Depth and experience highlight the group of road graters and protectors.
Minnesota hosts UNLV at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 29
Gophers welcome newest class of football players
2015 • JUNIOR SEASON: Played in five games and started four • missed eight games with an injury. Game-by-Game: Started at left tackle against TCU, but left the game with an injury • missed the Colorado State game with an injury • played on special teams and saw limited action on offense as a reserve against Kent State • missed the Ohio and Northwestern games with an injury • started at Purdue and blocked for an offense 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 • started against Michigan and protected for an offense that passed for 317 yards, which was the most by the Gophers since they passed for 373 yards against Northern Illinois in 2010 • missed the final five games with an injury.
2014 • SOPHOMORE SEASON: Played in eight games and started six at right tackle • protected for an offense that rushed for 2,801 yards and 32 touchdowns. Game-by-Game: Missed the Eastern Illinois game with an injury • split time with Jonah Pirsig 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 • started his first game of the season at right tackle at TCU • protected 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 • started and protected for an offense that passed for 240 yards and rushed for 171 yards at Illinois • missed the Iowa and Ohio State games with an injury • did not play at Nebraska and saw limited action at Wisconsin • missed the Missouri game with an illness.
2013 • FRESHMAN SEASON: Played in 13 games and started four • named to the Football Writers Association of America Freshman All-America Team • named Academic All-Big Ten. Game-by-Game: Made his Minnesota debut against UNLV • saw mostly special teams action at New Mexico State • saw extensive action at left tackle and helped pave the way for Minnesota to rush for 213 yards and four touchdowns against Western Illinois • started his first career game at left tackle and protected for an offense that rushed for 353 yards (most since 2005) and six touchdowns against San Jose State • started against Iowa and at Michigan • started at Northwestern and protected for an offense that rushed for 176 yards • blocked for an offense that generated 430 yards of total offense (271 rushing yards) against Nebraska • protected for an offensive unit that gained 573 yards at Indiana • helped offense gain 381 yards against Penn State • competed against Wisconsin and blocked for an offense that rushed for 124 yards against Michigan State's then-No. 1 defense • protected for a unit that passed for two touchdowns and garnered 350 yards of offense against Syracuse.
HIGH SCHOOL: Attended Wayzata High School • led team to consecutive Prep Bowl appearances • Trojans finished 12-1 and state runners-up in 2011, while winning the state title and going 11-0 in 2010 • paved the way for an offensive unit that gained 341.9 yards per game, including 208 yards per game on the ground • named All-State by the AP • earned All-Metro honors from KARE-11 and the Star-Tribune • coached by Brad Anderson.
PERSONAL: Born July 11, 1994 • son of Bill and Jeanine Lauer.
Meet The Newcomers: Thomas Barber
This season, there is another Barber on campus, as freshman linebacker Thomas Barber will don the Maroon and Gold in the fall.
Meet The Newcomers: Vincent Calhoun
Get to know newcomer Vincent Calhoun whose favorite NFL player is Michael Oher. The two have more similarities than just their position.
Brooks Named Doak Walker Award Candidate
University of Minnesota sophomore Shannon Brooks is on the Doak Walker Award's preseason candidates list.