Guest Entry: Day In the Life of Donnell Kirkwood

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Occasionally here on the official Golden Gopher Football Blog, we'll be featuring guest contributors, including Mike Ricci, editor and webmaster of the football program's official site --

Truth be told, it's been a rough string of weeks for us in the football program. The last two weeks found us on two forgettable road trips to Michigan and Purdue. Now we're in the middle of our bye week and quite frankly, it couldn't have come at a better time. This week is a chance to take a step back and breathe. In two weeks we will play host to the Nebraska Cornhuskers, the centerpiece to our Homecoming weekend. Where we stand now, there aren't a lot of people giving us much of a shot in that game.
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Based on our performance, that might be fair. But if there is a silver lining to the early season struggles we've had, it's been seeing the undying support that we've received from many Golden Gopher football fans. Rome wasn't built in a day, it was built over time with blood, sweat, and tears. As Coach Kill likes to say, "We're building this on a foundation of concrete, not sand." Go Gophers!

In regards to, this week we premiered a new video featuring redshirt running back Donnell Kirkwood. Donnell was gracious enough to let me follow him around during the Michigan trip two weeks ago. When the video starts, we catch Donnell on Friday morning as he gets ready for a brief walkthrough before loading the plane and heading to Ann Arbor. Later in the video I had a chance to visit with Donnell and his traveling roommate, fellow running back, David Cobb. The two backs told me how they unwind after being cooped up on an airplane for a few hours. Next, a look at how a Big Ten team eats while on the road (spoiler alert: very well).

What I think most viewers will find interesting happens on game day. The Gophers arrived at The Big House in Michigan several hours before the game. I think the video does a good job of really showing the nervous energy that comes along with game day. For a guy like Donnell, pre-pregame (the hour or so between arriving at the stadium and actually taking the field for warm-ups) involve a lot of sitting and getting mentally prepared. Each player seems to have a different way of getting their heads right for the games. Some players read, most listen to music, and every now and then a player will need to pace around the locker room. I hope you enjoy the peek behind the scenes!

Moving forward, we're going to be airing a new episode of "Gopher Cribs" in the next week or so, along with a new chapter in our Freshman Series. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this series, it follows the lives of freshmen Grayson Levine, Stephen Montgomery, Ernie Heifort, Max Shortell, Jephte Matilus, and Quinn Bauducco. This will be the third episode in our series that will follow these young men throughout their four or five year Gopher careers.

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