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Iowa Safety Rogers to Visit Gophers

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August 4, 2014


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Former Iowa State defensive back Charlie Rogers, now at Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs, Iowa, may become a Gopher, according to Scott Strohmeier.

Strohmeier, the Iowa Western head coach, told Sports Headliners his safety’s top two Division I college choices are Minnesota and Illinois.  He also said Rogers is making plans to visit the University of Minnesota.

Rogers chose Iowa State over the Gophers as a high school player at Iowa City West where he was better known as a quarterback than defensive player.  He was a three-star prospect and considered one of Iowa’s best prep recruits in the class of 2012.

As a redshirt freshman last year at Iowa State, Rogers was one of seven freshmen to play for the Cyclones.  He participated in 12 games, starting two at cornerback and nickelback.  He was second team All-Big 12 academic.

Rogers, 6-1, 195 pounds, wouldn’t be the first Iowa Western alum to play for the Gophers.  Mike Henry, a senior fullback on last year’s Gophers, first attended Iowa Western after graduating from Mahtomedi High School.  Linebacker Cody Poock, from Spirit Lake, Iowa, transferred to Minnesota after playing for Strohmeier last fall.

Strohmeier is from Watkins, Minnesota.  He has been head coach of the Reivers since 2008 and won the 2012 National Junior College Athletic Association championship.

Strohmeier’s relationship with the Gophers is enhanced by his friendship with Gophers associate athletic director Dan O’Brien who oversees the U football program and is a former head coach at Concordia of St. Paul.  “Dan gave me my first coaching job at Concordia,” Strohmeier said.  “He got me in the profession.”

Iowa Western is a possible destination for former Washburn High School running back Jeff Jones, the four-star recruit who is trying to become NCAA eligible this summer so he can join the Gophers who started practice last Friday in preparation for their season opener on August 28 at home against Eastern Illinois.  “I would love to have a guy like Jeff but he deserves to play Division I,” Strohmeier said.  “We’re here if he needs to be.”

If Jones were to become a Reiver, he would play in the same backfield with Eden Prairie High School alum Anthony Anderson, a power back who will have major college recruiters watching him in Council Bluffs.  Strohmeier lost his top two tailbacks from last year’s No. 2 nationally ranked team and he expects Anderson to help fill the void.

What would it be like to have a backfield with the elusive Jones and powerful Anderson?  “I could sleep a lot better at night.  I can tell you that much,” Strohmeier said.

Worth Noting 

After reporting on Jones for months and following his story, I will be surprised if he isn’t admitted to the University of Minnesota soon, even if he isn’t NCAA eligible to play for the Gophers this season.

Among the Gophers’ best chances for a road upset this season could be September 27 at Michigan.  The Gophers have only won twice in Ann Arbor since 1986 and have lost five consecutive games to Michigan, but the Wolverines have been faltering the last two years with a 15-11 record.

“It was a low energy program a year ago,” said Big Ten Network analyst Gerry DiNardo last Monday on BTN’s coverage of the conference’s Media Day.

The Wolverines’ problems include having lost five of their last six games against Michigan State.  Spartans’ coach Mike Dantonio was asked at Media Day how MSU can keep up the intensity for the in-state rivalry.  “I continue to live in (the state of) Michigan,” he answered.  “That ought to do it.”

Eighteen attendees paid $2,000 each for the “Boys of Fall Elite Camp” that coincided with the opening of Gophers training camp last Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Participants received an inside look at the Gophers program, attending team and position meetings and eating with players.  The camp raised money for the football program.

Senior redshirt wide receiver Devon Wright is now on the Gophers’ 105-man roster, after replacing injured redshirt sophomore tight end Duke Anyanwu.  Wright is a former Tim Brewster recruit as a running back from Florida.  He played on special teams last year.

Former Gophers linebacker Jon Leverenz is teaching science at Bloomington Jefferson High School and is the head boys track coach.  His 162 tackles in 1987 ranks second for a single Gophers season behind linebacker Bill Light’s 172 in 1970.

Former Gophers basketball captain Al Nuness will be part of the inaugural hall of fame class at his old Chicago area high school, Proviso East, on August 30.

It might be a matter of when—not whether—U.S. Bank is announced as the naming rights choice for the new Vikings stadium.

Wasn’t that Tom Lehman looking at the University of Minnesota Les Bolstad Golf Course last week with the possibility of helping with renovations?

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David Shama

David Shama is a former sports editor and columnist with local publications. His writing and reporting experiences include covering the Minnesota Vikings, Minnesota Twins, Minnesota Timberwolves and Minnesota Gophers. Shama’s career experiences also include sports marketing. He is the former Marketing Director of the Minnesota North Stars of the NHL. He is also the former Marketing Director of the United States Tennis Association’s Northern Section. A native of Minneapolis, Shama has been part of the community his entire life. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota where he majored in journalism. He also has a Master’s degree in education from the University of St. Thomas. He was a member of the Governor’s NBA’s Task Force to help create interest in bringing pro basketball to town in the 1980s.

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