Tyler Johnson led all Gophers receivers with six catches for 64 yards in Saturday’s spring game, showing why new coach P.J. Fleck has been raving about the sophomore throughout camp.
“I think No. 6 is a special player,” Fleck said. “I think he’s only going to continue to get better. I don’t think we’ve seen even close to the ceiling of that young man.”
Meanwhile, Fleck continues to push and prod Rashad Still, who opened the game with a 47-yard catch from Demry Croft but missed two other catchable passes. Still finished with three receptions for 66 yards.
“You need to attack,” Fleck said. “One thing as a wide receiver, if you haven’t had a lot of experience, one of the things that comes is the attack instinct, all the time.”
Still is an imposing figure at 6-5, 205 pounds and delivered 18 catches in each of his first two seasons with the Gophers. Fleck said Still needs to become “a bell cow” for the offense.
“We’re gonna throw that guy the ball,” Fleck said.
Two sacks by Coughlin
Carter Coughlin sacked Conor Rhoda twice from his new ‘R’ position, on the edge of the defensive line. A linebacker last season, Coughlin has been soaking up pass-rushing tips from the team’s new defensive line coach, Bryce Paup.
“He’s taught me some unbelievable stuff that’s for sure going to translate into the season this year,” Coughlin said.
Freshmen get chances
Seth Green completed four of six passes for 36 yards with a touchdown and an interception that bounced off receiver Drew Hmielewski and into the hands of Duke McGhee.
Fellow freshman QB Tanner Morgan completed only one of his six pass attempts and was picked off by Adekunle Ayinde.
The Gophers moved into the top 10 nationally with their 2018 recruiting class in the 247Sports composite rankings Saturday, when Junior Uzebu, an offensive tackle from Alpharetta, Ga., gave them a verbal commitment.
The 6-6, 288-pound Uzebu also had reported offers from Maryland and West Virginia, among others. He is the Gophers’ 10th commitment in this class and announced his decision following the spring game, leading Fleck to jump into his arms.