STADIUM: TFC Bank Stadium (50,805)



August 30 New Mexico State

September 8 Fresno State

September 15 Miami OH

September 22 at Maryland

October 6 Iowa

October 13 at Ohio State

October 20 at Nebraska

October 26 Indiana

November 3 at Illinois

November 10 Purdue

November 17 Northwestern

November 24 at Wisconsin



Buffalo 17-7

Oregon State 48-14

Middle Tennessee 34-3

Maryland 24-31

Purdue 17-31

Michigan State 27-30

Illinois 24-17

Iowa 10-17

Michigan 10-33

Nebraska 54-21

Northwestern 0-39

Wisconsin 0-31




RUSHING: 182.4

PASSING: 126.1

TOTAL: 308.5




RUSHING : 172.2

PASSING: 174.5

TOTAL: 346.7



2013: 8-5

2014: 8-5

2015: 6-7

2016: 9-4

2017: 5-7







RUSHING: Rodney Smith, 229-977-3TD

RECEIVING: Tyler Johnson, 35-677-7TD

TACKLES: Thomas Barber, 115

SACKS: Carter Coughlin, 6.5




Curtis Dunlap, G Jacksonville, FL

Dan Faalele, OT Melbourne, Australia

Rashod Bateman, WR Tifton, GA

Vic Viramontes, QB Riverside, CA

Alex Reigelsperger, DE Dayton, OH

Elijah Teague, DT South Holland, IL

Nolan Edmonds, RB Alpharetta, GA

Jason Dickson, OT Carona, CA

Jornell Manns, WR Mansfield, OH

Terell Smith, CB Snellville, GA



Minnesota’s offense struggled in it’s first season under Head Coach PJ Fleck. The Golden Gophers ranked 12th in the Big 10 in scoring (108th nationally), 13th in passing (122nd) and 12th in total offense (123rd). One area Minnesota was effective in was running the football (184.4 yards per game, 3rd in the Big 10). Perhaps the biggest reason for the poor offensive performance was the lack of consistent quarterback play. The good news for Minnesota is they can now start over in 2018.

Sophomore Vic Viramontes (junior college transfer) and red-shirt freshman Tanner Morgan are the two leading candidates to start at quarterback this fall. Coach Fleck may not have a clear starter until both see action at the FBS level.

The Golden Gophers return running back Rodney Smith, who rushed for 977 yards in 2017. Smith is just 1,260 all-purpose yards away from the school record. Depth is a concern for Minnesota after losing back-up Shannon Brooks to an injury in the off-season. Freshman Nolan Edmonds will now be the primary back-up to Smith.

The offensive line returns three starters and has excellent depth. LT Donnell Greene returns along with LG Conner Olson and RT Sam Schlueter. Minnesota picked up two very big recruits in 6’9” 400 pound OT Dan Faaele and G Curtis Dunlap at 6’5” 370 pounds.



Minnesota’s defense was actually pretty good in 2017. They allowed only 22.8 points per game (36th nationally), 174.5 yards per game through the air (11th).

The defense will have three key veterans returning, junior DE Carter Coughlin, LB Thomas Barber and S Antoine Winfield, Jr. Coughlin led the Gophers in sacks and tackles for loss last season. Barber had 115 tackles and Winfield returns after missing most of last season with an injury.

Minnesota’s run defense needs improvement and will count on Alabama transfer OJ Smith. Smith will be joined up front by DE Esezi Otomewo and DT Gary Moore.

Getting to the quarterback will be a high priority for Minnesota after they hired a pass-rush specialist.

Three starters return in the secondary with Winfield, CB Antonio Shenault and Jacob Huff. Sophomore  Kiondre Thomas is currently penciled in at the other corner.



Kicker Emmit Carpenter was the Big 10 Kicker of the Year in 2016. He struggled last season hitting 14-20 FG attempts. Punter Jacob Herbers takes over for Ryan Santoso. The return game will be evaluated this fall.



Minnesota lacked depth and talent to make a move in the Big 10 last season. Coach Fleck’s first season wasn’t what Minnesota’s fans had hoped for, but the future looks bright. Fleck knows how to turn a program around as he did at Western Michigan. Inexperience at QB will be a huge key early. Once they figure out who will be the starter, Minnesota can then focus on getting six wins and a possible bowl game.


PROJECTED RECORD: 6-6, 3-6 Big 10



92           Ahanotu, Mayan              DL          6-4         250        FR           Tampa, Fla. (Berkeley Prep)

35           Anderson, Danny             LB           6-0         212        RS FR     Eden Prairie, Minn. (Eden Prairie HS)

77           Andries, Blaise   OL          6-5         313        RS FR     Marshall, Minn. (Marshall HS)

81           Annexstad, Brock             WR         6-2         198        RS FR     Norseland, Minn. (IMG Academy)

5             Annexstad, Zack               QB          6-3         215        FR           Norseland, Minn. (IMG Academy)

17           Aune, Josh          DB          6-2         200        FR           St. Paul, Minn. (Highland Park HS)

3             Autman-Bell, Chris           WR         6-1         193        RS FR     Kankakee, Ill. (Bishop McNamara HS)

41           Barber, Thomas LB           6-1         233        JR           Plymouth, Minn. (Robbinsdale Armstrong HS)

56           Barron, Ty           LB           6-0         225        FR           Minnetonka, Minn. (Minnetonka HS)

13           Bateman, Rashod             WR         6-2         200        FR           Tifton, Ga. (Tift County HS)

44           Beebe, Colton    TE           6-3         268        RS JR     Kansas City, Kan. (Piper HS)

63           Beier, Austin       OL          6-4         275        FR           Toledo, Ohio (St. John’s HS)

66           Boe, Nathan       OL          6-4         275        FR           Lakeville, Minn. (Lakeville North HS)

4             Brooks, Shannon              RB          6-0         213        SR           Austell, Ga. (Pickens HS)

96           Bursch, Nathan  TE           6-5         255        RS FR     Woodbury, Minn. (Woodbury HS)

38           Carpenter, Emmit            K             6-0         199        RS SR     Green Bay, Wis. (Ashwaubenon HS)

36           Cashman, Blake LB           6-2         235        SR           Eden Prairie, Minn. (Eden Prairie HS)

45           Coughlin, Carter               LB           6-4         245        JR           Eden Prairie, Minn. (Eden Prairie HS)

71           Davis, Ben           OL          6-4         274        RS SO    Elk Grove, Calif. (American River College)

46           DeLattiboudere, Winston             DL          6-3         247        RS JR     Baltimore, Md. (Howard HS)

12           Devers, Tai’yon  DL          6-4         229        JR           Pompano Beach, Fla. (Blanche Ely HS)

79           Dickson, Jason   OL          6-6         300        JR           Corona, Calif. (Diablo Valley CC)

82           Douglas, Demetrius         WR         6-0         181        RS FR     Portland, Ore. (Jesuit HS)

61           Dovich, Bronson               OL          6-5         298        RS JR     Chaska, Minn. (Chaska HS)

51           Dunlap Jr., Curtis              OL          6-5         370        FR           Jacksonville, Fla. (IMG Academy)

16           Durr, Coney        DB          5-10       191        JR           Baton Rouge, La. (Dutchtown HS)

8             Edmonds, Nolan               RB          5-11       200        FR           Alpharetta, Ga. (Alpharetta HS)

7             Estes, Rey            DB          6-0         163        RS FR     East St. Louis, Ill. (East St. Louis HS)

78           Faalele, Daniel   OL          6-9         400        FR           Melbourne, Australia (IMG Academy)

28           Femi-Cole, Jonathan       RB          6-0         228        RS JR     Vaughan, Ontario, Canada (St. Andrew’s College)

18           Geary, Clay         WR         5-10       191        RS SO    Lakeville, Minn. (Lakeville South HS)

84           Gibson, Erik        WR         6-3         190        FR           Detroit, Mich. (Martin Luther King HS)

3             Gibson, Jerry      DL          6-3         260        RS SR     Theodore, Ala. (Theodore HS)

27           Gossage, Paul     WR         6-3         175        RS JR     Mokena, Ill. (Eastern Illinois)

17           Green, Seth        TE           6-4         229        RS SO    Woodbury, Minn. (Allen HS)

73           Greene, Donnell               OL          6-7         320        RS SR     Marietta, Ga. (Coffeyville C.C.)

5             Guthrie, Trenton              LB           6-3         217        RS FR     Northville, Mich. (Northville HS)

26           Harris, Justus      DB          5-10       174        SO          Roswell, Ga. (Roswell HS)

47           Herbers, Jacob   P             6-2         215        RS JR     Battle Creek, Mich. (Lakeview HS)

91           Hickcox, Noah    DL          6-4         280        RS FR     Rockford, Ill. (Boylan Central Catholic HS)

25           Howard, Phillip  WR         5-11       187        RS SO    Minneapolis, Minn. (Robbinsdale Cooper HS)

2             Huff, Jacob         DB          5-11       207        SR           Bolingbrook, Ill. (Bolingbrook HS)

20           Huff, Julian          LB           6-0         225        SR           Bolingbrook, Ill. (Bolingbrook HS)

24           Ibrahim, Mohamed          RB          5-10       205        RS FR     Olney, Md. (Our Lady of Good Counsel HS)

98           Janes, Max          TE           6-3         230        FR           Shoreview, Minn. (Mounds View HS)

38           Jelen, Preston    RB          5-10       200        FR           Prior Lake, Minn. (Prior Lake HS)

6             Johnson, Tyler    WR         6-2         190        JR           Minneapolis, Minn. (North HS)

25           Jordahl, Payton  LS           6-2         230        RS SR     Perham, Minn. (Perham HS)

67           Kern, Jack           DL          6-2         300        FR           Eau Claire, Wis. (Eau Claire Memorial HS)

42           Kieft, Ko               TE           6-4         250        RS SO    Sioux Center, Iowa (Sioux Center HS)

29           Leius, Jack           DB          6-0         189        RS SO    Plymouth, Minn. (Robbinsdale Armstrong HS)

31           London, Dominik              RB          5-9         200        RS FR     Woodbury, Minn. (East Ridge HS)

37           Mack, John         K             6-0         193        RS SO    Hartland, Wis. (Arrowhead HS)

69           Mafe, Boye         DL          6-4         232        RS FR     Minnetonka, Minn. (Hopkins HS)

11           Manns, Jornell   WR         5-11       190        FR           Mansfield, Ohio (Mansfield Senior HS)

21           Martin, Kamal    LB           6-3         229        JR           Burnsville, Minn. (Burnsville HS)

24           McDonald, Bishop            DB          6-0         185        JR           Oakdale, Minn. (Minnesota Duluth)

49           McNeil, Jack       TE           6-5         255        FR           Madison, Wis. (Madison Edgewood HS)

46           Melvin, Alex       P             6-4         205        RS JR     Burnet, Texas (SMU)

19           Moore, Gary       DL          6-4         287        RS SR     Mobile, Ala. (Murphy HS)

2             Morgan, Tanner               QB          6-2         205        RS FR     Union, Ky. (Ryle HS)

89           Morse, Matt       WR         6-1         198        RS JR     Apple Valley, Minn. (Apple Valley HS)

94           N-Okonji, Abi      DL          6-3         245        FR           Snellville, Ga. (South Gwinnett HS)

74           Norton, Grant    OL          6-8         260        FR           Camdenton, Mo. (Camdenton HS)

93           Novak-Goar, Connor       DL          6-2         280        RS SO    Eden Prairie, Minn. (Iowa Western C.C.)

36           O’Brien, Casey   H            6-1         176        RS FR     Saint Paul, Minn. (Cretin-Derham Hall HS)

14           Oliver, Braelen   LB           6-0         215        FR           Douglasville, Ga. (Douglas County HS)

64           Olson, Conner    OL          6-5         297        RS SO    Monticello, Minn. (Monticello HS)

58           Oseland, Quinn  OL          6-6         305        RS JR     Springfield, Ill. (Sacred Heart Griffin HS)

9             Otomewo, Esezi               DL          6-6         240        RS FR     Indianapolis, Ind. (Ben Davis HS)

80           Paulson, Jake     TE           6-4         258        RS FR     Louisville, Ky. (Christian Academy)

53           Piche, Owen       LB           6-3         225        FR           Naperville Ill. (Navy)

19           Pickerign, Samuel             QB          6-4         224        RS FR     Alpharetta, Ga. (Minnehaha Academy)

30           Reigelsperger, Alex          DL          6-4         255        FR           Dayton, Ohio (Wayne HS)

90           Renner, Sam       DL          6-4         259        RS JR     Maple Grove, Minn. (Maple Grove Senior High)

59           Roane, Micah     DL          6-4         235        FR           Chaska, Minn. (Chaska HS)

75           Robinson, Malcolm          DL          6-3         290        RS FR     Massillon, Ohio (Washington HS)

65           Ruschmeyer, Axel            OL          6-4         281        RS FR     Hutchinson, Minn. (Holy Family Catholic HS)

28           Rush, Thomas    LB           6-3         225        FR           Marysville, Ohio (Marysville HS)

32           Russell, Joe         LB           6-2         194        RS FR     Shoreview, Minn. (Totino-Grace HS)

33           Ryerse, Grant     K / P       6-2         203        RS FR     Woodbury, Minn. (East Ridge HS)

16           Santaga, Jon       QB          6-1         192        RS FR     Green Bay, Wis. (Notre Dame De La Baie Academy)

22           Sapp III, Benny   DB          6-1         180        FR           Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (Eden Prairie HS)

75           Sassack, Kyle      OL          6-7         283        RS FR     Pontiac, Mich. (Notre Dame Prep HS)

70           Schlueter, Sam   OL          6-6         298        RS SO    Victoria, Minn. (Mayer Lutheran HS)

60           Schmitz, John Michael    OL          6-4         286        RS FR     Flossmoor, Ill. (Homewood-Flossmoor HS)

43           Schoenfelder, Bailey       LB           6-3         225        RS SO    Huron, S.D. (Huron HS)

34           Shenault, Antonio            DB          5-11       192        SR           Roselle, Ill. (Lake Park HS)

97           Silver, Royal       DL          6-3         292        RS JR     Cedar Rapids, Iowa (Iowa Western CC)

15           Smith, CJ             DB          6-1         180        FR           Jacksonville, Fla. (Fletcher HS)

99           Smith, O.J.          DL          6-2         309        RS JR     Bossier City, La. (Alabama)

1             Smith, Rodney   RB          5-11       210        RS SR     Jonesboro, Ga. (Mundy’s Mill HS)

4             Smith, Terell       DB          6-1         180        FR           Snellville, Ga. (South Gwinnett HS)

55           Sori-Marin, Mariano        LB           6-3         235        FR           Mokena, Ill. (Providence Catholic HS)

88           Spann-Ford, Brevyn         TE           6-7         245        FR           St. Cloud, Minn. (Technical HS)

40           Strazzanti, Alex  DB          6-2         194        RS FR     Chaska, Minn. (Chaska HS)

27           Swenson, Calvin               DB          6-1         209        RS SO    Kaukauna, Wis. (Kaukauna HS)

52           Teague, Elijah     DL          6-3         295        FR           South Holland, Ill. (Marist HS)

31           Thomas, Kiondre              DB          6-0         188        RS SO    Fort Smith, Ark. (Northside HS)

26           Thompson, True               WR         6-4         200        RS SO    Plymouth, Minn. (Iowa Western Community College)

87           Umlor, Nate       DL          6-5         269        SO          Allendale, Mich. (Allendale HS)

83           Van Dyne, Harry               WR         6-5         185        RS FR     Stilwell, Kan. (Blue Valley HS)

87           Van Dyne, Yale  WR         6-3         205        RS SO    Overland Park, Kan. (Iowa)

39           Vojvodich, Michael          LS           6-3         215        FR           Annandale, Va (Woodson HS)

34           Walker, Brock    K             5-10       190        FR           Sioux Falls, S.D. (Washington HS)

62           Weyler, Jared     OL          6-4         296        RS SR     Dayton, Ohio (Centerville HS)

21           Williams, Bryce  RB          6-0         200        FR           Sarasota, Fla. (Cardinal Mooney HS)

6             Williamson, Chris             DB          5-11       191        RS JR     Gainesville, Ga. (Florida)

11           Winfield Jr., Antoine        DB          5-10       204        RS SO    The Woodlands, Texas (The Woodlands HS)

85           Witham, Bryce   TE           6-4         257        RS JR     Grand Rapids, Mich. (West Catholic HS)

86           Witherspoon, Clayton    TE           6-4         235        RS FR     Eden Prairie, Minn. (Eden Prairie HS)

76           York, Jack            OL          6-6         300        FR           Dallas, Texas (First Baptist Academy)



P.J. Fleck – Head Coach

Kirk Ciarrocca – Offensive Coordinator / Quarterbacks

Robb Smith – Defensive Coordinator / Linebackers

Rob Wenger – Special Teams Coord. / Outside Linebackers

Jahmile Addae – Defensive Backs Coach

Kenni Burns – Running Backs Coach

Brian Callahan – Offensive Line Coach

Clay Patterson – Tight Ends Coach

Joe Rossi – Defensive Line Coach

Matt Simon – Wide Receivers Coach

Marcus West – Defensive Line Pass Rush Specialist

Gerrit Chernoff – General Manager

Dan Nichol – Head Strength and Conditioning

Jeremy Cole – Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach

Marcus Wasilewski – Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach

Ben Schumacher – Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach

Nick Siciliano – Quality Control

Dan Collins – Quality Control

David Parker – Quality Control

Norries Wilson – Director of Player Development

Marcus Hendrickson – Director of Player Personnel

John Schaekel – Recruiting Coordinator

Zach Bell – Director of Recruiting Communications

Will Henry – Recruiting Assistant and Graphic Design Specialist

Daniel Ifft – Director of Football Operations

Evan Barker – Assistant Director of Ops, Player Development & High School Relations

Keli’ikuewa Kekuewa – Offensive Graduate Assistant

Drew Moulton – Offensive Graduate Assistant

Donald Celiscar – Defensive Graduate Assistant

Michael Priefer Jr. – Special Teams Graduate Assistant

Michael Sypniak – Head Athletic Trainer

Arno Rheinberger – Assistant Athletic Trainer

Matt Childers – Director of Video

Derek Schmidt – Assistant Director of Video Services

Kyle Gergely – Director of Equipment Operations

Sarah Woodruff – Executive Assistant to Head Coach

Marjorie Walsh – Assistant to Recruiting and Coaching Staff