The running back derby at Minnesota just got a little clearer.
Senior DeLeon Eskridge, who led the team with 698 rushing yards a year ago, has left the Gophers for personal reasons, head coach Jerry Kill announced Friday. Eskridge was locked in a heated competition this spring with fellow senior Duane Bennett and redshirt freshmen Donnell Kirkwood and Lamonte Edwards.
Bennett is the most experienced player in the backfield, with 37 career games and 24 starts. He started the majority of games at tailback last year and is a versatile performer who led the team with 996 all-purpose yards. Kill likes to use multiple backs, so this also increases the opportunity for Kirkwood, who showed promise this spring.
Those weren't the only changes for Minnesota. Kill also announced that reserve tight end Tiree Eure has left the team, and the implication was that he was shown the door. The Gophers also added two late signees in junior college wide receiver Malcolm Moulton and high school quarterback Dexter Foreman. They will both be eligible this season.
Moulton, who played one season at Fort Scott Community College, is listed at 5-foot-11, 185 pounds. He had 44 catches for 714 yards and five touchdowns last season. Moulton will have three seasons of eligibility left. He committed to Colorado last year, but schools backed off him when he broke his collarbone. ESPN.com rated him as a three-star prospect.
"Quarterback was also an area where we felt we could add a player," Kill said. "We'd like to create some more competition at the quarterback position and we're hoping Dexter can help us do that."