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Minnesota Gophers Lose Quarterback Neil McLaurin To Transfer
- Updated: April 12, 2017
We broke down the quarterback race for the Minnesota Gophers a couple months ago. Coming into spring practice, Conor Rhoda seemed to be the heir apparent to Mitch Leidner. However, the Gophers also signed Neil McLaurin out of Southwest Mississippi Community College. Unfortunately, his short stint with the Gophers did not last long.
QB Neil McLaurin will leave #Gophers program after coming in from JUCO this winter. Coach PJ Fleck said: "We'll help him find another spot."
— Andy Greder (@andygreder) April 12, 2017
Neil McLaurin is a 3-star prospect that originally signed with Tracey Claeys’ coaching staff. Unfortunately, his style of play does not fit with the pro-style offense of P.J. Fleck. McLaurin completed 85 passes for 964 yards and eight touchdowns during his 2016 season. He also ran the ball 80 times for 440 yards, scoring six touchdowns. By the end of the season, McLaurin was ranked as the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback in JUCO.
The loss of McLaurin is also an interesting development for the rest of the quarterback rotation. The Gophers have their spring game on Saturday. They have a lot of options to work with. However, offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarocca will have little experience at the quarterback position.
Minnesota Gophers’ Quarterback Rotation
In addition to Rhoda, Demry Croft and Seth Green will have an intense battle for playing time. As stated previously, Green is the biggest quarterback on the roster. He is similar in size to Leidner. Although the Gophers are in favor of pro-style quarterbacks, they have not ruled out using a mobile signal caller in the future.
Meanwhile, true freshman Tanner Morgan is the most intriguing prospect on the Gophers’ roster. He is likely to use a redshirt season. However, due to McLaurin’s transfer, Morgan may be the guy to get extra looks in the summer. Morgan enrolled early and has looked good during spring practice. Remember, Morgan originally committed to the Western Michigan Broncos and came to the Gophers with Fleck.
Harrison has covered NFL, NBA, and CBB in the past. Earlier in his career, he was a national college football writer and Team writer for Husker Corner. Harrison also created the college football "Treat 16 Power Poll" some years back when college coaches relied on the running game.
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