Size of some Gophers football players turns heads in preseason camp – St. Paul Pioneer Press


The Gophers football team — from a physical-size standpoint — looks more impressive this preseason camp. That’s the shared point of view from Minnesota athletics director Mark Coyle and former tight end Brandon Lingen, who watched Friday’s lighter practice at the Larson Football Performance Center.

There are many examples of new, or newer, Minnesota players who look bigger and stronger than their predecessors across at least the past five years:


Tyler Nubin (John Autey / Pioneer Press)

Six-foot-2 and 205-pound Tyler Nubin has moved from cornerback to safety, as the coaching staff had planned for him this camp. Coaches are searching to find the best fit for the 2019 class’ highest-rated recruit, who seems to have a wingspan wider than his height.

Six-foot-4 and 315-pound Micah Dew-Treadway will be counted on at nose tackle; 6-8 and 270-pound tight end Brevyn Spann-Ford looks like a matchup problem waiting to happen; and 6-6, 275-pound defensive end Esezi Otomewo has the attributes to build on a 14-tackle, one-sack freshman year.


Big offensive linemen squeeze themselves under hurdles as part of the start of practice ritual. (John Autey / Pioneer Press)

Gophers offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca said he has never had a bigger offensive line in his 27-year career.

That is headlined by 6-9, 400-pound right tackle Daniel Faalele as well as 6-5, 345-pound Curtis Dunlap and 6-6, 325-pound left guard Blaise Andries.

BATEMAN, GREEN ABSENT

Two key offensive players had excused absences from Friday’s practice, head coach P.J. Fleck said.


Rashod Bateman catches a pass during practice. (John Autey / Pioneer Press)

Receiver Rashod Bateman had a death in the family and returned to his home in Georgia. Wildcat quarterback Seth Green attended at a family wedding.

“I’ve missed a lot of things in my life, and I don’t want want our players to miss things,” Fleck said.

Bateman and Green are expected back in camp Sunday.

BRIEFLY


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