Rodney Smith, Jonah Pirsig, Drew Wolitarsky and Shannon Brooks recognized by the Big Ten
Minnesota held its annual awards banquet on Sunday afternoon
Duo connected eight times for 125 yards and two touchdowns
Senior receiver wants to be Mitch Leidner's No. 1 target this fall
Gophers return a lot of talent at receiver, but must replace record-setting senior KJ Maye
Minnesota defeated Michigan, 30-14, to claim the Little Brown Jug.
The Gopher football team fell in the Texas Bowl, 21-17, against Syracuse.
Minnesota beat Penn State, 24-10, for its fourth straight victory.
CAREER: Has 125 career catches (ninth in program history) for 1,676 yards (10th in program history) • has caught a pass in 25 straight games (9/3/15 - 11/26/16), which is tied for the sixth longest streak is school history.
2016 • SENIOR SEASON: Started against Oregon State and made four catches for 53 yards • caught eight passes for a career high 125 yards and two touchdowns against Indiana State • made five catches for 74 yards against Colorado State • caught seven passes for 69 yards and one touchdown at Penn State • notched five catches for 58 yards against Iowa • returned one punt for 11 yards and caught three passes for 21 yards at Maryland • made five catches for 50 yards against Rutgers to extend his streak to 20 straight games with a reception • caught three balls for 64 yards and also rushed one time for seven yards at Illinois • recorded five catches for 65 yards against Purdue • caught eight passes for 90 yards at Nebraska • made four catches for 42 yards and one touchdown against Northwestern • recorded four catches for 76 yards and one touchdown at Wisconsin.
2015 • JUNIOR SEASON: Played in all 13 games and started the final six of the season • caught 39 passes for 524 yards and three touchdowns. Game-by-Game: Caught three passes for 47 yards against TCU • set a career high in catches (9) and had 114 receiving yards and scored one touchdown at Colorado State • his 100-yard receiving game at Colorado State was Minnesota's first since Isaac Fruechte had 105 yards at Illinois in 2014 • his 114 yards at Colorado State were the most by a Gopher receiver in 33 games • made one catch for 32 yards against Kent State • totaled two catches for 29 yards against Ohio • made three catches at Northwestern • caught one pass for 20 yards at Purdue • hauled in seven passes for 54 yards against Nebraska • made one catch for 22 yards against Michigan • had two receptions for 12 yards at Ohio State • made three catches for 71 yards at Iowa, which included a 42-yard touchdown pass from running back Shannon Brooks • gained 26 yards on two catches against Illinois • caught two passes for 44 yards and scored one touchdown against Wisconsin • hauled in three passes for 52 yards against Central Michigan.
2014 • SOPHOMORE SEASON: Played in eight games and started two • made 10 catches for 106 yards • Academic All-Big Ten. Game-by-Game: Missed the Eastern Illinois game with an injury • returned to the lineup against Middle Tennessee, but did not record any statistics • caught three passes for 24 yards at TCU • tallied one catch for seven yards against San Jose State • caught one pass for 12 yards at Michigan and made two receptions for nine yards against Northwestern • hauled in two catches for 19 yards against Purdue • caught one pass for 35 yards at Illinois • missed the final four games of the regular season with an injury • returned to action against Missouri, but did not record any statistics.
2013 • FRESHMAN SEASON: Played in 13 games and started four • third on the team in receiving yards (259) and receptions (15) • his lone touchdown came on a 55-yard reception, which was Minnesota's longest pass play of the year. Game-by-Game: Made his collegiate debut against UNLV, but did not record any statistics • played at New Mexico State, against Western Illinois and San Jose State • made one catch, the first of his career, for 15 yards against Iowa • caught two passes for 27 yards at Michigan • hauled in two passes for 28 yards at Northwestern • started against Nebraska, but did not record any statistics • made one catch for 17 yards at Indiana and caught two passes for 22 yards against Penn State • rushed one time for 7 yards against Wisconsin • caught three passes for 56 yards at Michigan State • caught four passes for 94 yards and one touchdown (55-yard reception) against Syracuse.
HIGH SCHOOL: Attended Canyon High School where he was a four-year letterwinner • California's all-time record holder in career catches (281) and career yardage (5,148), breaking former NFL wide receiver Steve Smith's records (271 catches and 4,486 yards) • second in state history with 52 career touchdown receptions • led team to an 8-3-1 record as a senior and was named Second-Team All-State • caught 89 passes for 1,275 yards (averaged 106.3 yards receiving a game) • registered 100 or more yards in eight of 12 games • caught 14 touchdown passes • averaged 35.83 yards on six kickoff returns (one touchdown) • made 75 catches as a junior for 1,628 yards and 19 touchdowns • rushed for one touchdown and returned one punt for a score • had 77 catches for 1,472 yards and 13 touchdowns as a sophomore and 40 catches for 773 yards and six touchdowns as a freshman • coached by Richard Gutierrez • Scout.com and Rivals.com both listed him as a three-star recruit • Scout ranked him as the 97th best wide receiver in the nation, while Rivals had him as the 90th-best player in California • ranked by ESPN as the 180th-best prospect in California • participated in the West Coast Bowl - featuring the top high school seniors from California, Nevada, Idaho, New Mexico and Colorado
PERSONAL: Born March 22, 1995 • son of John and Audrey Wolitarsky.
Gophers Headed To Holiday Bowl
Minnesota will play Washington State in the 2016 National Funding Holiday Bowl on Dec. 27, in San Diego, Calif. The 6 p.m. CT game will be played at Qualcomm Stadium and broadcast on ESPN.
Carpenter Represents Gophers at B1G Championship
Emmit Carpenter represented the Minnesota Gophers at the Big Ten championship game as he was honored for winning Big Ten Kicker of the Year.
Celestin, Lingen, Smith Named 2017 Captains
Tight end Brandon Lingen, linebacker Jonathan Celestin and running back Rodney Smith with captain the Gophers in 2017.