University of Minnesota Gophers football coach Jerry Kill didn't have a lot to say Monday about his decision to dismiss wide receiver Donovahn Jones from the team. Jones was kicked off the team on Sunday, just days before Minnesota plays Missouri on New Year's Day in the Citrus Bowl in Orlando, Florida.
The only thing he really said about Jones on Monday was that he didn't think it was much of a distraction at all, because whatever happened with Jones took place before the team began it's preparations.
Jones finished the season with 11 catches for 253 yards and two touchdowns. According to the Star Tribune, he hadn't caught a pass in either of the past two games.
So Kill didn't think Jones' absence would have much of an affect on the offense. Instead, he called Monday's practice the best offensive session since the team arrived in Florida.
Kill even highlighted Drew Wolitarsky's return from an ankle injury that caused him to miss the Gophers' final four games of the regular season.
"We didn't have Drew Wolitarsky, and he's one of our better players," said Kill. "He caught the ball all over the place today. But having him back, and KJ Maye and Maxx [Williams] and Isaac Fruechte, You know, Logan Hutton's had experience. Eric Carter – you know, those guys have done a great job."
As for the rest of the team, Kill said he thinks they have been working hard and he feels like they are ready to play.
It's Minnesota's first New Year's Day Bowl game since 1962.