NFL teams recently held their rookie minicamps and several former Gophers were on display.
Minnesota has had eight players drafted in the last three years after having zero picks from 2011-13
Minnesota has two players drafted, four more tweet they are signing with an NFL team
Christenson, Mortell, Thomas awarded for outstanding academics by the National Football Foundation
Ten former Gophers worked out for 28 NFL teams on Monday
CAREER: Served as team's primary punter the last three seasons and punted 203 times for 8,758 yards • career average of 44.0 yards currently ranks first in team history (Adam Kelly who punted from 1983-85 is second with a career average of 43.3 yards) • has 57 career punts that have traveled 50 yards or more and six punts that have gone at least 60 yards • has placed 76 career punts inside the 20-yard line • career long of 66 yards versus Nebraska this season (tied for the sixth longest in team history) • previous high of 65 yards (tied for eighth in team history) came against Northwestern this season • named the 2014 Eddleman-Fields Big Ten Punter of the Year and earned All-Big Ten First Team recognition from the coaches and media.
2015 • SENIOR SEASON: Played in 13 games and handled all punting and holding duties • punted 74 times for 3,215 yards (43.4 average) • had 21 punts travel 50-plus yards, including two punts that went over 60 yards • 30 punts were downed inside the 20-yard line line • forced opposition into 17 fair catches • named All-Big Ten Third Team by the conference's coaches and media • received team's Bobby Bell Award (outstanding special teams player) • Academic All-Big Ten. Game-by-Game: Punted seven times against TCU and averaged 45.4 yards per punt, including two punts that traveled 58 and 52 yards, respectively • averaged 47.2 yards on nine punts at Colorado State, including five that traveled over 50 yards and one that was downed inside the 20-yard line • totaled seven punts that averaged 41.9 yards per punt with five downed inside the 20-yard line versus Kent State • pinned the opposition inside in the 20-yard line in two of three punts against Ohio • punted seven times for 299 total yards, including a new career-high 65 yarder and three boots that were downed inside the 20-yard line, at Northwestern • pinned the opposition inside in the 20-yard line in three of five punts at Purdue • averaged 51.0 yards per punt on five attempts versus Nebraska and had three downed inside the opposing 20-yard line, highlighted by a career-long boot of 66 yards • punted four times for 161 yards and pinned the opposition inside the 20-yard line twice against Michigan • made eight punts for 352 yards (44.0 average), including four boots that traveled 50-plus yards, at Ohio State • punted five times at Iowa and averaged 45.8 yards per punt, including three kicks that were downed inside the 20-yard line • recorded five punts that included a 49-yarder and one that landed inside the 20-yard-line versus Illinois • punted five times for an average of 45.6 yards, including two punts that traveled 50-plus yards against Wisconsin • punted four times for 184 yards (46.0 average) and downed all four attempts inside the 20-yard line versus Central Michigan.
2014 • JUNIOR SEASON: Played in 13 games and handled all punting and holding duties • punted 67 times for 3,025 yards (third all-time in single-season history) and led the Big Ten with an average of 45.1 yards (second all-time in team history) • recorded 21 punts of 50 yards or longer and placed 25 punts inside the 20-yard line • had 16 punts that were fair caught and another 12 that went for touchbacks • named Eddleman-Fields Big Ten Punter of the Year and earned All-Big Ten First Team recognition from the coaches and media (first Minnesota punter to ever be recognized and first specialist since kicker Chip Lohmiller in 1986) • repeated as team's Bobby Bell Award winner, which is given to the team's outstanding special teams player • Academic All-Big Ten. Game-by-Game: Averaged 51.2 yards on five punts against Eastern Illinois, which included punts of 61 and 60 yards • placed two punts against Eastern Illinois inside the 20 and zero of his five punts were returned (two touchbacks, two downed and one fair caught) • punted five times against Middle Tennessee and averaged 42.4 yards • averaged 46.6 yards on eight punts at TCU • punted four times for 176 yards (44.0 average), which included two punts inside the 20-yard line and punts of 54 and 52 yards agaisnt San Jose State • placed three of six punts (41.0 average) inside the 20-yard line at Michigan • averaged 44.8 yards on five punts against Northwestern • punted four times for an average of 47.0 yards against Purdue • averaged 44.2 yards on six punts at Illinois, which included a 57-yard kick • placed all three of his punts inside the 20-yard line against Iowa • connected on a season-long 64-yard punt (tied for tenth longest in team history) against Ohio State while averaging 51.8 yards on five punts • placed thre of four punts inside the 20 at Nebraska and had a 56-yard punt • averaged 51.0 yards on seven punts at Wisconsin, which included a 59-yarder • punted five times against Missouri, averaging 40.8 yards.
2013 • SOPHOMORE SEASON: Played in 13 games and handled all punting and holding duties • punted 62 times for 2,687 yards (tenth all-time in team history) • average punt of 43.3 yards was third in the Big Ten and ranked third all-time in team history • recorded 15 punts of 50 yards or more and placed 21 punts inside the 20-yard line • had 12 punts fair caught, while six were touchbacks • named Honorable Mention All-Big Ten by the coaches and media • named Academic All-Big Ten. Game-by-Game: Averaged 38.3 yards on three punts against UNLV • averaged 42.7 yards on three punts • punted five times, averaging 45.4 yards against Western Illinois • averaged 42.3 yards on three punts against San Jose State • punted seven times for an average of 46.6 yards against Iowa • booted a 58-yard punt against Iowa, where he also placed two punts inside the 20 • punted three times at Michigan, averaging 38.3 yards-per-punt • averaged 44.7 yards on seven punts at Northwestern, which included a 57-yard punt • punted five times and averaged 35.0 yards against Nebraska • connected on a 52-yard punt while averaging 43.0 yards on five punts at Indiana • averaged 46.0 yards on three punts against Penn State • placed three punts inside the 20 against Penn State and connected on a 62-yarder • punted six times for a 40.0 yard average against Wisconsin, while also booting a 59-yarder • had a 56-yard punt, while averaging 47.2 yards on five punts at Michigan State • made one tackle and averaged 47.7 yards on six punts against Syracuse, while also recording a 57-yard punt.
2012 • FRESHMAN SEASON: Appeared in two games, participating in two fake field goal attempts from the holder position • rushed for 7 yards on an attempted fake field goal vs. Northwestern • completed a 5-yard pass on an attempted fake field goal vs. Michigan • named Academic All-Big Ten.
HIGH SCHOOL: Attended Notre Dame Academy • ranked as the No. 8 punter in the nation by Kohl's Professional Kicking & Punting Camps • earned first-team all-state honors from the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association • named a finalist for the Kevin Stemke Award as the state's top senior kicker or punter • first-team all-conference selection • averaged 44.8 yards per punt as a senior • second-team all-conference selection at wide receiver, after hauling in 22 receptions for 343 yards and eight scores • earned honorable mention all-conference honors at defensive back, after tallying two interceptions • coached by John Nowak.
PERSONAL: Born Dec. 29, 1992 • son of Jerry and Ellen Mortell • has already graduated with a degree in marketing from Minnesota's Carlson School of Management • working on his master's degree in applied kinesiology.
Kick Time Set for Gophers - Hawkeyes
Minnesota will host Iowa at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 8. The game will be on either ABC or ESPN2 and can be heard on KFAN.
Double OT With Coach Claeys After Colorado State
We went to double overtime with Tracy Claeys after last night's show and asked him some more fan questions that did not make it on during the show.
Golden Gophers Defeat Colorado State 31-24
Rodney Smith rushed for 99 yards and two touchdowns as the Golden Gophers held on for a 31-24 win against Colorado State at TCF Bank Stadium.