Gophers Football Camp starts without Crawford-Tufts


Nov 24, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA: Michigan State Spartans cornerback Darqueze Dennard (31) tips the ball away from Minnesota Golden Gophers wide receiver Devin Crawford-Tufts (80) in the first half at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The 2013 Golden Gophers football camp started early Friday morning without one of its offensive weapons. Junior wide receiver Devin Crawford-Tufts announced Tuesday that he will not return for his third season under head coach Jerry Kill. Instead, he’ll stick with the Gophers track and field team full-time.

A bleak wide receiving core to begin with, the University of Minnesota was relying on some of his elite speed to stretch the field this fall. Crawford-Tufts was fourth on the team in receiving in 2012 and finished his two year playing career with 24 receptions for 345 yards and one touchdown. His lone touchdown came in last season’s Meineke Car Care Bowl loss against Texas Tech.

The track career for Crawford-Tufts is promising and he should be a force in the Big Ten for years to come. A fourth place finish in the 60-meter dash at the conference meet last season, should mean that with the improved focus on one sport, he will compete at the NCAA national track meet in the next year.

Crawford-Tufts has been plagued by a hamstring injury that has kept him off the field in seasons past and removing football from the equation may just keep extra stress off of his legs.

As for the rest of the team, early morning workouts have begun and the team is in prime position to come out of the gates strong against some weaker competition and get over that six win hurdle and become bowl eligible.

If fans are interested in attending camp workouts, the team has announced their public schedule and most of the openings are happening this weekend.

Wideouts Derrick Engle and Isaac Fruechte will enter the season as the top two targets offensively for quarterback Philip Nelson. The pair combined for 37 receptions and 631 yards a season ago and hauled in three touchdowns. Minnesota will also look for targets like Eric Carter, Jamel Harbison, Andre McDonald, Lincoln Plsek, and Maxx Williams to make chain moving catches throughout the upcoming season.

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