Hope and concern: Minnesota Golden Gophers

June, 9, 2009
6/09/09
10:15
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

Biggest reason for hope -- Loads of talent on both sides

Head coach Tim Brewster has recruited very well early in his tenure, and it should show on the field this fall. Minnesota boasts speed and athleticism on both sides of the ball in players like linebackers Simoni Lawrence and Keanon Cooper, and wide receivers Brandon Green, Troy Stoudermire, Da'Jon McKnight and newcomer Hayo Carpenter. And don't forget about backup quarterback MarQueis Gray, who will definitely be featured prominently one way or another. The offense has the potential to be much more explosive, and the defense forced a ton of turnovers last year (31) and should continue to make big plays.

Biggest reason for concern -- More change in coaching staff, schemes

The Gophers defense welcomes its third coordinator (Kevin Cosgrove) in as many years, and the offense will undergo a makeover under new coordinator Jedd Fisch, who has shelved the spread in favor of a pro-style system. It's a lot to continually ask of players, especially multiyear starters such as quarterback Adam Weber and linebacker Lee Campbell. Minnesota's offensive line had plenty of growing pains this spring, and it will be a group to monitor closely heading into the season. If the line continues to struggle with all the changes, it could be a long season in Minneapolis.

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