Gophers have had between four and six healthy offensive linemen all spring
New offense line coach Bart Miller has 16 players to work with this spring, but only five have played in a game
Depth and experience highlight the group of road graters and protectors.
2017 • SOPHOMORE SEASON: Made his first career start at right tackle against Buffalo and blocked for an offense that passed for 239 yards and rushed for 169 yards • blocked for an offense that scored 48 points (most on the road for Minnesota since scoring 49 at Northwestern in 1980) at Oregon State and also rushed 58 times (most since team rushed 59 times against Iowa in 2014) for 253 yards (most against an FBS opponent since rushing for 326 yards at Purdue in 2015) and five touchdowns (most since rushing for five against Illinois and Purdue in 2016) • started against Middle Tennessee and blocked for two 100-yard backs in Rodney Smith and Kobe McCrary • blocked for an offense that passed for 229 yards against Maryland • started at Purdue, but left the game with an injury.
2016 • FRESHMAN SASON: Played in nine games, mostly on special teams • made his Minnesota and collegiate debut as a reserve against Indiana State • saw action at right tackle at Maryland and against Rutgers • competed on special teams at Illinois, against Purdue and at Nebraska • played on offense and on special teams against Northwestern • competed at Wisconsin and against Washington State.
HIGH SCHOOL: Attended Red Wing High School • allowed one sack all season as he was named First-Team All-State by the Associated Press, All-Metro by KARE11 and was voted the Big 9 Conference Lineman of the Year • on defense he recorded 14 sacks and made 124 tackles • coached by former Minnesota quarterback Rickey Foggie • also lettered in track • ranked as a three-star recruit by ESPN, Rivals, 247Sports and Scout • ESPN, Rivals and 247Sports listed him as the No. 4 prospect in Minnesota • Scout had him as the No. 1 offensive tackle in Minnesota, the No. 8 tackle in the Midwest and the No. 54 tackle prospect in the nation.
PERSONAL: Born Sept. 17, 1996 • son of Chuck and Tami Connelly • has two brothers (Hunter and Christian).
Week Seven Roundup
Take a look at the top headlines going into week seven of play as the Gophers get ready to host Illinois for homecoming.
Elite Access: Party on the Plaza
Gopher Football head coach P.J. Fleck made an appearance at Homecoming 2017's "Party on the Plaza" Monday night!
Johnson Is Minnesota's Breakout Star
Tyler Johnson is putting up numbers that could rival some of the best sophomore receivers in Minnesota history.