Wolitarsky enjoying new role in uptempo Gophers offense


University of Minnesota wide receiver Drew Wolitarsky is coming off his best game in a Gophers uniform, and while Minnesota's offense may have turned a little too pass happy for coach Jerry Kill, it suits Wolitarsky just fine.

Through two games, Gophers quarterback Mitch Leidner has thrown 80 passes – and with Leidner's top target from last season (Maxx Williams) now in the NFL, it's Wolitarsky who has been reaping the benefits.

Wolitarsky set career highs last week with nine catches and 114 yards. He is also leading the team with 12 catches for 161 yards on the season. He told reporters Tuesday he really likes the new uptempo Minnesota offense.

"I feel like I'm just getting more included," Wolitarsky told reporters Tuesday. "They have more trust in me. I've been able to do this. Now just the opportunities are coming my way."

Wolitarsky came to Minnesota with a lot of promise out of Canyon High School in Santa Clarita, California. While there, he broke Steve Smith's California high school records by making 281 catches for 5,148 yards.

But in college he struggled on the field as a true freshman and then was slowed by an ankle injury as a sophomore. Now a junior, Wolitarsky appears to be coming of age.

There are a couple of possible explanations for the big change. The Gophers moved him from outside receiver to slot receiver. In addition, as the Star Tribune reports, Wolitarsky shed 15 pounds from his 6-foot-3 frame and cut his body fat from 12 to 8 percent as he prepared himself to help fill the void left when Williams opted for the NFL.

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