A year ago, the Gophers completed 181 passes for 2,257 yard and nine touchdowns. Receivers were responsible for 125 of those receptions for 1,760 yards and seven scores, while Drew Wolitarsky led the way with 66 catches for 860 yards and five touchdowns.
Minnesota has 12 receivers on its spring roster, but only four of them caught a pass last season. The quartet - Rashad Still, Tyler Johnson, Eric Carter and Hunter Register - combined to catch 42 balls for 621 yards and one score, which means Minnesota returns 23 percent of its receptions, 35 percent of its receiving yards and 11 percent of its touchdown receptions from last year.
At 6-5, 205 pounds, Still has potential to be a dynamic playmaker. As a freshman in 2015, he caught 18 passes for 194 yards and found the end zone three times. Last season, he battled some injuries early in the season, but rebounded to again catch 18 balls for 349 yards.
Johnson played last season as a true freshman and hauled in 14 passes for 141 yards and one score. Ten of his receptions and his lone touchdown came in Minnesota's first four games of the season.
Carter is the lone senior in the group and saw his productive sophomore campaign in 2015 curtailed a bit by injuries last season. In 2015, he emerged as a threat in the passing game when he caught 23 passes for 255 yards and one touchdown. Last season, while battling injuries, he made nine catches for 125 yards.
Register made one catch last year, which was a six-yard reception from Conor Rhoda against Indiana State. Shortly after, he was transitioned to defensive back, but did not see any action. This spring he is back with the receivers.
Redshirt juniors Melvin Holland Jr., Isaiah Gentry and Will Reger are also back for the Gophers. Holland and Gentry have seen limited action in their Minnesota careers, while Reger has not seen any game action yet. Holland made two catches for eight yards in 2015, but played in only two games last season and did not record ant stats. Gentry has missed a lot of his career with injuries and has two career receptions for 36 yards on his resume.
Redshirt sophomore Matt Morse is a local product who will look to continue to improve his game this spring. Morse made his collegiate debut at Maryland, but did not record any stats.
Locals Drew Hmielewski, Phillip Howard and Clay Geary all redshirted last season as freshmen, while Brock Annexstad enrolled at Minnesota this January.
2018 Spring Preview: Quarterbacks
3/20/2018 - Football
The Gophers will have their third spring practice today and there will be more than a few eyes on the quarterbacks.
Elite Access: Inside Spring Practice
3/20/2018 - Football
Before the team headed out for Spring Break, the Golden Gophers held spring practice #2 in the Larson Football Performance Center.
Serving and Giving: Say Goodbye to the Flows
3/16/2018 - Football
Seven Gophers hopped on the M.A.G.I.C bus and took part in a St. Baldricks event to raise awareness for children's cancer.