The Minnesota Golden Gophers football program has had an abundance of good developments this offseason.
They reached such a low point in 2010 that nearly every event seems to bring hope to Gopher nation.
No program goes through an offseason without losing players or developing new complications.
Let's take a look at five good and five bad offseason developments for the Golden Gophers thus far.
Donnell Kirkwood has played in three NCAA Division I football games.
Still, he will be considered a freshman when next season starts.
Kirkwood suffered a severe injury last season, and did not appear in a game after playing September 25th against Northern Illinois.
The medical redshirt that Kirkwood was granted is a blessing for the Gophers.
Kirkwood is now on the same playing field as the other two redshirt freshmen running backs, LaMonte Edwards and Devon Wright.
One of these three could emerge as a potential future workhorse in the backfield for head coach Jerry Kill.
If it turns out to be Kirkwood, the extra year of experience will be extremely helpful.
Jerry Kill was hired as the head coach of the Minnesota Golden Gophers in December.
For many teams, they were still practicing and preparing for a bowl game.
For the Gophers, the Kill hire was the beginning of a promising offseason.
Kill has been welcomed by most players, and he has made an impact on the media.
His strict, intense nature of coaching is a breath of fresh air following the lackadaisical tenure of Tim Brewster.
The hiring of Kill was one of the biggest developments of the offseason thus far.
Minnesota needs to improve their defensive secondary badly this season.
Last year, they lacked the level of communication needed to minimize big plays and stabilize the defense.
A big reason was the absence of Kim Royston, who was injured for the entire season.
Royston, at age 24, will be a leader of the defense.
His hard-hitting style will bring an intimidating presence to the secondary.
Hopefully, the his younger teammates will follow suit.
Royston's sixth year of eligibility that he received in January is one of the more promising developments of the offseason so far.
MarQueis Gray has been a quarterback for most of his life.
He came to the University of Minnesota to play quarterback.
Yet, he has seen limited action at the position in maroon and gold. In fact, he was a starting wide receiver last season as a sophomore.
Now, he will be the starting quarterback for Golden Gophers in the fall, as long as he earns the job.
All reports have indicated that he has grasped the leadership role, and is embracing the work ethic needed to be successful.
This is a definite sigh of relief for Gopher nation.
No matter how he performs, fans will be excited to see Gray play under center full-time.
Jerry Kill has been the leader of Minnesota football for about half of a year now.
He did a pretty good job of acclimating himself with the Gopher community. Still, a new coach, especially one following the rocky departure of the previous coach, needs to do everything he can to win over fans.
Gopher football fans are extremely pessimistic and for good reason.
Tim Brewster made fans miss the Glen Mason era so much that they basically pushed Brewster out of Minnesota through public disapproval.
Kill has fans hoping that he can find the success that Mason reached in his best years.
His tour around Minnesota was a great step in introducing himself to Minnesota.
As he continues to grow relationships in the community, Kill will find that support from fans is a key to building this program.
He has gotten off to a great start in his first six months as leader of the Gopher football program.
For avid Gopher football fans, the disappointment in Moses Alipate has already set in.
Alipate has not played a single snap under center in the maroon and gold.
With MarQueis Gray now taking the starting role, he may never start a game at Minnesota.
When he committed to the University of Minnesota, Alipate was one of the biggest in-state recruits in recent memory. He had a significant amount of hype surrounding him, and national media outlets took notice.
However, he has been stuck behind the beloved (by the coaching staff) Adam Weber, and now has failed to challenge Gray after the departure of Weber. There has been talk that redshirt freshman Tom Parish out of Wisconsin may snatch the backup role from Alipate.
The failure of Alipate is nothing new to Gopher fans. His failure to challenge Gray for the starting position is the development that disappoints fans the most.
Jewhan Edwards has seemingly disappeared.
Toward the end of the Brewster era, everything got a little cloudy. When the dust settled, Edwards was nowhere to be found.
For some reason, he quit attending classes and vanished from Minnesota.
Edwards, or "Jew Jew" as many called him, was a leader of the defensive front.
He clogged holes in the running game, and somewhat pathetically, led the team in sacks with three.
For a team that only accumulated nine sacks last season, the loss of a leader up front is devastating.
In January, Gophers' wide receiver Bryant Allen transferred to Illinois State.
Seeing that he only caught 16 passes last season, it may not seem like a big loss.
However, with MarQueis Gray moving from starting wide receiver to starting quarterback, Allen would have been in for big playing time.
According to the Star Tribune, without Allen, the Gophers will return only one receiver that caught more than one pass last season.
Allen would have been a nice extra option for Gray this season.
His desertion of Minnesota for Illinois State is definitely a blow to the Gophers' offense.
Jerry Kill has recruited some quality junior college players thus far.
Two of them were brought in from Arizona Western: Drayquan Crawford and Ge'Shun Harris.
The two former teammates were expected to have a legitimate impact this season.
Harris has been practicing with the team, and may turn out to be the second wide receiver on the depth chart behind Da'Jon McKnight.
Crawford has run into some problems, however.
No one seems to know the reasons behind it, but he has yet to qualify to practice with the team.
He could be a presence in the defensive backfield alongside Kim Royston.
Crawford can cover a lot of ground quickly, and has both coverage and tackling skills.
His absence from the team is hurting his ability to win over the coaches, and get assimilated into the defense.
This is a defense that needs him, and he is not expected to be available until August.
Brandon Green has disappeared over the past year due to injuries
A.J. Barker, a homegrown receiver from St. Paul, Minn., has been receiving rave reviews out of the Gophers camp.
This worries knowledgable Gophers fans.
Barker was expected to be no more than a rotational slot receiver, yet he is looking like a front-runner to get major playing time alongside starter Da'Jon McKnight.
Brandon Green and Xzavian Brandon, two receivers from the 2008 recruiting class, are other options. The problem is that both are lacking experience.
Green has not handled the role of playing significant time very well, and is coming off a major knee injury from last season.
Brandon has not played in two seasons, sitting out due to knee injuries as well.
The lack of proven options at wide receiver is a little bit scary. Still, they are not lacking depth.
All they need is a couple of these unproven players to show that they can handle considerable playing time.
This is a big issue that has continued to develop throughout the offseason.