#22 Days Until Gopher Football

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Go Gophers! Tyrone Carter and Laurence Maroney
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No. 22 has been one of the best numbers in Minnesota football history, as Tyrone Carter and Laurence Maroney are among those to have worn it. With 22 days remaining before the season opener, we look back on the careers of a pair of Gopher greats.

Carter, a safety for the Gophers from 1996 to 1999, has collected a lot of hardware over the years. He won the 1999 Jim Thorpe Award as the best defensive back in the country, and was a First Team All-American as a junior and senior.

An M Club Hall of Famer, Carter holds the school record for career tackles with 528. His junior (158), senior (144) and sophomore (143) seasons rank third, tied for sixth and eighth, respectively. Carter set a record with two fumble returns for touchdowns in his third college game, against Syracuse in 1996.

After his senior season, during which he was a team captain, Carter was drafted by the Minnesota Vikings in the fourth round. He went on to win two Super Bowl rings with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2005 and 2008. Carter is now retired from the NFL and remains connected to the Gopher football program.

A few years after Carter's departure from the U, Maroney arrived and took on No. 22. Like Carter, Maroney made an immediate impact. Sharing carries with Marion Barber III, the running back set a Minnesota freshman record with 10 rushing touchdowns in 2003.

Maroney's season rushing totals increased each year, and he ranks second all-time with 3,933 career yards in three seasons. His 2005 total of 1,464 yards as a junior is a season record. He rushed for 100-plus yards 21 times. His three games of 200 yards or more put him in a tie for a school record. Maroney rattled off a record-setting streak of seven consecutive 100-yard games from 2003 to 2004.

Maroney and Barber rushed for 100 yards in the same game eight times during their two seasons together. They helped run the Gophers into bowl appearances in both 2003 and 2004, and Maroney also played in a bowl game in 2005. Against Wisconsin in 2005, Maroney rattled off a 93-yard run, the second-longest in school history.

A two-time All-Big Ten First Team selection, Maroney was also named a First Team All-American by Rivals.com in 2005. He left for the NFL Draft after his junior year, and went to the New England Patriots in the first round. Maroney spent four seasons in New England, and played for the Denver Broncos in 2010.

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