NCF Nation: Geno Johnson
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
|Bruce Kluckhohn/US Presswire|
|Eric Decker is a weapon for the Gophers with and without the ball.|
Eric Decker's mom probably doesn't love the line, but among football guys, it's one of the highest compliments a player can receive.
Minnesota head coach Tim Brewster could easily gush about Decker's receiving statistics. The junior leads the nation in receiving yards (696) and ranks second in receptions (50) on a much-improved Golden Gophers team. But Brewster would much rather talk about Decker's blocking ability and willingness to take on contact, two qualities many wide receivers lack, even the best ones.
"The biggest thing is he is one tough hombre, man," Brewster said. "He is a tough sucker."
When informed of Brewster's quote after Tuesday's practice, Decker laughed.
"Especially coming from him, with his mentality and his attitude, definitely a compliment," he said.
Decker might be the nation's best receiver no one's heard about. He ranked fourth in the Big Ten in receiving average last year, behind NFL draft picks Mario Manningham, Devin Thomas and James Hardy, despite playing for a team that finished 1-11.
After missing spring practice to play for Minnesota's baseball team, the 6-foot-2, 215-pound junior has continued to produce at a high rate. He's on pace for 100 receptions this season, making nine or more catches in three of the Gophers' six games this year.