I received a few questions about the Minnesota Golden Gopher football team through Twitter, Facebook and email. I will answer those questions in this article.
If you have a question about the Golden Gophers, submit it to my Twitter handle (@MNSportsWriter), to my Facebook profile or email it to me through the contact link in my profile.
Who is going to be the best player in the upcoming recruiting class?
I have not had a chance to break down the recruits yet, but ESPN and Rivals both list Nate Andrews as the Gophers' best commit. The guy that will make the biggest impact, though, is kicker Ryan Santoso.
I will have a better idea of what the class looks like after breaking all the players down after signing day.
What impact will the bowl loss have on the team?
Even though it was a loss, the Gophers should have confidence through spring practices and into next season. The 15 extra practices, extra game, national exposure and good play on the field are reason for optimism for this season and future seasons.
Do you believe any Gophers will be drafted in April?
Right now it is hard to tell. MarQueis Gray has the best chance, but a lot will depend on his Pro Day and the Combine. He is the only Gopher attending the Combine in Indianapolis. Cornerback Troy Stoudermire played in an All-Star game in Arizona Tuesday and recorded an interception, which should help his case. However, he needs to prove he is a cornerback and not just a kick returner at his Pro Day.
Michael Carter, D.L. Wilhite, Mike Rallis, Keanon Cooper and John Rabe are more likely to be undrafted free agents. All of them should get a chance with an NFL team in training camp.
I saw on ESPN that the Gophers were predicted to be one of the most improved teams in the Big Ten. Do you agree with that assessment and what do expect from the Gophers this year?
I saw that article as well. I can't argue any of it and I agree that it is a bold prediction. ESPN Big Ten blogger Brian Bennett picked the Gophers and Michigan State Spartans to be the most improved teams in the Big Ten in a bold predictions post.
If I had to guess now I would say seven wins with a chance at eight is realistic. I will have a better idea when we are a couple weeks into fall practice and the Gophers have finalized their schedule (its second non-conference game, scheduled for Sept. 7, is still listed as TBA).