The Gophers announced this morning that Saturday's practice has been moved to TCF Bank Stadium, at 9:30 a.m., and is open to the public. This will be their eighth session of the spring and the first outdoors.
The Minnesota Football Coaches Association is holding its spring clinic this weekend, with about 1,400 coaches in downtown Minneapolis. Jerry Kill is among the featured speakers, and hundreds of coaches usually take in a Gophers practice while they're in town.
This should be a fun practice to watch. The Gophers usually "go live" and scrimmage on spring Saturdays.
More thoughts from Limegrover
On Thursday, Matt Limegrover gave some insight into how the battles are shaping up along the offensive line. I posted his thoughts on Josh Campion moving to guard in this report, but I wanted to update the rest of the line battles.
Remember, Jon Christenson had a rod removed from his leg and is rehabbing right now, but the Gophers expect him to be fully healthy this summer. Christenson is a likely starter at either center or left guard.
The first-team O-line this week has been Ben Lauer (left tackle), Joe Bjorklund (left guard), Brian Bobek (center), Campion (right guard) and Jonah Pirsig (right tackle).
"Ben Lauer’s going to be just fine," Limegrover said. "He’s had a real good spring ball so far at left tackle. We’ve got to find a backup [at left tackle], we’re a little bit shy right there. Our backup may not be on campus yet in all honesty.
"We’ve got to have somebody step up. If you’re not good at left tackle, you’re not going to be good as an offense. And that's what’s happening sometimes, when [second-string QB] Chris Streveler’s in there, he’s having some trouble over there."
Connor Mayes is another candidate to start at either left guard or center, but he's had a rough week snapping the ball as the second-string center.
"We’ve gotta get Connor squared away," Limegrover said. "It’s a little different snapping [without the defense lined up], but you put someone breathing down your neck, and it’s a little different scenario. So he’s got to keep working at that every day. He’s doing a nice job, but I’ll tell you who’s been real consistent throughout the spring is Brian Bobek. So I’ve been real happy with that."
A gem of a book
Finally, I wanted to throw in a plug for Kristian Pope's new book, "Godballers." Kris is a good friend of mine from our time working together at the Minnesota Daily, and he poured his heart and soul into this. It's the story of a remarkable year on the college basketball beat -- and so much more. From the Amazon link:
Godballers is the journey of a rookie sports reporter looking to make a name for himself when he quickly discovers that life at his new assignment travels in a slower gear. There he meets a coach haunted by his past and driven by his future. In this true tale of faith, the coach must overcome an unthinkable tragedy and find a cure for his son's life-threatening illness to fulfill the young man's dream of playing college basketball. From the opening tip to the final buzzer, Godballers follows every thrilling moment of the season and teaches indelible lessons in life, family and the true meaning of faith.