Sports en Williams preps for draft By: <a href="/users/gdonaldmndailycom" title="View User Profile">Grant Donald</a><br/><p>A year ago, former defensive tackle Ra&rsquo;Shede Hageman was on track to be the first University of Minnesota player selected in the first round of the NFL Draft since 2006.</p> <p>Hageman, however, slipped to the fifth pick of the second round, extending Minnesota&rsquo;s first-round drought for yet another year.</p> <p>But it seems like the streak will only last one more month, as former Gophers tight end Maxx Williams&rsquo; chances of being a first-round pick seems increasingly promising with every new mock draft release.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Football Wed, 04 Mar 2015 05:16:42 +0000 90312 at CJ Smith looking to fulfill big dreams By: <a href="/users/dchen" title="View User Profile">Danny Chen</a><br/><p>It takes a lot of commitment to become an All-American at the Division I level.</p> <p>For senior CJ Smith, his desire to be the best started before he even stepped on campus.</p> <p>As a high school swimmer, Smith didn&rsquo;t miss a single practice in all four years of his career.</p> <p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve never seen somebody who has been so dedicated and works hard on his own. We never, ever, ever had to tell him to go to practice. Not once in his entire life,&rdquo; said Kaci Smith, CJ&rsquo;s mother.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Swimming & Diving Wed, 04 Mar 2015 05:01:22 +0000 90304 at Dance to the music By: <a href="/users/bbobelmndailycom" title="View User Profile">Brad Bobel</a><br/><p>When the music starts for the women&rsquo;s gymnastics floor routines, it&rsquo;s hard not to groove along and feel the tune&rsquo;s energy.</p> <p>Though the routines&rsquo; songs can&rsquo;t words in them due to competition regulations, they are usually dance tracks or come from movie soundtracks.</p> <p>Some gymnasts use their offseason to find their music and sometimes come upon it by accident.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Gymnastics Wed, 04 Mar 2015 04:53:06 +0000 90302 at Old teammates set for matchup By: <a href="/users/bgotzmndailycom" title="View User Profile">Ben Gotz</a><br/><p>Though former Minnesota shortstop Paul Molitor was named an All-American for the second time in his career in 1977, he wasn&rsquo;t voted the most valuable player on the Gophers that year.</p> <p>That honor went to John Anderson &mdash; Minnesota&rsquo;s current head coach.</p> <p>And now, Anderson and the Twins&rsquo; new manager will meet again on the field, coming together for an exhibition game between the Twins and Gophers on Wednesday.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Baseball Wed, 04 Mar 2015 04:41:27 +0000 90301 at Gophers begin spring practice slate By: <a href="/users/jsatzingermndailycom" title="View User Profile">Jack Satzinger</a><br/><p>When Mitch Leidner began spring practice for the Gophers last year, he had only passed for 619 yards in limited reps.</p> <p>But now &mdash; after a completed redshirt sophomore season in which he was Minnesota&rsquo;s emotional leader and played in nearly every game &mdash; he seemed much more poised at this year&rsquo;s spring practice start on Tuesday.</p> <p>&ldquo;It feels a lot different. I feel a lot more comfortable,&rdquo; Leidner said. &ldquo;By now, I feel really confident in our offense.&rdquo;</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Football Wed, 04 Mar 2015 04:39:23 +0000 90300 at University’s alpine skiing club travels to nationals By: <a href="/users/skraemermndailycom" title="View User Profile">Sam Kraemer</a><br/><p>At the regional championships last month, freshman Gabriella Sorg glided down the competition&rsquo;s hill &mdash; unaware of how her time would impact the University of Minnesota&rsquo;s alpine skiing club.</p> <p>Ankle-high lasers at the end of the track recorded Sorg&rsquo;s run one-hundredth of a second faster than her University of Minnesota-Duluth counterpart, giving the Gophers the tiebreaker and launching them to the national tournament for the first time in years.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Sports Tue, 03 Mar 2015 05:12:22 +0000 90270 at Gophers bare their soles By: <a href="/users/mgreenstein" title="View User Profile">Matt Greenstein</a><br/><p>During halftime and timeouts of each game, junior guard Shayne Mullaney looks down at her shoes.</p> <p>Written in black sharpie on the toe of the left shoe is &ldquo;PTL&rdquo; &mdash; which stands for &ldquo;Praise the Lord,&rdquo; she said.</p> <p>And written in the same spot on the right Nike is &ldquo;AO1,&rdquo; which stands for &ldquo;an audience of one.&rdquo;</p> <p>Different athletes express themselves in different ways on the court, and the Gophers do the same through their shoes.</p> <p>Mullaney has spent her time on the Gophers expressing herself while facilitating the offense.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Women's Basketball Tue, 03 Mar 2015 05:11:17 +0000 90269 at Column: Pro day performances overvalued By: <a href="/users/dnelson" title="View User Profile">David Nelson</a><br/><p>Scouts, coaches, teammates, friends, families and media all packed into Gibson-Nagurski Football Complex for <a href="">Minnesota&rsquo;s pro day</a> on Monday.</p> <p>Every person in the building focused his or her eyes on the prospects as <a href="">they showcased what they can offer NFL teams</a>.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Football Tue, 03 Mar 2015 05:08:58 +0000 90266 at Center Zahui B. given top conference honor by media By: <a href="/users/mgreenstein" title="View User Profile">Matt Greenstein</a><br/><p>Before the season&rsquo;s start, coaches and media selected senior guard Rachel Banham as the Big Ten Preseason Player of the Year.</p> <p>But on Monday, a different Minnesota player took home the player of the year award. Amanda Zahui B. is averaging 18.5 points, 12.7 rebounds and four blocks per game.</p> <p>Zahui B., a redshirt sophomore, helped fill the scoring void and keep the Gophers afloat this season after Banham went down with an injury in December.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Women's Basketball Tue, 03 Mar 2015 05:07:36 +0000 90265 at Cedric Thompson impresses at pro day By: <a href="/users/jsatzingermndailycom" title="View User Profile">Jack Satzinger</a><br/><p>Cedric Thompson sensed that NFL scouts saw his perceived lack of athleticism as a weakness. But at Minnesota&rsquo;s pro day on Monday, he showed them exactly why it might be a strength.</p> <p>The former Gophers defensive back exceeded expectations in the 40-yard dash with a blazing time of 4.37 seconds. After that, Thompson went to the vertical jump where he showed the 22 NFL teams represented that he can leap more than 40 inches.</p> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Football Tue, 03 Mar 2015 05:06:39 +0000 90264 at