MINNEAPOLIS When A.J. Barker infamously left the Gophers football team during the season last year, there was a question as to who would step up at wide receiver for Minnesota. After all, Barker led all Gophers receivers in seemingly every important category.
Derrick Engel and Isaac Fruechte hope to provide a few aanswers. The wide receiver duo finished second and third, respectively, in receiving yards after Barker. Fruechte's 19 catches were second-most on the Gophers behind Barker's 30, while Engel's 375 receiving yards were second only to Barker's 577.
Both receivers have the experience of last year to build on for 2013, and they're both a year older. Engel, a Chaska native, will be a redshirt senior, while Fruechte a former junior college player at Rochester Community and Technical College is a redshirt junior. Through seven spring practices, those two have emerged as leaders on offense and the top two targets for sophomore quarterback Philip Nelson.