Gophers Football: Chris Streveler Needs To Switch Positions


Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

At this point the Gophers’ football team is stuck with junior Mitch Leidner under center, due in part to a lack of options that are ready to replace him. Redshirt sophomore backup Chris Streveler has seen some action in the first two games this season, with four carries for eight yards and no pass attempts operating in the Wildcat formation.

In an effort to find ways to get him on the field more, the Gophers tried Streveler as a h-back/tight end and as a wide receiver during preseason camp. That experiment appears to be over already, with tight ends coach Rob Reeves telling the St. Paul Pioneer Press that the coaching staff is “focusing more on him (Streveler) as a quarterback” now. I think that is a mistake in the bigger picture, and if Streveler wants to stay at Minnesota I think he should ask for a position change.

Leidner is entrenched as Minnesota’s starting quarterback for at least this season, barring injury or a string of particularly dreadful performances. Beyond that redshirt freshman Jacques Perra and true freshman Demry Croft are likely to enter the mix in a more significant way, which would surely leave Streveler on the outside looking in during a battle for depth chart spots or playing time.

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Streveler clearly has a long way to go as a traditional passer, otherwise he would have a pass attempt in limited action this year and he’d probably be pushing Leidner harder for the starting job. So a position change makes sense, and that the idea has even been tried points to Streveler having something to offer if he is given time to work at it.

If he is committed to being a quarterback, Streveler may not find an opportunity for playing time at that spot by transferring to another FBS school. I don’t think he will be a major contributor at another position, but it would be a significant indictment of the Gophers’ offensive coaches if they don’t revisit moving Streveler away from under center.

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