JOTTINGS

• When you speak of great careers, who could have a greater one than the late Wendell Anderson? Three decades of public service as a state legislator, governor, senator and University of Minnesota regent. In addition to that, he stood out as a hockey player for the Gophers and played on the 1956 United States Olympic team that won a silver medal in Italy. What a tremendous loss for the state of Minnesota.

 

• Gophers football coach Tracy Claeys said that there isn’t any question that the offensive linemen have not only put on weight but have improved their strength a lot since spring practice. “You know they weren’t happy with the way they played a year ago, also, and so you know they’ve got not only the players at practice but I think they’re doing a couple sessions on their own in the weight room,” Claeys said. “With coach [Jay] Miller here, they have great pride in that group and they want to do well, and they put in the extra work this summer, and you can obviously tell.”

 

• Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen talked to the “NFL HQ” television show about his feelings on U.S. Bank Stadium, which opened for public tours this weekend. “It’s unbelievable,” Griffen said. “All the artwork, all the seating and the surroundings, it feels like you’re outside. So it’s really awesome. I come from the Metrodome. I have been there for seven years … so this is like night and day comparison, can’t even compare.”

 

Mark Griffen, an assistant coach at Eden Prairie, had these words to say about former Gophers team physician Pat Smith, saying the university is losing more than a great doctor. “He helped out my daughter when she tore her ACL a few years back, and the way he was concerned not only for the knee but her mental state in the recovery process,” he said. “You felt like he gave you 100 percent at every turn and really wanted to know how she was doing. Sad to see this happen to such a great guy.”