Oct 20, 2012; Madison, WI, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers head coach Jerry Kill answers questions during the post game press conference following the game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium. Wisconsin defeated Minnesota 38-13. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Linebacker Beal and two other Gophers leave football program

According to the Star Tribune on Thursday, three Gophers left the football program over winter break.  All three are from the defensive side of the ball.

Brendan Beal, linebacker, originally transferred from Florida for optimal playing time, headlines the list.

Beal tore an ACL three times during college, including late last season.  He is the only member on the list to leave for medical reasons.  The linebacker will stay enrolled at the University of Minnesota.

The former Florida transfer played in 11 games this season, amounting 16 tackles.  It was the first time Gopher fans got to see Beal in action.

Oct. 8, 2011; West Lafayette, IN, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers defensive lineman Eric Jacques (62) watches from the sideline during the second half against the Purdue Boilermakers at Ross-Ade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reid Compton-USA TODAY Sports

The other two members, Matt Garin and Eric Jacques, are both redshirt juniors.  Both played on the defensive line. Without probable playing time next season, the two will graduate in May.

Kenny Watkins, another redshirt junior, announced a similar decision at the end of the regular season.

Garin, a defensive end, began his Gopher career with success.  The junior out of Eastview high school in Minnesota started six games in his freshman campaign and played in all 12 games.  This season, he did not play a down.

Jacques established himself as a defensive tackle during the beginning of the 2011 season.  He played in seven games that season. The Floridian tacked on two tackles in four games last season.

Max Shortell and AJ Barker also left the program before the Meineke Car Care Bowl.

This leaves Minnesota with three more scholarships and only 14 in the expected senior class next season.










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