Good news at 'U'
The University of Minnesota football staff isn't going to be able to recruit a lot of blue-chip players out of Ohio most of the time. So at times the Gophers take chances that a player the Buckeyes will bypass because of questionable grades will find a way to qualify scholastically.
And the Gophers staff has a good record when it comes to these young men doing well in class once they qualify for a scholarship, and most go on to graduate.
Well, the Gophers football staff got really good news the other day when it learned that freshman-to-be Gary Russell of Columbus (Ohio) Walnut Ridge High School, who was named to the Super Prep Midwest team, will be eligible to compete this fall.
Russell, who was all-state as a senior and was a three-time all-conference performer and a two-time all-county and all-area choice, gained 2,136 yards and scored 29 touchdowns in his senior year.
Russell was a two-way performer, also playing on the defensive line.
Russell was a high school teammate of Gophers wide receiver Ernest Wheelwright IV, who also became eligible this year after sitting out his freshman year. Wheelwright was named the MVP in three Ohio all-star games during his senior year in high school.
"He was the best back in our conference," Wheelwright said of Russell.
Justin Kucek, an outstanding punter from Canfield, Ohio, and Jason Giannini, a kicker from Canton, Ohio, also made grades.
However, Dave Wess, a quarterback from Whitehill, Ohio, plans to enroll at Minnesota this fall even though he will have to improve his grades to be eligible.