Posted by Chip Patterson
After finishing with a 2-6 record in conference, Minnesota did not have many reasons to cheer in conference competition in 2010. But just after the Big Ten denied a sixth year of eligibility to Purdue wide receiver Keith Smith, league officials delivered different news to the Golden Gophers.
Wide receiver Brandon Green played in two games for Minnesota before suffering a season-ending knee injury. On Monday Green was granted a medical hardship from the Big Ten and will have two years of eligibility remaining at Minnesota. After the 1-6 start that led to Tim Brewster's mid-season firing, the Golden Gophers are hoping to turn things around under new head coach Jerry Kill. Green will personally benefit from the extra year as he tries to fight for snaps among a corps that returns the top three reception leaders from 2010.
But with Adam Weber graduated, Green will have a chance to try and create some chemistry with Marqueis Gray. Gray, who primarily played wide receiver in 2010, will be moved to quarterback for 2011. Gray is a dual-threat quarterback who demands attention and is able to extend plays to create opportunities for his receivers.
Kill will get his first look at the new offense when the Golden Gophers kick off spring practice on March 24.