Minnesota Football: The 7 Best Offensive Players on the Squad
The last few years have been rough if you are a fan of Golden Gopher football.
They struggled to put wins on the board, and were not even exciting to watch in most games.
This year, however, brings another new beginning.
We have a new coach in Jerry Kill and a revitalized fan base. On top of that, the offense is still talented, providing some hope to the faithful.
Here are seven players, who will make an impact on the offensive side of the ball for Gopher's squad.
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Da'Jon McKnight is, without a doubt, the Gopher's best option at wide receiver.
A senior out of Dallas, Texas, McKnight has recorded 68 career receptions for 1099 yards and 11 touchdowns during his three previous seasons as a Golden Gopher.
Last season, the second best receiver on the team is the same player who will be tossing him balls this time around. McKnight is the best play-making receiver the Gophers have seen since Eric Decker.
As former head coach Tim Brewster's prized recruit, MarQueis Gray will finally be playing his best position this season.
Under Brewster, Gray mainly played wide receiver, occasionally seeing time as quarterback in the wildcat formation.
In 2011, Gray will be the squads new full-time QB. Many expect Gray to be a star under center. He was a highly touted recruit who has yet to fill all the expectations.
He has shown flashes of brilliance. New head coach Jerry Kill may be just what he needs to finally take the Big 10 by storm.
The Minnesota Golden Gopher's have a history of producing quality tight ends.
Ben Utecht and Matt Spaeth are both former Gophers, who have found careers in the NFL.
During last year's dismal season, Lair actually provided a high point to many Gopher fans. Lair recorded 39 receptions for over 500 yards as a junior, and is looking to improve on that during his senior campaign.
Ge'Shun Harris may not be one of the best offensive players right now, but the Gophers will need him to be if the team is going to find success this year.
After Da'Jon McKnight, the Gopher's do not have many viable options at wide receiver.
Enter Ge'Shun Harris.
A transfer from Arizona Western College, Harris provides the Gophers with a receiver who can contribute immediately. He will be a nice complement to McKnight on the other side.
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Duane Bennett always seems like he has a hidden reservoir of talent that he is just not tapping into.
Whether he has another level or not, Bennett is a very solid running back for the Gophers.
With over 1500 career rushing yards, Bennett is a reliable rusher, who can get the job done when he needs to.
While no one will ever confuse him for Laurence Maroney, Bennett is a good rusher for the squad.
Donnell Kirkwood was rewarded a medical redshirt, allowing the Gophers to become even more stacked with freshman running backs.
Out of the three freshman backs, Kirkwood has the potential to become a star.
At 5'10'', 215 pounds, Kirkwood is a huge back. He saw brief playing time last year before injuring his leg and receiving his redshirt.
An incoming freshman, Peter Westerhaus is a tight end with enormous potential.
An incredibly hard worker, Westerhaus carried his team to the Minnesota State football championship.
It would not be a surprise if Westerhaus steps in immediately and makes an impact on a young Gopher squad.