P.J. Fleck is putting his trust in the hands and right arm of a true freshman quarterback.
Fleck announced Monday that Zack Annexstad, a true freshman who grew up outside of Mankato, Minnesota, will be the team's starting quarterback when they open the season Aug. 30 against New Mexico State at TCF Bank Stadium.
Annexstad won the job over redshirt freshman Tanner Morgan, who wound up in a quarterback battle after Vic Viramontes left the Gophers to return to a junior college closer to his family in California.
Annexstad began receiving first-team reps during spring practice, and he and Morgan were the starting quarterbacks during the annual Gophers Spring Game.
The true freshman was the starting quarterback at Mankato West High School before leaving to play his junior and senior years at IMG Academy in Florida. Annexstad started at there despite playing on the same team as a quarterback who got a scholarship to a Big Ten school, whereas Annexstad only received a partial scholarship to play at the U of M.
"This guy (Annexstad) beat him out. Head-to-head beat him out. And the guy who got the scholarship was sitting on the bench while he was playing," Fleck said of Annexstad in April.
Annexstad is a Norseland native, growing up in the unincorporated south-central Minnesota town near Mankato, where the speed limit only dips to 40 mph when you drive through.