The Gophers listed Conor Rhoda as the backup to starting quarterback Mitch Leidner on Tuesday in their first published depth chart of the season, noting that the chart is “subject to change.”
Coach Tracy Claeys said Monday that “a true” depth chart “will probably be decided after this week” based on how the quarterbacks behind Leidner “handle the game plan,” for the Sept. 1 opener against Oregon State.
Rhoda is a junior from Cretin-Derham Hall who was named the Gophers’ offensive scout team player of the year last season. He redshirted in 2013 and played two games of mop up duty behind Leidner as a freshman two years ago.
By using Rhoda as Leidner’s backup this season, the Gophers could redshirt last year’s backup, Demry Croft, along with freshmen Seth Green and Mark Williams. With Leidner heading into his senior season, all four of those other quarterbacks will be fighting for the starting job next spring.
Other notables from the depth chart:
• Tight end Brandon Lingen, who has been dealing with a shoulder injury, is not listed. Nate Wozniak is listed as the starter, with Colton Beebe as the backup.
• Eric Carter (ankle) is not listed at wide receiver. The Gophers list junior walk-on Brian Smith as a starting receiver, along with Rashad Still and Drew Wolitarsky. Freshmen Tyler Johnson, Phillip Howard and Hunter Register are listed as backup receivers.
• Ray Buford is listed as a starting cornerback, opposite Jalen Myrick. KiAnte Hardin, who has been battling Buford, isn’t listed.
• Junior college transfer Kobe McCrary is listed as the backup tailback behind Rodney Smith. Shannon Brooks (broken foot) is not listed, as expected.