Gophers Lose Another RB

Aug. 16, 2006

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -The Minnesota Gophers lost another running back on Wednesday when junior college transfer Brylee Callender was suspended indefinitely for violating team rules.

Gophers coach Glen Mason did not specify what rules were broken in a one-sentence new release on Wednesday evening, but the move further depletes an already thin backfield.

The Gophers lost junior Laurence Maroney shortly after last season when he declared for the NFL draft and was taken in the first round by New England. Then Gary Russell, the top returning rusher who set a school record for rushing touchdowns last season, was ruled academically ineligible.

Just how long Callender will be suspended was unclear, but Mason may have to do some more shuffling to bolster the depth behind presumed starter Amir Pinnix, who was third on the depth chart last season behind Maroney and Russell.

The loss of All-American linemen Greg Eslinger and Mark Setterstrom to the NFL could put even more of a premium on quality running backs this season. Mason prefers to use multiple backs in his run-oriented offense, which prompted him to move highly touted sophomore Alex Daniels from linebacker to running back, even before Callender was suspended.



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