Gopher kicker Justin Juenemann talks about his offseason, the @MinnSpecialists Twitter account, dancing, internships, eating and what football has taught him in our question-and-answer session.
GopherSports: What did you do this offseason?
Justin Juenemann: Other than working out, I did an internship here with the University of Minnesota administration office, facilities and management department. My major is sports management so I’m focused on getting to know the higher-ups in the organization. Also, just getting to know what they do on a daily basis. Kicking-wise, I came out with all my other guys, snappers, punters and other kickers, and just prepared for the season.
GS: What was an average day like at your internship?
JJ: I edited different documents throughout the day, I would go on mail runs, there’s a lot of different things I did throughout the day that I didn't realize people did in the department on a daily basis. With facilities, I checked keys in and out, a lot of things I didn't realize went on around the facilities such as heating and cooling, the HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems, just things I didn't think about at all.
GS: Why did you decide to come to the University of Minnesota?
JJ: One of the reasons was the coaching staff. I felt at home with many of them being from Kansas and even the ones that weren't I still felt very comfortable with. They were easy to talk to and very personable. Also, the academic program here. I was really interested in the academics and I heard good things about them with the sports management major. It was great for them to have that as a major compared to many other schools that might not have that.
GS: Can you talk about the @MinnSpecialists twitter?
JJ: The twitter started about a couple years ago and we try to have as much fun with it as we can. It’s pretty funny. Whenever we think of something that’s funny, whether it’s a picture, video or a different idea like that, we shoot it through a group-text to see what everyone else thinks. If everyone else approves it, it’s going out there. It’s just really fun to do with teammates.
GS: Who is the mastermind behind the account?
JJ: I wouldn't say there is one particular person. Basically, everyone takes part in it. Peter (Mortell), when he was here, was involved with it quite a bit. Now everyone has their own part in it.
GS: Which specialist is the best dancer?
JJ: I can’t say myself, can I? That’s a tough one. I would have to go with Emmit (Carpenter). He’s always pretty funny to watch in the locker room. You get a good laugh by watching him and the other specialists too.
GS: What do you hope to accomplish this season?
JJ: The biggest thing is win a Big Ten championship. That’s our number one goal going into the season. We know if we focus on ourselves and each focus on what we can do, me as a kicker, receivers, tight ends, everybody. I think we are confident enough we can do that. The coaching staff is the best, they know we are on a schedule of where we are supposed to be at what time. I think we are on that path right now.
GS: What’s your favorite place to eat on campus?
JJ: I would go with Annie’s. It’s a pretty popular place in Dinkytown. Usually every time my family comes we get there as much as possible. We also like to go there and get milkshakes and fries. My go to meal is probably a bacon cheeseburger and an Oreo milkshake.
GS: If you could play any other sport besides football, what would it be?
JJ: I’m a huge golf fan, so it would probably be golf. I try to get out on the course on the weekends as much as I can. I wouldn't say I’m the best by any means but I like to get out there when it’s a nice day out with some buddies.
GS: Do you have any advice for incoming freshmen?
JJ: I would say the biggest thing that I have learned is to be resilient. Especially during camp and during the season you are not always going to have a good day. That’s just part of camp, you are going to have up and down days. The biggest thing is to just come back the next day and just do the best you can. You are going to need that here in football, but obviously for the rest of your life when you become a husband, a father, all those different parts of your life. You are going to need resilience.
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