Cedric Thompson sensed that NFL scouts saw his perceived lack of athleticism as a weakness. But at Minnesota’s pro day on Monday, he showed them exactly why it might be a strength.
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.
A few weeks before Alonzo Craighton’s sophomore season of high school football was supposed to begin, it ended.
The wiry defensive back from Louisiana was going through shuttle drills in practice when he tried to make a cut too quickly.
The growth plate in his left ankle fractured, and he had to sit back and watch while coaches from touted schools came to recruit coveted teammate Justin Reid, who committed to Stanford over LSU and Notre Dame on Wednesday.
Quarterback Demry Croft will join the Gophers next season.
After weeks of discussion with family, coaches and former teammates, Gophers tight end Maxx Williams announced Friday that he will enter the 2015 NFL Draft instead of returning to the University of Minnesota for his junior season.
The decision comes less than 24 hours after the Gophers lost to No. 16 Missouri 33-17 in the Citrus Bowl, where Williams racked up 98 receiving yards including a highlight reel 54-yard touchdown.
After allowing Northwestern to put together a 97-yard touchdown drive to tie the game in the fourth quarter, the Gophers’ defense had a new sense of eagerness.
“We definitely felt like we could stop them on the next drive. There [were] no heads down. We were still confident in ourselves,” senior linebacker Damien Wilson said Saturday after the Gophers’ 24-17 victory over Northwestern.
The defense has been playing with confidence, which is arguably the reason the Gophers have bolted to a 5-1 start.