Hendrick Ekpe, Mitch Leidner and Jonah Pirsig have accepted invitations to play in January showcase games
Seven Gophers on defense and special teams were named All-Big Ten
Gophers have 15 members on its defensive line this spring
Gophers welcome back seven defensive linemen who saw action in at least nine games from last season
2016 • SENIOR SEASON: Played in all 12 games and started 11 • recorded 28 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks and forced one fumble. Game-by-Game: Registered three tackles against Oregon State • started against Indiana State • recorded three tackles against Colorado State and one against Penn State • tallied four tackles against Iowa and one against Maryland • posted a career day against Rutgers with six tackles, three tackles for loss and two sacks • tallied two tackles and forced one fumble against Illinois • recorded two tackles and .5 sack against Purdue • had one tackle against Nebraska • started against Northwestern • notched four tackles at Wisconsin • made one tackle against Washington State.
2015 • JUNIOR SEASON: Played 13 games, starting 11 • made 11 tackles, including 2.5 behind the line of scrimmage (all sacks) • broke up a pair of passes and recovered a fumble. Game-by-Game: Tallied a pair of tackles against TCU • registered a pass breakup at Colorado State • made a tackle and added a pass breakup against Ohio • started at Northwestern, but did not record a statistic • tallied one tackle, inluding .5 sack at Purdue • registered a tackle versus Nebraska • saw action but did not record a statistic versus Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin • tallied three tackles, one sack and recovered a fumble at Ohio State • registered two tackles, including a sack for five yards, at Iowa • notched a tackle versus Illinois • competed against Wisconsin and Central Michigan, but did not record a statistic.
2014 • SOPHOMORE SEASON: Played in 13 games, starting one • made 14 tackles, including 3.0 for a loss (1.5 sacks). Game-by-Game: Made five tackles, including one tackle-for-loss, against Eastern Illinois • totaled two tackles, including one sack, against Middle Tennessee • played at TCU • talled three tackles, one tackle-for-loss and .5 sack against San Jose State • played at Michigan, against Northwestern and against Purdue, but did not record any statistics • tallied two tackles at Illinois • assisted on one tackle against Iowa • saw action against Ohio State, at Nebraska and at Wisconsin • made one tackle against Missouri.
2013 • FRESHMAN SEASON: Played in 10 games • made 10 tackles, including one tackle-for-loss • named Outstanding Defensive Freshman of the Year. Game-by-Game: Made his Minnesota and collegiate debut against UNLV and recorded two tackles • registered two solo tackles at New Mexico State • played against Western Illinois, but did not record any statistics • made one tackle against San Jose State • made one tackle against Iowa and at Northwestern • competed against Nebraska • played against Penn State and Wisconsin, but did not record any statistics • made three solo tackles, including one tackle-for-loss against Syracuse.
HIGH SCHOOL: Attended Lewisville High School • was a three-year letterwinner • earned first-team All-District 8-5A in 2012 after being named honorable mention in 2010 • tallied 24 tackles, 2.5 sacks and recorded one fumble recovery as a senior in 2012 • made 26 tackles, 3.5 sacks and forced two fumbles as a junior • coached by Greg Miller • enrolled at the University of Minnesota in January 2013 and participated in spring practice • Scout.com listed him as a two-star recruit and as the No. 123 player at his position • Rivals.com named him a three-star prospect.
PERSONAL: Born June 30, 1995 • son of Joel and Edith Ekpe • older brother, Scott, is a defensive lineman for the Gophers.
Get to Know Kirk Ciarrocca
Get to know Minnesota's new offensive coordinator in this Q&A from Gopher Digital Productions.
Hageman, Campbell Super Bowl Bound
Former Minnesota standouts Ra’Shede Hageman and De’Vondre Campbell are headed to the Super Bowl after helping the Atlanta Falcons defeat the Green Bay Packers.
Fleck Announces Coaching Staff
Football coach P.J. Fleck announced today the hiring of nine assistant coaches and four staff members.