Gophers senior cornerbacks Eric Murray and Briean Boddy-Calhoun were among 80 players named Tuesday to the watch list for the Bednarik Award, given annually to the nation’s best defensive player.
In all, 13 cornerbacks are on the list, and the only other one from the Big Ten is Maryland’s Will Likely.
Boddy-Calhoun had 51 tackles, two tackles for a loss, five interceptions and nine pass breakups last season, which earned him first-team All-Big Ten honors from the media and second-team from the coaches.
Murray had 69 tackles, one interception and seven pass breakups, along with two blocked kicks, which earned him second-team All-Big Ten honors from the coaches and honorable mention from the media.
The last time the Gophers had a player named to the Bednarik Award preseason watch list was defensive tackle Ra’Shede Hageman in 2013.
U women to play basketball in San Juan
The Gophers women’s basketball team’s 11-game nonconference schedule will be highlighted by the San Juan Shootout in Puerto Rico and trip to Duke for the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, the team announced on Tuesday.
The 2015-2016 season will open with back-to-back weekends at Williams Arena against Wofford and Maine on Nov. 13 and Nov. 20.
A four-game road trip starts with Kent State on Nov. 24 and includes games against Stetson and Auburn at the San Juan Shootout, Nov. 27-28, and a stop at Duke on Dec. 3.
The nonconference schedule wraps up with five consecutive home games against Towson (Dec. 6), Memphis (Dec. 12), New Mexico (Dec. 16), North Dakota (Dec. 23) and the New Jersey Institute of Technology (Dec. 28).
The Big Ten Conference schedule has yet to be released.
Haley wins MGA junior title in playoff
Carter Haley of Terrace View Golf Club in Mankato got a birdie on the first playoff hole to beat Ethan Kraus of New Ulm Country Club in the 89th Minnesota Junior Boys Championship. Both shot 1-under 71s Tuesday for 36-hole totals of 141 at Eagle Creek Golf Club in Willmar. Haley had seven birdies — three on the first four holes — and four bogeys and one double bogey during his second round.
• Anni Heck of Southview Country Club shot a 5-over 77 at Burl Oaks Golf Club to win the 70th annual Minnesota Junior Girls State Championship. Alayna Eldred of Osakis Country Club finished a shot back in the tournament, which was shortened to 18 holes after Monday’s round was canceled because of rain. Heck was fourth a year ago.
“I felt like I played really well on the front and birdied the last hole so that got me going for the second nine, but I made some bogeys — it was a little rough but I kept it in there,” Heck said.
• Concordia (St. Paul) had four players named Women’s Golf Coaches Association All-America Scholars. They are junior Rachel Gray, sophomores Brittany Neff and Savannah Stone and freshman Kari Opatz. All had cumulative GPAs of at least 3.50.
• Three Minnesotans are among North Dakota’s incoming freshmen class of 10 hockey players. They are forward Brock Boeser of Burnsville — a first-round draft pick of Vancouver last month — forward Shane Gersich of Chaska and defenseman Hayden Shaw of Woodbury. Gersich is the nephew of former Gopher greats Neal, Aaron and Paul Broten. Shaw’s father, Matt, is a UND assistant coach.
• Ottawa defeated the St. Paul Saints 2-1 at CHS Field on Alex Nunez’s tiebreaking RBI single in the fifth inning. Angelo Songco was 3-for-4 for the Saints, who scored their only run on Ian Gac’s RBI single.