What They're Saying - Aug. 12

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Scrimmage recap (GopherSports.com)

Scrimmage audio: Kill l Zebrowski l Nelson l Leidner

Nelson composed in scrimmage (1500ESPN.com)

Talking QBs after the scrimmage (Pioneer Press) but remember they are still young (FSN)

Edwards dazzles with speed (Pioneer Press)

Nelson, new faces shine in scrimmage (Star Tribune)

Coach Kill tackles epilepsy (Star Tribune)

Kill opens up about epilepsy (Star Tribune)

Catching up with MarQueis Gray (Minnesota Daily)

Athletic Gophers noticeable at scrimmage (GoldAndGopher.com)

#18 Days Until Gopher Football

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Go Gophers! 18 Antoine Burns
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Gophers vs. UNLV (Aug. 29): Buy Tickets

Antoine Burns wore No. 18 for the Golden Gophers from 2000 to 2002. The wide receiver transferred to Minnesota from Rochester Community College, where he was a junior college All-American.

Go Gophers! Antoine Burns
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Burns is in the Gophers' 1,000-yard receiving club.
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An injury limited Burns to three games in 2000, but he played in every game for each of the next two seasons. In his 27 career games, Burns hauled in 75 receptions for 1,006 yards and seven touchdowns. He is one of 22 receivers in Gopher history to pass the 1,000-yard mark.

The career of the Gophers' No. 2 all-time receiver, Ron Johnson, overlapped with Burns' time at the U. Burns was the team's No. 2 receiver behind Johnson in 2001, catching 30 passes for 470 yards and three touchdowns. The next year, Burns was again among team leaders, with 44 receptions for 526 yards and four touchdowns.

Burns signed with the Seattle Seahawks as a free agent in 2003, and was picked up by a few different teams before moving on to his hometown AFL team in Milwaukee.

Gophers Scrimmage in Front of Fans

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On a beautiful Saturday evening in Minneapolis, the Gophers scrimmaged at TCF Bank Stadium, the last practice open to fans. The team did not play a true game with special teams, but instead ran series of plays with different sets of personnel. A good turnout of Gopher fans lined the field to watch.

Go Gophers! Philip Nelson
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Nelson looked sharp in Saturday's scrimmage.
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Philip Nelson and the first team opened the scrimmage with a touchdown on their first drive. Nelson went 4-for-4 passing for about 41 yards. Donnell Kirkwood also picked up some yards on the ground. Nelson connected with KJ Maye a few times, capping off the drive with a 3-yard touchdown pass.

On the first team's next series, Nelson completed both of his passes. His first incompletion came during his third series.

During Mitch Leidner's first few turns calling the shots, the Gophers ran more rushing plays than passing plays. Leidner tucked and ran several times himself throughout the scrimmage. He mixed in more passes as the night went on.

All five quarterbacks got into the rotation. Chris Streveler got around the edge for a long run that would have been a touchdown had the play not been whistled dead. Donovahn Jones played both quarterback and wide receiver, his first time lining up at receiver this fall. Fellow freshman Conor Rhoda connected with Jones on a long pass, but Jones was ruled out of bounds on the catch.

Another freshman turning heads was Berkley Edwards. On the first play of a series, he took a handoff from Streveler and blazed about 70 yards and into the end zone.

After two practices today, the Gophers will have Sunday off before doubling up again on Monday.

#19 Days Until Gopher Football

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Go Gophers! 19 Benji Kamrath
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Gophers vs. UNLV (Aug. 29): Buy Tickets

*Saturday's scrimmage is open to the public. It begins at 4:40 p.m. at TCF Bank Stadium. Doors open at 3:30 p.m. at the Lake of the Woods entrance.

With 19 days left until Gophers-UNLV, Benji Kamrath represents the countdown today. He was a backup quarterback, but he saw significant action in a few Gopher wins.

Go Gophers! Benji Kamrath
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Kamrath played the whole second half against Wisconsin.
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One of Kamrath's most notable games was against Wisconsin in 2003. Starter Asad Abdul-Khaliq left the game with an injury at the end of the first half and did not return. Kamrath took over for the second half, completing six of 10 passes for 93 yards. He helped the Gophers get down the field to set up Rhys Lloyd's game-winning field goal on the final drive.

Kamrath played in 11 games his senior season, accounting for two rushing touchdowns and a passing touchdown. Previously, in 2002, Kamrath started in place of an injured Abdul-Khaliq and led the Gophers to a win over Northwestern.

His playing career ended after graduation, but Kamrath has stayed involved in the sport he loves. He is currently the head football coach at Watertown High School in Wisconsin.

What They're Saying - Aug. 10

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Saturday scrimmage open to the public (GopherSports.com)

Audio: Kill l Limegrover l Hageman l H. Ekpe

Scrimmage time (Star Tribune)

Gophers ready for first scrimmage (1500ESPN.com)

Last chance to see the Gophers before the season starts (Pioneer Press)

A loot at the Gophers (PennLive.com)

Minnesota searching for signature win (ESPN.com)

Saturday Scrimmage Open To Public

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The University of Minnesota football team will hold its first scrimmage of fall camp on Aug. 10 at TCF Bank Stadium. The doors at the Lake of the Woods gate will open at 3:30 p.m. for fans and the scrimmage will begin at 4:40 p.m.

Saturday's scrimmage is the last open practice for the public and media before the season starts in earnest on Aug. 29 at home against UNLV.

What They're Saying - Aug. 9

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Coaching staff's loyalty tough to break (FSN)

D-line looking to prove people wrong (Pioneer Press), says to expect "pleasant surprises" (FSN)

Cockran grows into his frame (Pioneer Press)

Rodrick Williams feeling more comfortable (GopherSports.com), working on blocking (1500ESPN.com)

Three kickers competing for spots (Star Tribune)

Defense trumps offense in goal line drills (1500ESPN.com)

#20 Days Until Gopher Football

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Go Gophers! 20 Justin Conzemius
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Gophers vs. UNLV (Aug. 29): Buy Tickets

There are 20 days left until the Gophers kick off the season against UNLV, so today we revisit the career of former No. 20 Justin Conzemius. He played for Minnesota from 1992 to 1995.

Conzemius ranks ninth in school history in career tackles with 317. He led the team with 113 tackles, including 70 solo, as a junior in 1994. Conzemius also ranks tied for 11th all-time with eight career interceptions.

One of his finest performances came against Purdue in 1993. "The Fargo Flash" intercepted two passes, recovered a fumble, recorded a sack and tallied 11 tackles. His 55-yard interception return for a touchdown gave the Gophers the lead, and they went on to win 59-56.

Conzemius was a true student-athlete for the Gophers, earning Academic All-America First Team honors once and Second Team honors twice. He also received the team's Butch Nash Award twice for being competitive both on the field and in the classroom.

Williams Making Progress

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In 2012 fall camp and in the early part of the season, Donnell Kirkwood emerged as the Gophers' No. 1 running back. But late in the season, freshman Rodrick Williams came on strong and showed that he could contribute, too.

"The last game made me more comfortable with the rest of the team," he said. "In the beginning of the year, I was kind of just running downhill, not watching. Last year it progressed."

Now a sophomore, Williams said he understands more about the importance of tempo and of working together with the offensive line. He is also expanding his game by learning the pass block.

"He's working at it," head coach Jerry Kill said. "Still got to get better, but he's working at it."

The running back group overall will continue to work on that skill--both newcomers and returners. Whiile Williams may still be learning himself, his year of experience does allow him to help freshman Berkley Edwards get used to Minnesota football.

"What's good is he listens a lot," Williams. "He actually tries to listen and learn the play instead of making excuses for other things."

Williams has been impressed with Edwards, and said that his speed could provide a game-changing contrast to Williams' and Kirkwood's pounding running style. Style differences--from those two to Edwards to David Cobb, Cole Banham and James Gillum--are Williams' favorite aspect of his group of teammates.

While these styles can complement each other effectively in game situations, some backs will still get more carries than others. Fall camp is a battle for playing time, and Williams is enjoying it.

"It's a competitive sport," he said. "Competition just makes the game fun.

What They're Saying - Aug. 8

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21 days away (GopherSports.com)

Audio: Kill l Murray l Cockran l Hawthorne

Sky's The Limit (The Gazette)

1,000-yard back? (FSN)

Camp news and notes (Star Tribune)

Hawthorne have a leg up on kicking competition? (Pioneer Press)

Hawthorne inspired by hoops assistant coach (Pioneer Press) and is kicking with confidence (GopherSports.com)

Reusse weighs in on #YEAR3 expectations (Star Tribune)

Rebecca Kill introduced Coach Kill yesterday at Dunkers (Pioneer Press)

Best case, worst case for the Gophers (BTN.com)

Pirsig cleared for contact (Pioneer Press)

Minnesota called a trap game for one Big Ten opponent (ESPN.com)