MINNEAPOLIS If Gophers football coach Jerry Kill had his way, he would never put a true freshman on the field.
Kill, in his first year as the University of Minnesota coach, estimated that he played seven true freshman last year while coaching at Northern Illinois the most he's ever used. But with a lack of depth on the Gophers' roster, Kill has had to turn to plenty of true freshman just five games into the season.
"I don't have a choice right now. We don't have any depth," Kill said. "If we can save a redshirt on a kid, we can certainly try. But right now, we're not in a situation to do that."
Of the Gophers that have seen time as true freshmen this year, perhaps the best-known case is quarterback Max Shortell. He's spelled starter MarQueis Gray in several games, and got the start against Michigan last Saturday.
Joining him on offense have been true freshmen David Cobb and Devin Crawford-Tufts, both of whom gave up their redshirts to help Minnesota's offense. Both saw their ...