By Kent Youngblood
The Gophers returned to practice Wednesday after two days off. They will practice through Sunday, take a couple more days off, then meet in Phoenix Christmas night. That will give the Gophers five practices in Arizona prior to the bowl game.
A number of players are still limited because of nagging injuries, though coach Tim Brewster says the team will be 100 percent for the bowl game. Among those hobbled are Willie VanDeSteeg (ankle), Lee Campbell (ankle), Garrett Brown (ankle) and Dom Alford (ankle).
Wide receiver Eric Decker , who is coming off arthroscopic surgery for cartilage damage on his left knee, is moving well. He hasn’t been in pads yet, but he was out on the field running some routes and doing some cutting this afternoon. He says he’ll be OK for the bowl.
I’ll be writing more about Decker as the insight bowl nears. But he reiterated his belief that he will be back with the Gophers next season. The fact that he has paid a heck of a physical price to play this season – rib injury, concussion, ankle and leg injuries, etc. – has not changed his mind.
It was good to see Sam Maresh today. He’s been around the team watching practice for much of the season. But it was good to offer him congratulations in person for having been cleared to return to the game he loves playing. ‘’It’s just an amazing story,’’ Brewster said of the Maresh situation. ‘’What a blessing to us all.’’
Meanwhile, highly-recruited athlete Bryant Allen, a 6-0, 160-pounder who could play receiver or running back, will announce his college choice tonight according to Rivals.com. Allen, from Maplewood, Mo., has offeres from the Gophers, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Wisconsin, among others.
That’s about it. Stay warm.