OCT 29, 2011; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Gophers mascot Goldy Gopher dresses up as a ninja turtle at halftime against the Iowa Hawkeyes at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports
Entering his second year as quarterback of the Gophers, Philip Nelson is wise beyond his age. Nelson, 19, has banished Twitter, going as far as deleting his profile as he focuses on the upcoming season — much to the contrast of some of his counterparts.
The Mankato native is a year younger than Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel, whose tweets have landed him in hot water more than once in recent months. But despite Nelson’s youth, he’s certainly shown more focus than Manziel, who’s currently in a bit of trouble with the NCAA (if you haven’t heard).
"“Before I got here, I had a Twitter account. Once I got here and realized some of the things that happen, I got rid of it. It’s not even worth it, because it’s all about football here … You’ve just got to really watch yourself. You know, we’re held to a different standard as football players. It doesn’t matter if you’re under 21 (years old), 20, whatever. It depends on what you want — do you want to win, or do you want to go out and have fun? I think a lot of people around here want to win.” — Nelson to the Pioneer Press"
In light of Nelson’s quote, here are the most interesting Gophers on Twitter.
5. Freshman Receiver Eric Carter
From Florida to Minnesota, fans who have been following the talented three-star recruit’s journey cross-country (and cross-climate) are aware that the teenager is something special. With more than 30,000 tweets, Carter is one of the more active Gophers on Twitter and his desire to be great is apparent in nearly every one of his tweets.
4. Former Gopher Receiver Eric Decker
Only a few years removed from his days as a Gopher receiver, Decker is now catching passes from a future hall-of-famer. But his life off the field seems to be more interesting to fans as a new reality TV show starring him and his wife, country music singer Jessie James, is set to debut at the end of this summer.
3. Athletic Director Norwood Teague
Entering his second year as athletic director of the Gophers, Teague has impressed fans with his ambition and (excuse the pun) “gopher it” attitude. For a university administrator, he’s fairly accessible on Twitter, often interacting with fans and answering complaints — more than half of his 451 tweets are replies to fans.
2. Former Gopher Power Forward Trevor Mbakwe
From betting his scholarship on Twitter to offering to buy fans McDonalds, Mbakwe has one of the highest follower counts among current and recently-graduated Gophers. As one of the more physical players in the Big Ten during his time as a student-athlete, his softer side and humor comes through on Twitter.
What do you do when you win the national championship two years in a row? You tweet about it, obviously. Following these ladies on Twitter through their 2012-13 campaign was hilarious and insightful. Their team chemistry shined on Twitter and I wish someone would offer the team a reality TV show for next season — because who’s actually going to watch Hard Knocks starring the Cincinnati Bengals? I know I’m not.