Decker on Biletnikoff Award watch list

Posted on August 12th, 2009 – 12:01 PM
By Kent Youngblood

Greetings. Before I head off to practice — the Gophers will be in shells today after going two days without any padding other than helmets — here’s a quick update:

Wide receiver Eric Decker has been named to the watch list for teh 2009 Biletnikoff Award, given annually to the top wide receiver in college football.

Decker, who was a finalist for the award last year, is one of 37 players on the watch list.

26 Responses to "Decker on Biletnikoff Award watch list"

Recruiting says:

August 12th, 2009 at 12:12 pm

Great news! Who recruited him?

fectosrd says:

August 12th, 2009 at 12:30 pm

Didn’t Mason recruit Decker? If Mason were still here, Decker would lead the nation in downfield blocks!

Curious George says:

August 12th, 2009 at 2:35 pm

For those who are interested in the here and now, I am pasting fron another blog the two deep on defense after the first two days of practice. It is certainly too early to come to any conclusions.

Defensive End
Anthony Jacobs
D.L. Wilhite/Terrell Combs

Eric Small
Jewhan Edwards

Garrett Brown
Brandon Kirksey

Defensive end
Ced McKinley
Raymond Henderson

Strongside linebacker
Simoni Lawrence
Keanon Cooper

Middle linebacker
Lee Campbell
Gary Tinsley

Weakside linebacker
Nate Triplett
Rex Sharpe

Traye Simmons
Ryan Collado

Kim Royston
Mike Rallis

Kyle Theret
Tim Dandridge

Marcus Sherels
Michael Carter

Rescooter says:

August 12th, 2009 at 2:38 pm

Props for both Decker and Weber. Here’s an interview with Weber:—–Minnesota-s-Adam-Weber.html

Check out some of Weber’s thoughts on the upcoming season:

How does it feel to be back on the field again?

Adam Weber: It felt great. We’re all a little anxious after spring ball because we left a lot of plays out there. Watching tape, we didn’t really execute to our abilities. We took a lot of time this offseason to watch tape and really put things together so we could come out here in this practice and hit the ground running, which I believe we did.

You have the most experienced team in the Big Ten and you’re probably dealing with the most change as far as new coaches and scheme. Does it help with the learning curve that you guys are older?

AW: If we were a very young team, we’d be hurting pretty bad right now. But with the amount of veterans we have on the team, we can really throw anything at them because we’re all kind of used to it at this point. With the veteran group, there’s a commitment level they understand. It’s not easy learning a new offense and trying to get used to a new coordinator, but all it takes is time. It’s just a matter of how much time do you want to put in. We all sacrificed this summer to give time up here at the complex so we can be really explosive.

Do you feel that you have the offense down at this point, or is it not quite there?

AW: It’s not quite there. If we were ready to go, I couldn’t wait for the season to start. But I’m glad we still have [25] more practices before our game because we’re going to need all of them. But it’s exciting to see how we came out with an expectation and a sense of urgency. There weren’t a lot of mistakes out there that you’d typically see on the first day [of practice]. It’s exciting to know we’re moving in the right direction. After the seventh or eighth practice, we’ll have 100 percent of our offense [installed]. And then it’s to the quarterback’s comfort level, what I want to do out there. Coach Fisch has given the freedom to the quarterback. He wants it to be where you’re almost an offensive coordinator out there, so if you’re seeing a look and we want to change the play, just go ahead. ‘Just be right,’ is all Coach Fisch has to say.

And are you 100 percent physically?

AW: I’m 100 percent. Shoulder feels great, body feels very, very good. It was a good offseason. It was frustrating how out of shape I got with this surgery, but I put in the time, put in the effort. I feel very, very good right now.

You attended the Manning [Passing Academy] this summer. How did it go?

AW: A lot of fun. Getting to meet the best quarterbacks in the country, guys who have their names on the national level, it was nice to go out there and meet them. With Peyton and Eli, it was great to pick their brains. It was a great experience. There was one time where Peyton and Eli had a little conference of all the college quarterbacks. They sat us down and said, ‘Whatever questions you have, shoot ‘em at us.’ It was neat to pick their brains and ask them questions about their daily life and how they communicate with receivers and how they look at tape.

What did you ask them?

AW: I wanted to know how they go about preparation going into a week, how much tape they look at. Peyton was talking about how he’ll spend just about the same amount of time watching other teams’ defenses as he does watching himself. Peyton stresses fundamentals and he’s a perfectionist. That’s why he’s one of the greatest quarterbacks. I’d never guess he’d spend that much time watching yourself and making adjustments on your own form.

Everyone is interested in how your offensive line is coming along. They might have the most changes to deal with as far as the new offense. What are you seeing from that group?

AW: Just from being up here in the offseason, they have been one of the hardest-working position groups on the team. They were challenged by coach [Tim] Brewster and challenged by coach [Tim] Davis and Coach Fisch to establish an attitude, establish a sense of aggressiveness. They definitely have put in the time and effort in the offseason. They did all the extra work that wasn’t even asked of them. It was great to see that. They have that commitment level to this program and to themselves getting better. Just looking at them today, it looks like things are going to be very, very good for our running game and for our offense. The attitude has changed, so it’s nice to see.

Is [wide receiver] Hayo Carpenter the real deal?

AW: It might be too early to tell, but he’s definitely a talented, talented athlete who has the knack for going up and getting the ball. He’s done many good things in his career so far. Now it’s just a matter of him getting comfortable in this offense. He’ll be a big part of this offense, and he’ll be able to make plays for us. It’s just a matter of him putting in the time, learning this offense and getting comfortable with his role on the team.

Rescooter says:

August 12th, 2009 at 2:40 pm

With the length of the last post, I feel a bit like wren. All I need to do now is post a correction.

Curious George says:

August 12th, 2009 at 2:47 pm

Rescooter – Great post! Just don’t keep on posting it again and again like wren.

Rescooter says:

August 12th, 2009 at 3:45 pm

CG – Good stuff. My only change might be Maresh instead of Tinsley. Both are wild-cards, but I’ve been hearing good things regarding Maresh. I really like his lateral movement and game psyche.

In any sense, it’s nice to see a solid two deep in most positions. Veterans and outstanding recruiting will do that.

the Loon says:

August 12th, 2009 at 4:03 pm

“Veterans and outstanding recruiting will do that.”

I guess I just don’t understand that based on our last five games of the last season. Would you not have expected a strong end to the season from a strong, young team? Or maybe a bunch of close losses that we will turn around this year?

david_allen_coe says:

August 12th, 2009 at 4:03 pm

Curious …. It is not so important who ends up starting at Syracuse on the defense. The more important thing is that every guy on that two-deep list is capable and ready to start every week.

That is the kind of depth we are looking for. That will allow seamless fill-in in the event of injury. Better yet, it allows us to keep fresh guys on the defensive side of the field throughout every ball game.

All those guys listed, and a few more not on the list, are going to get playing time this year.

Curious George says:

August 12th, 2009 at 4:04 pm

Rescooter – I read earlier that Brewster said that he was not going to rush Maresh, given his medical history. I suspect that if everything goes well with him physically we will see him move up. I also suspect Brewster wants to see how a freshman performs for a little while before moving them into a two deep slot. If that is true, that must mean Carter is doing well.

I have no idea how Brewster decides who is going to be red shirted and whether Maresh could be a candidate, but that could be a possibility also. Does anybody know how Brewster makes the decision to red shirt somebody?

david_allen_coe says:

August 12th, 2009 at 4:06 pm

Scooter … I think the coaches are wisely committed to bringing Sam on slowly. That makes sense to me.

But I do expect to see him on the field quite a bit later in the season.

Also, if Tinsley is a Maresh-calibre backer, that bodes very well for next year.

david_allen_coe says:

August 12th, 2009 at 4:09 pm

Curious … You redshirt all freshmen who need a year to get stronger, bigger, and more mature. Does not apply to Maresh.

You also redshirt guys who you don’t believe you will use or need. I don’t think that applies to Sam either because we are not excessively deep at linebacker.

I don’t expect Maresh to play this year. A little at first and more as the season progresses.

david_allen_coe says:

August 12th, 2009 at 4:11 pm

Loon … I can only imagine how confusing other aspects of life are for someone who is so genuinely befuddled as to why true freshmen could not have routinely beaten Big Ten teams last year.

david_allen_coe says:

August 12th, 2009 at 4:12 pm

“I don’t expect Maresh to play this year. A little at first and more as the season progresses.”

Correction: Meant to type “I do expect Maresh to play this year.”

short ornery norwegian says:

August 12th, 2009 at 4:43 pm

Re: Decker. Just imagine how many passes he would catch if they allowed him to use as much stickum as Biletnikoff did. But on a more serious note, it’s entirely possible that the Gophers could be a better team this year with Decker catching fewer passes. If they can have a more balanced offense, spread the ball around to the RB’s, TE, and other WR’s (Hayo….), then the tight coverage on Decker might loosen up a bit, and he would have a better chance of getting open for big plays when the team really needs it. I hope Fisch and Weber understand that forcing the ball into a WR whether he is open or not will lead to incompletions and interceptions. Instead of seeing Decker catch those 5 & 6-yard quick outs, I’d rather see him catch more 15-18 yard balls. Fewer catches + higher ypc = more effective offense (I hope).

This Brewster says:

August 12th, 2009 at 6:32 pm

Loon, perhaps you should ask Mason about leaving only 1 quality WR.

When Decker got hurt, the offense was done. A good part of the blame for that is on Brew.

Depth, especially on defense, is a must to be successful. Good recruiting is essential to establihs that needed depth.

Jimbo says:

August 12th, 2009 at 6:49 pm

I’m expecting to see lot of Maresh by mid-season. I understand wanting to bring him along slowly, but I’d venture to say he’s probably in better condition than just about anyone else on the team. Main thing is for him to get back his football “legs.”

I really hope so; I have a lot of admiration for this kid.

Jimbo says:

August 12th, 2009 at 6:50 pm

By the way, GO GOPHERS!!!

Jimbo says:

August 12th, 2009 at 6:56 pm

One last thing.

On Monday morning on KQRS, I heard a story about a man who had been arrested after being caught in a woman’s bedroom on a college campus, wearing only a thong.

Was that you, Rescooter?

Texas Gopher says:

August 12th, 2009 at 7:15 pm

Geez, loon has gotten on my nerves lately. His 403 post was a typical, snide, smug, ignorant post. I am taking Curious Geo’s advice in regards to this irritant. Loon, for the record I did not say “anyone could do better than Mason”. I have said from day one that Brewster was a crapshoot but I felt(and still do) it was worth the gamble.

NY says:

August 12th, 2009 at 7:17 pm

For the love of god, please no mention of a thong!

Texas Gopher says:

August 12th, 2009 at 7:29 pm

One of my concerns/hopes during the summer was whether we would get senior/captain leadership. It sure appears that is the case. Reading some quotes from various players is making me pull even harder (if possible) for them to be successful.

NY says:

August 12th, 2009 at 7:32 pm

TG: Also good to know that Weber is a big team leader, that’s always impressed me.

wren says:

August 12th, 2009 at 8:14 pm

So, what happens if the Gophers don’t go 9-3? I heard a rumor that some poster over on gh is saying that 9-3 is a done deal. So, are you saying the Gophers will need to go 5-3 in Big Ten play plus beat Cal phantom gh prognasitcator?

You are being rather specific about what this brewster would have to do to be taken seriously aren’t you?

Personally, I’d say anything less than 9-3 will be an underachievement then, right gh poster

Curious George says:

August 12th, 2009 at 9:04 pm

Jimbo – Was the guy caught because he got stuck in the door by the long hairs on his back. If so, I bet on Rescooter.

david_allen_coe says:

August 12th, 2009 at 9:42 pm

Jumbo … There is nothing any of us would rather see than Sam Maresh sticking running backs at the line of scrimmage and lighting up receivers across the middle.

But I can certainly understand the sentiments of the coaching staff to be extra cautious with him. What he is doing is miraculous as it is. He has four years ahead of him. There is plenty of time.