Hendrick Ekpe, Mitch Leidner and Jonah Pirsig have accepted invitations to play in January showcase games
Rodney Smith, Jonah Pirsig, Drew Wolitarsky and Shannon Brooks recognized by the Big Ten
Minnesota held its annual awards banquet on Sunday afternoon
Jonah Pirsig, Brandon Lingen, Shannon Brooks, Damarius Travis, Jack Lynn and Ryan Santoso named preseason All-Big Ten by Athlon
Gophers collectively rushed 58 times for 275 yards and one touchdown in spring game
2016 • SENIOR SEASON: Started 10 games and missed three games with an injury • blocked for an offense that rushed for 2,387 yards and 34 touchdown • Academic All-Big Ten. Game-by-Game: Protected for an offense that rushed for 150 yards and four touchdowns and passed for 130 yards against Oregon State • paved the way for Minnesota to gain 593 yards of offense (292 rushing and 301 passing) against Indiana State, which is the most the Gophers have gained since they racked up 704 yards against Toledo in 2004 • blocking against Colorado State helped team rush for 243 yards and four touchdowns and enabled Mitch Leidner to complete 80 percent (16-of-20) of his passes • protected for an offense that gained 469 yards (228 rushing and 241 passing) at Penn State and helped Rodney Smith (104 yards) and Shannon Brooks (100 yards) become the first Minnesota running backs to each gain 100 yards in a Big Ten game since Laurence Maroney (129 yards) and Gary Russell (128 yards) did so at Michigan in 2005 • competed against Iowa, but left the game with an injury and missed the next three games • returned to action against Purdue and started at right guard and blocked for an offense that rushed for 235 yards and five touchdowns • started at Nebraska • blocked for an offense that rushed for two scores and threw for one against Northwestern • started at Wisconsin and against Washington State.
2015 • JUNIOR SEASON: The only offensive lineman to start all 13 games • protected for an offense that passed for 2,793 yards (most since 2008) and 15 touchdowns (most since 2010) and one that rushed for 1,873 yards and 17 touchdowns • Academic All-Big Ten • named Minnesota's Offensive Lineman of the Year and All-Big Ten Honorable Mention • Academic All-Big Ten. Game-by-Game: Started at right tackle against TCU and protected for an offense that rushed for 144 yards and passed for 197 yards • protected for an offense against Colorado State that passed for 233 yards and rushed for 180 yards • against Kent State, protected for an offense that gained 288 yards • protected for an offense that generated 468 total yards (204 rushing and 264 passing) against Ohio • started at Northwestern • blocked for an offense at Purdue that rushed for 326 yards, which was the most in a Big Ten game for Minnesota since it rushed for 327 yards on Nov. 12, 2005, against Michigan State • provided protection for an offense that passed for 301 yards against Nebraska • protected for an offense against Michigan that passed for 317 yards, which was the most by the Gophers since they passed for 373 yards against Northern Illinois in 2010 • provided protection at Ohio State for Minnesota to pass for 281 yards and two touchdowns • at Iowa, his protection helped Minnesota pass for 301 yards and two touchdowns and rush for 133 yards and three scores against the the No. 12 defense in the nation • blocked for an offense that rushed for 255 yards and three touchdowns and passed for one score against Illinois • started against Wisconsin • protected for an offense that passed for 223 yards and rushed for 158 yards against Central Michigan.
2014 • SOPHOMORE SEASON: Played in 12 games and started the first two of the season and the final five of the season at right tackle • protected for an offense that rushed for 2,801 yards and 32 touchdowns • Academic All-Big Ten. Game-by-Game: Started his first career game at right tackle and helped the Gophers rush for 182 yards and four touchdowns and pass for 144 yards and one touchdown against Eastern Illinois • split time with Ben Lauer at right tackle and helped pave the way for Minnesota to rush for 284 yards, including a career-high 220 by David Cobb, against Middle Tennessee • played at TCU • helped protect for an offense that rushed for 380 yards against San Jose State • provided protection for an offense that rushed for 206 yards and passed for 167 yards at Michigan • helped team average 5.1 yards-per-play against Northwestern • protected for an offense that scored 39 points, rushed for 285 yards and passed for 165 yards against Purdue • protected for an offense that passed for 240 yards and rushed for 171 yards at Illinois • started against Iowa and Ohio State • proctected for an offense that rushed for 291 yards and three touchdowns and passed for 131 yards and four touchdowns against Iowa • helped Minnesota rush for 218 yards against Ohio State • blocked for an offense that rushed for 281 yards and four touchdowns at Nebraska • started at Wisconsin as team rushed for 177 yards • protected for an offense that passed for 267 yards and one touchdown against Missouri.
2013 • FRESHMAN SEASON: Played in seven games, including the final six of the season • made his collegiate debut on the offensive line at New Mexico State • saw special teams action against Nebraska, at Indiana, against Penn State, versus Wisconsin, at Michigan State and against Syracuse • named Academic All-Big Ten.
HIGH SCHOOL: Attended Blue Earth Area High School • ranked as the No. 4 player in Minnesota by Rivals.com • ranked as the No. 35 offensive tackle in the nation by Scout.com • led team to a 10-2 record and a berth in the state quarterfinals • paved the way for an offense that racked up 4,655 yards in 2011 • selected to take part in the Semper Fidelis and Offense-Defense All-American Bowls • named first-team all-state by the AP and the Pioneer Press • finalist for Minnesota Mr. Football award • named Area Player of the Year by the Fairmont Sentinel • two-time all-area selection • two-time all-South Central Conference honoree • coached by Randy Kuechenmeister.
PERSONAL: Born May 4, 1993 • son of David and Kristin Pirsig.
Elite Access: P.J. Fleck on Gopher Road Trip
Check out some of the best moments from Coach P.J. Fleck as he toured Minnesota with the Gopher Road Trip!
Athlon Recognizes Eight Gophers
Annual magazine prediction tabs eight Gophers as All-Big Ten players. Carpenter named first team, while Richardson, Santoso and Smith receive second-team honors.
Elite Access: Gophers Visit Children's Hospital
Members of the Gopher Football team and head coach P.J. Fleck visit with patients at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital in May 2017.