P.J. Fleck's first season as head coach of the Gophers wasn't exactly a work of art, with the most glaring issue coming at the most important position: quarterback.
For the entire season, Minnesota's combination of Demry Croft and Conor Rhoda at QB combined for 9 touchdown passes and 126 passing yards per game.
In short, the lack of a passing threat killed the Gophers.
Fleck hopes things are different in his second season, but it's still unclear who will start in the fall. From afar, there are to be a couple of true contenders and then a handful of long shots.
- Vic Viramontes, sophomore
- Samuel Pickerign, redshirt freshman
- Tanner Morgan, redshirt freshman
- Jaron Roste, redshirt freshman
- Seth Green, redshirt sophomore
- Zach Annexstad, freshman
- Jon Santana, redshirt freshman
According to the Star Tribune, the frontrunners are Viramontes and Morgan, with Green and Annexstad with the best chances among the long shots.
Fleck was close to pulling Morgan's redshirt last season but eventually decided to roll with Croft and Rhoda all season. It could prove to be a great long-term decision if Morgan turns out to be the guy.
Viramontes, however, is the most exciting new name simply because he's the reigning California Offensive Player of the Year after dominating at Riverside City College. If his highlight video doesn't get you excited, you might be dead.
Viramontes passed for 1,916 yards and 19 touchdowns while rushing for 1,248 yards and 26 more touchdowns.
Just because Viramontes played at a junior college last season doesn't mean he wasn't highly recruited out of high school. He originally committed to Michigan before settling on California, so the big colleges certainly noticed him.
“In terms of his speed and agility and his quickness and what he brings to our football program, it’s exactly what we thought we were going to get,” Fleck told the Pioneer Press last month.
Gophers spring practices are underway but don't expected Fleck to name a starter between now and the end of their 15 practices.