Spring Preview: Quarterbacks
March 1, 2016

Minnesota has four quarterbacks – Mitch Leidner, Conor Rhoda, Demry Croft and Seth Green – on its roster as it begins 2016 spring practice today.

Leidner set school records for completions (242) and passing yards (2,701) last season as a redshirt junior. The Lakeville, Minn., native has written his name in the record books, as he has rushed for 1,129 career yards and 23 career touchdowns (second most in school history for a quarterback) and has passed for 5,118 yards (sixth most in school history) and 28 touchdowns (eighth most in school history).

Leidner ranks fifth all-time in completion percentage (56.4), sixth in completions (407) and tied for sixth in attempts (722). He is also one of only two Minnesota quarterbacks to pass and rush for 20 career touchdowns (Rickey Foggie rushed for 24 and passed for 33 from 1984-87).

Leidner, however, is expected to miss most of spring practice after undergoing successful foot surgery on Dec. 30, 2015, just two days after earning MVP honors in Minnesota’s Quick Lane Bowl victory.

With Leidner sidelined, all eyes will be on Rhoda, Croft and Green as Minnesota’s offense begins to prep for the upcoming season under new offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Jay Johnson.

Rhoda will be a redshirt junior next season and has played in two career games, both of which came during his freshman season in 2014. Rhoda, who is a local product from Eagan, Minn., attended Cretin-Derham Hall. He did not see game action last season, but was named Minnesota’s Offensive Work Team Player of the Year as he helped prepare the Gopher defense for game action last season.

Croft will be a sophomore next season and saw action in three games last year as a true freshman. The 6-5, 200-pound signal-caller is from Rockford, Ill., and completed 7-of-17 passes for 34 yards and rushed nine times for 38 yards in games against Northwestern, Purdue and Ohio State.

Green, who enrolled in school in January, is a highly touted recruit who attended high school in Minnesota and Texas. He spent his senior season at Allen High School in Allen, Texas, and helped lead the Eagles to a 14-1 record and a berth in the state championship game. Green completed 81 passes for 1,481 yards and 19 touchdowns and rushed 99 times for 865 yards and 10 scores. Prior to his family moving to Texas, Green played three years at East Ridge High School in Woodbury, Minn. Green led the Raptors to a 9-2 record as a junior and to the state quarterfinals and completed 142 passes for 1,850 yards and 20 touchdowns. He also rushed 107 times for 551 yards and five scores.
 

 

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