Football

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Former Gophers and NFL tight end Ben Utecht retired early due to concussions.
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Wed, 07/09/2014
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Chatter echoed throughout Ben Utecht’s home just miles south of the Twin Cities on Monday morning as his daughters got dressed and ready for the day.

“I want the pink polka dot glasses,” Elleora, the oldest at 5 years old, called out while descending the suburban home’s staircase into the living room. Wearing a pink dress and accessories to match, she gave her father a hug.

“You’re beautiful,” said Utecht, 33, a former NFL and University of Minnesota tight end.

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A policy change will have unsold student season passes go public sooner.
Publish Date: 
Wed, 06/18/2014
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The University of Minnesota is trying to fill its student section at Gophers football games — even if students alone aren’t enough.

After years of student season ticket sales plummeting, the University’s Board of Regents approved the athletics department’s request on Friday to make unsold student tickets available for the public sooner. University officials say the move will increase attendance and improve the overall atmosphere at Gophers football games.

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Aaron Hill signed with the Rams as an undrafted free agent in May.
Publish Date: 
Wed, 06/18/2014
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For many fans, there’s a belief that the National Football League is a group full of “chosen ones.”

To the contrary, nearly one-third of players on NFL rosters in 2013 weren’t chosen in the league’s draft.

Former Gophers linebacker Aaron Hill is trying to carve out a spot for himself on the St. Louis Rams’ roster despite going undrafted.

He’s no stranger to skepticism. Hill chose to walk-on at Minnesota and redshirted in 2009. He played for the Gophers for the next four years.

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Minnesota has substantial game experience on the defensive side of the ball.
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Fri, 05/30/2014
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The Gophers could trot out an all-upperclassmen starting defensive unit next season if they wanted to.

Even after losing Ra’Shede Hageman and Brock Vereen to the 2014 NFL Draft, Minnesota has nearly a dozen players on its defense with considerable game experience. Bringing back a seasoned defensive group is great for the Gophers short term, but requires their coaching staff to work hard on the recruiting trail this summer to re-fill the cupboard.

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Philip Nelson was released from Rutgers after being arrested for alleged assault.
Publish Date: 
Wed, 05/28/2014
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A couple of years ago, Philip Nelson was a highly touted Gophers quarterback.

Now, he’s awaiting trial for first- and third-degree assault.

Nelson, who transferred to Rutgers in January, was arrested May 11 after his alleged involvement in an altercation that left another man in critical condition.

According to a criminal complaint, Nelson allegedly kicked former Minnesota State-Mankato linebacker Isaac Kolstad in the head outside of Blue Bricks Bar and Eatery in Mankato.

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Jerry Kill and his wife, Rebecca, have donated $100,000.
Publish Date: 
Thu, 05/15/2014
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The first time Gophers head coach Jerry Kill had a seizure, his wife Rebecca didn’t know what to do.

“It’s hard because you are having to see your loved one go through something like that, but you also have to be the one there to help them get through it,” she said in front of a packed crowd at Kieran’s Irish Pub on Thursday. “It’s not easy.”

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Jerry Kill and his wife, Rebecca, have donated $100,000.
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Former Gophers quarterback Philip Nelson was charged with first- and third-degree assault Monday.
Publish Date: 
Wed, 05/14/2014
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Just after it began, Philip Nelson’s Rutgers career is officially over.

The Rutgers football team released Nelson, the once highly touted Gophers quarterback, on Tuesday, a day after he was charged with first- and third-degree assault.

According to a criminal complaint, Nelson kicked Kolstad, a former Minnesota State-Mankato linebacker, in the head during an altercation in Mankato, Minn., that took place Sunday morning. 

Rutgers head coach Kyle Flood announced the dismissal in a statement Tuesday.

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Former Gophers quarterback Philip Nelson was charged with first- and third-degree assault Monday.
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Publish Date: 
Thu, 05/08/2014
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This weekend’s 2014 NFL Draft marks the beginning — the beginning of many young players’ professional careers and the beginning of a quest for 32 teams as they attempt to hoist the Lombardi Trophy at the end of next season.

It all starts with the 2014 NFL Draft, a three-day spectacle that kicks off Thursday night.

Because the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft fell on same day of the final print edition of the school year, the Minnesota Daily sports staff decided it had to at least take a stab at predicting the first 32 selections.

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Thu, 05/08/2014
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The 2014 NFL Draft starts Thursday night. For all the prospects, the long waiting game will come to an end at some point in the next three days.

While the cream of the crop will be selected in the first round Thursday night, most players will go in the later rounds Friday and Saturday.

This year, the Big Ten has a bulk of players — anywhere from surefire first-round picks to third-day gems — who could make an NFL roster.

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Brock Vereen has done everything in his power to drown the NFL draft hype.
Publish Date: 
Thu, 05/08/2014
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Brock Vereen hasn’t watched much ESPN over the last few months.

He’s caught a few games of the NBA playoffs and an MLB game here and there, but he has spent most of his time fixated on Netflix and video games.

A standout defensive back for Minnesota during the past four seasons, Vereen has made a point to avoid all the hype surrounding the 2014 NFL Draft — a three-day event that kicks off Thursday night.

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