Thursday, September 1, 2011


Ge’Swan and TRE go through the 2011 squad position by position and give each group grades.  These grades are serious business™ and should be given a great deal respect and a little bit of fear.  The haikus you are free to mock mercilessly.  Feel free to add your own gopher haiku to the comments section.  Here's our take on the offensive side.


A Four Star Recruit
Sitting idly on the bench
Weber throwing ducks

                                           Is that Bunk from HBO's The Wire on the left?

TRE: From the day that MarQueis Gray signed on to play for the Minnesota Gophers I was excited about seeing him play.  There was a problem though.  Despite getting one of the best quarterback recruits in Gopher history, Tim Brewster stuck with Adam Weber at QB.  Weber proceeded over the next few years to become the Benjamin Button of QBs.  He made more and more terrible throws and worse decisions with each game.  You had to wonder if he was somehow deteriorating mentally and physically as time went by.  Brewster’s love affair went so far as to move Gray to wide receiver, where he more than held his own.  Since Gray is the best athlete on the team, that wasn’t a surprise.  What was a surprise was why you would limit Gray’s touches to 8-10 times a game versus every play.  Seriously, what the fuck? 

Fast forward to today and we finally get to see what Gray can do.  The offense is called the pistol, which is like the shotgun only the quarterback is closer to the line (get it?) and a single back lines up behind the quarterback.  It was created by Chris Ault at Nevada, and if you watched Colin Kaepernick at all last year, you know it’s a great offense for a dual threat quarterback.  Gray by all accounts is more of a runner than a passer at this point.  His downfield accuracy is questionable, but he appears to have plenty of arm strength.  There will no doubt be growing pains (WHICH WE COULD HAVE GONE THROUGH LAST YEAR), but Gray has a ton of talent and should be fun to watch.  Max Shortell appears to have won the backup spot.  He’s a 6’6” gingerballs that looks like he can sling it.  Tom Parish appears to be the #3 and Moses Alipate is regulated to absolutely wrecking buffets.

TRE’s Grade: Right now we’re at a C.  However, there is TREMENDOUS UPSIDE! 

Ge'Swan: Johnny Skip Pass isn't playing anymore. If Gray can complete 50-55% and stay healthy, we're winning 7 games. Shortell seems to be the real deal, but he's still pretty raw and isn't particularly well suited to this offense. I've always wanted to see  the Tossin' Tongan in there, but it looks like it's not meant to be.

Ge’Swan’s Grade: Going with an A- for this group, particularly for Gray. MarQueis Gray m-effers. MarQueis Gray.


Du’ane, Wright, Kirkwood
LaMonte and David Cobb
Break those arm tackles!

Ge’Swan: One senior (Du’ane Bennett), two redshirt freshmen (Lamonte Edwards and Donnell Kirkwood/Kirkland, who played last year, but was granted a medical hardship waiver) and two true freshmen (Devon Wright and David Cobb) comprise this year’s running back corps. With Ponce Deleon’s departure, the Gophers lost their leading rusher from 2010, but at 698 yards over 193 carries (3.6 ypc), it’s not like we have to replace Craig ‘Hooker Slayer’ James (UMADBRO?). There’s undoubtedly talent in this group; but given the youth, it’s hard to pin down exactly how much that talent will manifest itself on the field this year.

Bennett has the capability to be a serviceable B1G back and he showed flashes of brilliance in 2009, before snapping his ACL like a super, super important twig. I suspect he’ll be the bell cow of this crew, but with the propensity of this coaching staff to rotate RBs (henceforth referred to at the Bukkake Arrangement) over the course of the game, I’m not sure whether we can expect Bennett’s per-game average to be seven carries or 20 this year.

Kirkland just screams fatback to me, which is a compliment. We need a grinder who can push the pile for an extra yard in 3rd and short situations. He’s had some issues with the Injury Reaper last year and this fall, but the coaches seem optimistic he’ll be available for the opener. Edwards also has the capacity to be a power back, but he runs much higher and, in my know-nothing opinion, has a much higher upside. Lest we forget, Justin Conzemius compared him to Adrian Peterson, so it’s not like he has any expectations to live up to. Bruh is strong, smart and fast, but is still learning what it takes to be a BCS-level RB. I expect he’ll see significant playing time this year, but we won’t see a major breakthrough until 2012. 

Of the pad-carrying, plebe true freshmen, David Cobb seems most likely to play. He looked solid in the fall scrimmage. Wright was heavily recruited out of high school, but sat out last year due to academic ineligibility. That’s all I have to say about these two. I only know what I see in games and, since they haven’t played, I clearly don’t know much. If you want a better breakdown of their respective talents, do a Google search or sign up for Rivals, you cheap, lazy effers.

Ge’Swan’s Grade: Overall, I give this group a B. Bennett should provide some stability and leadership, while the others learn the tricks of the trade and slowly begin to apply their considerable upside. Given the Bukkake Arrangement, I expect we’ll see most if not all of these dudes throughout the season.

TRE: You gave these guys a B?  Bwahahaaha!  I’m not even sure where to start here. You know what kind of running games throw a bunch of backs at you?  Crappy ones, that’s what.  Lamonte Edwards is the talent of the group.  Bennett is older, slower, brokener and more experienced at getting stopped in the backfield.  To say he is a serviceable running back in the Big Ten is akin to me saying that I could hold my own in the heavyweight division in the UFC (I’d die).  After watching the fall scrimmage, it looks like the zone read will be a big part of what the 2011 Gophers do.  This a play where the QB gets the snap in the pistol, takes a couple of steps toward his right and either hands off to the RB or keeps it himself and runs. In the scrimmage it resulted in some huge runs and some busted plays/semi-disasters.  It’s the Keystone Cops of running plays.  I look forward to cheering/throwing shit based on the varied results.

TRE’s Grade:  This group is a C-.  They have several young options with talent, but they’re completely unproven and Bennett is blocking their ascension. Their best runner is the QB for crying out loud.

Du’ane really wants
To hurt me, Du’ane really
Wants to make me cry


Bawse Dajon McKnight
A white speed receiver, too
No gator arms, please

Ge’Swan: I can sum up this review with the following: Dajon and a bunch of other dudes. McKnight had a big 2010 and has the look of a guy that could find himself playing on Sundays. Three factors will affect his output in 2011: 1) the health of his bad wheel, as he’s had some knee issues since spring ball; 2) Gray’s ability to consistently get him the rock and 3) the quality of receivers playing opposite him. Who the eff knows how any of those are going to shake out; but I’m going to concern myself with 3) since, you know, this is a preview of the WR position.

The depth chart for the USC game tells me that something named Malcom “X” Moltoun will be starting opposite McKnight. Having seen him in practice and at the scrimmage he looks the part. Fast, shifty and with the ability to catch in traffic he could be pretty productive. I, like many others, ultimately see Moltoun as a slot guy, though, where he’ll be splitting time with the uber-fast midget freshman, Marcus Jones. In 3-WR sets, we’ve heard the principal guy will be my namesake, Ge’Shun (GEEEE-shun, is the pronunciation, I guess) Harris. An All Name America guy, he seems to me a solid possession guy who can do the filthy blocking work on the edge and stalk block like a mutha.

Of note here is none of those three have actually caught a pass for the Gophers yet, so that’s exciting. I’d like to say we’ve just benched all of the receptions, but that would be a dirty lie. Truth be told, outside of Dajon, there are only about 45 receptions from the WR position on the whole roster. Brandon Green has shown flashes, but has the knees of Methuselah. Victor Kiese has looked pretty sharp in fall practice but, again, has approximately one career reception to his name. AJ Barker, also with one catch last year, is a WSR.  Since we’re too lazy to do a write up specifically for the TEs, I’m going to toss Eric Lair in here. He’s a beast and will get some looks come draft day next year. I suspect he’ll be one of Gray’s most frequent targets and will likely be the second to Dajon in productivity this year. He and McKnight being left off of that punk Adam Rittenburg’s top 25 players of the B1G is rapery of the highest order.

Ge’Swan’s Grade: B-. McKnight and Lair have the opportunity to be All B1G in their senior seasons, so they are greatly inflating this grade. Aside from that, there’s some potential, but no proven talent. Seems to be a theme here….

TRE:  It’s interesting that a crippled good WR and “a bunch of other dudes” equals B- for Ge’Swan.  This group is a huge question mark.  Combine a quarterback that has thrown a handful of passes with a bunch of WRs that haven’t caught any and there is bound to be some growing pains.  Lair is a badass though.  He kicks ass at the drill where you stand across from the other dude and ram into him and then you kind of just end up hugging each other and pumping your legs.  Yeah, it gets weird.  McGarry looks like a beast of a blocking tight end as well.   True freshman Marcus Jones is tiny (listed at 5’8”), but is fast as hell and could be a factor in the short passing game as the year goes on.

TRE’s Grade:  Going with a C here.  There are way too maybe question marks at this point to call the group anything but average.  The thing about all of these guys that don’t have experience is that none are highly touted or are coming in with a lot of hype.  Moulton is a 3 star JUCO transfer and that’s the most hype you’re going to get. 


Double knee braces
Knuckles taped, here comes the rush
Holding for dear life

TRE: There have been some pretty decent offensive lines in Gopher football history.  This year’s group has a fair amount of promise, especially the young guys..  They landed another Olson for this year, which is good.  Olson family, if you are reading this, keep doing the nasty and making linemen.  The starters according to my sources (the internet) are Ed Olson-Bunders-Wynn-Orton-Gjere.  All of these players save Gjere have had starting experience in the past, which is good I guess.   Some of the guys are pretty big and stuff.  Plus, check out Ryan Wynn's hairdo:

                                          Wynn must have some muppet blood in him.

TRE's Grade: C+ Hell, I don't know.

Ge'Swan: B+ for this All Twin Cities line. 'Nuff said. A lifetime of  Minnesota winters hos and Karkov vodka gives them the ornery attitude they'll need to crush the opposition. Hopefully the fine hos at the U haven't made ol' Jimmy G. soft.

Proceed to Part 2 (The Defense):


  1. That's a lot of words to basically say we don't know a damn thing about anything.

  2. MarQuies Magic Man
    Puts The Threat in Dual Threat
    Brings Gophers Glory