By Kent Youngblood
I know it’s late. But practice doesn’t usually end until after 6:30. Then there are interviews to do, a story to write. It’s usually well past eight before I sit down to add to the blog.
–Tomorrow will be the first full-pads practice. Now, given the way the team practices in shells, it won’t be a huge transition to full pads. But coach Tim Brewster will make sure to get after them today. ”There will be a little added excitement tomorrow,” he said Thursday. ”We’ll have some live scrimmage stuff. We’ll end the practice with a goal line drill, which is always good for some good excitement. They’re competing like crazy. I like the tempo of our practices.”
–Running back Shady Salamon returned full-go to practice after being limited by a hamstring pull. There are only two players not practicing right now: Offensive lineman Ryan Wynn and defensive end Derrick Onwuachi.
My esteemed co-worker, Sid Hartman, wrote today that Wynn was out for the season with a back injury. Tonight Brewster said he still felt Wynn could contribute this season. We’ll see how that plays out. As for Onwuachi, he was on crutches Tuesday, limping mightily on Wednesday. But, just three days after spraining his left knee on the opening day of workouts, Onwuachi’s limp was much reduced this afternoon.
–The Gophers appear set at starting cornerback with Traye Simmons and Marcus Sherels — who, by the way, made his first interception of camp during a goal line drill Thursday. But what about the nickel cornerback? Brewster lauded veteran Ryan Collado but also talked up true freshman Michael Carter.
”I’ve been very impressed with Michael Carter,” Brewster said. ”He has done an outstanding job. He’s a very mature kid for a true freshman. He comes in here with a sense of confidence about himself.
–At linebacker, the Gophers are looking for Nate Triplett to take the speed he showed as the team’s best special teams player last year to the outside linebacker position. Brewster said Keanon Cooper is fighting hard for playing time. The speedy redshirt freshman is up near 220 pounds.
That’s about it. Talk to you tomorrow