlets picked it up.

The timing of the video dovetailed neatly with Wednesday night's airing on ESPNU of the second episode of "Being P.J. Fleck'', a behind-the-scenes look at the coach's transition to Minnesota leading into his first season as Gophers coach.

Included in that episode were visits to the children's hospital, and players checking in on Tanner was one of those. One has to think that the Tanner-to-Juenemann air cannon connection will be included in one of the two remaining episodes, which air the next two Wednesdays.

But the documentary wasn't only features. It also delved into the controversy Fleck faced late this spring when he released a Twitter video that showed footage of his football camps that included current recruits.

That quickly got the attention of other programs, who, according to 24/7Sports, alerted the NCAA to what they believed was a recruiting violation. NCAA rules do not allow schools to post videos of recruits.

"Seventy coaches turned me in,'' Fleck said.

But it wasn't a violation. Since video was an advertisement for Fleck's football camps, it was permitted under NCAA rules at the time. The NCAA has closed that loophole since.

Also included in the documentary was a scene from last spring, when the coach had his players pair up -- complete with wrists taped together -- for an Easter egg hunt. It concluded with players opening plastic eggs, which revealed that walk-on linebacker Blake Cashman had received a full scholarship.

More exposure for the Gophers came Thursday morning when ESPN interviewed Juenemann on its morning "SportsCenter'' show.

"Twenty-four hours ago I never would have thought I'd be in this position,'' Juenemann said. "... It didn't matter if I was a scholarship or walk-on, if I was a kicker or quarterback. I just love giving, serving and reaching out to the community, and Masonic Children's Hospital was a great opportunity for myself to reach out there and meet Kyle and meet this different people that I never would have thought I'd be able to.

''... Just to be able to see the smile on their face and the joy that is in the room, it's the best feeling.''


* Wide receiver Isaiah Gentry announced via Instagram that he has left the Gophers program. Gentry, a fourth-year junior, did not see game action last year. He played in three games in 2015, catching two passes for 36 yards. He missed 10 games because of injury that year.

* Wisconsin senior inside linebacker Jack Cichy, a former Hill-Murray standout, tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee and will miss the season, the school announced. Cichy, who missed the final seven games of the 2016 season because of a torn pectoral muscle, injured his knee during practice Tuesday. He returned to practice with a protective sleeve on the knee and also went through Wednesday's walk-through, the Wisconsin State Journal reported. Cichy will have surgery on Friday.

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Gophers kicker gets surprise scholarship, news delivered via T-shirt

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