Big Ten Football Top 150 Players: No. 139, Jimmy Gjere, Minnesota OT
No. 139, Jimmy Gjere, #76, OT, Minnesota
2011 Stats: 5 starts
Gjere is, quite simply, the type of player you build an offensive line around. He's a mammoth at 6'7" and 325 pounds, he was an Army All-American in 2009 and he started from Week 1 of his redshirt freshman year in 2011. All good in the hood, then, no?
The problem with Gjere is that he suffered a concussion against Michigan in Week 5 of the 2011 season, and six months later, he's still not practicing at full speed. He's wearing an orange no-contact jersey during spring drills this year.
Jerry Kill's caution with Gjere and concussions in general should be commended, to be sure. Gjere's going to have some work to do in August to make sure he's back on the right side of the two-deeps.
Let's assume that Gjere's allowed to return to play, since that's the nature of concussion recovery and the alternative would be really lousy. If he's back on that line, he'll be someone the Gophers can reliably run behind. If he's there all 12-plus weeks, he's probably jumping up this list.
The concussion concerns are not insignificant, however. Let's hope at the very least that this is the last time they come up and he has a fruitful career down the line.
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