I attended Minnesota’s spring football games in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
I did not attend this year’s. And by the looks of it, not many other people did, either.
I skimmed a box score and talked to people who did opt to spend their Saturday afternoon at an empty TCF Bank Stadium. From what I gathered, this year’s spring game was like every other Gophers spring game in recent memory — boring as hell.
Rodrick Williams scored the only touchdown during the spring game.
To fans expecting a show, Minnesota’s spring football game Saturday afternoon at TCF Bank Stadium likely came as a disappointment.
With an announced crowd of 4,752 fans scattered throughout the 50,805-seat stadium and quarterbacks in green limited-contact jerseys, the atmosphere contrasted that of a normal game.
But the Gophers have been working all spring to ensure that TCF Bank Stadium is packed to the max when the season opens in August. There were flashes of that Saturday, courtesy of running backs Berkley Edwards and Rodrick Williams.
At the start of the Gophers’ spring practice a few weeks ago, head coach Jerry Kill said his team’s offense will be much improved next season.
Mitch Leidner is the guy at quarterback after Philip Nelson’s transfer to Rutgers. David Cobb, fresh off a 1,000-yard rushing season, leads a loaded backfield. Maxx Williams and Drew Goodger return at tight end. And the offensive line boasts years of experience.
At nearly 6 feet 6 inches, with dreadlocks spilling out of the back of his helmet, Gophers junior linebacker De’Vondre Campbell looks like touted NFL prospect Jadeveon Clowney when he blitzes quarterbacks.
There are vast differences between Campbell and Clowney, a near-lock to be a top pick in the 2014 NFL Draft.
Still, many think Campbell has the potential to be a first-round pick down the road.
“He has a great future ahead of him if he keeps doing everything he needs to do,” head coach Jerry Kill said.
While the cold weather may not indicate it, spring has arrived — for the Gophers football team, at least.
Minnesota held its first of 15 spring practices Tuesday at the Gibson-Nagurski Football Complex. Those practices will culminate with the annual spring game, which is slated for April 12 at TCF Bank Stadium.
The Gophers started their spring season after a successful 2013 season, which ended just 68 days ago.
Sports reporters Sam Gordon, Dane Mizutani and Jack Satzinger recap Minnesota's Pro Day where Gopher athletes including Brock Vereen and Ra'shede Hageman perform drills in front of NFL recruits at the Gibson/Nagurski Football Practice Facility on Monday, March 3, 2014. <a href="http://www.mndaily.com/sports/football/2014/03/04/gophers-stand-out-pro-day">Read the full story.</a>