The Golden Gophers landed players from 10 different states from every
region of the country, including seven signees from Minnesota. The group
included six quarterbacks, two running backs, three tight ends, five defensive
linemen, four linebackers, two defensive backs, a placekicker and a
Dominique Barber, a 6-0, 180-pound defensive back
from Plymouth (MN) Wayzata, has played in six games this season. He has played
mostly on special teams, but got some play in the defensive secondary against
Indiana. Barber has one assisted tackles and one pass breakup. He followed
father, Marion Barber, Jr., and brother, Marion Barber III, in playing for the
Gophers. Barber is not listed on the two-deep depth chart, but with left
cornerbacks Ukee Dozier and Mike Wojciechowski, both being seniors, it is
possible that he could contend for the starting spot next season.
Tony Mortensen, a 6-3, 200-pound quarterback from
Hutchinson (MN) High, has played in two games this season. He has two carries
for 6 yards in the season opening 63-21 win over Toledo. Mortensen also got
into the Northwestern game over second-string QB Adam Ernst, but handed the ball off
to his running backs as the Gophers ran out the clock in a 43-17 win over the
Wildcats. With Cupito being a junior next season and Ernst becoming a senior,
there is a chance that Mortensen could redshirt next season, allowing him three
seasons of eligibility. Mortensen also has the potential to play other
positions, such as tight end.
Gary Russell, a 5-11, 195-pound running back from
Columbus (OH) Walnut Ridge, has played in just two games, but has looked very
impressive in his limited action. Russell, who is listed as the team’s fourth
running back, gained 79 yards on 14 carries in the season opener against Toledo.
He suffered an injury, which caused him to miss the next three games. Russell
had 10 carries for 65 yards in Minnesota’s 45-0 win over Illinois. He has
played on special teams in five games and has one tackles and one assist.
Russell has demonstrated great potential, but with Marion Barber III and
Laurence Maroney ahead of him (along with Amir Pinnix), some fans wonder if he
should have been redshirted allowing him to have four years of eligibility.
a 6-foot-3, 215-pound long snapper from Stillwater (MN) High, has appeared in
eight of the team’s nine games. He has two assisted tackles this season and
figures to hold the long and short snapping duties in the future.
Tomorrow, we will look at the 19 Gopher freshmen who will receive a redshirt this year.