Kill prepares for the offseason

Head coach Jerry Kill will focus on recruiting after the last game of the season.

by Samuel Gordon

There will be no bowl game for the Gophers this year, but that wonâÄôt stop Minnesota head coach Jerry Kill from moving forward with the rebuilding process.

Kill said at his Tuesday press conference that he intends to hit the road and continue recruiting as soon as he is able, which could be after SundayâÄôs season-ending banquet.

He didnâÄôt discuss specifics, but said that recruiting has been going well so far, and he is satisfied with the commitments heâÄôs received.

âÄúRecruiting is essential, and right now thatâÄôs going very well, but itâÄôs not February yet,âÄù Kill said. February is when National Signing Day is held. âÄúWeâÄôve got to hold some kids in there until February.âÄù

Kill said he hopes to bring 35 players into the program. He said that he and his staff try to bring in talent at each position every year and said that he feels that the offensive line will be a strong unit moving forward.

However, the teamâÄôs secondary will take a hit next year. Starting defensive backs Kyle Henderson, Kim Royston and Christyn Lewis are all seniors, and Troy StoudermireâÄôs future is in limbo as he awaits a ruling on a potential medical redshirt.

Kill said recruiting defensive backs will be a point of emphasis this offseason.

âÄúWe lose a lot of bodies in the secondary, and weâÄôve got to make sure that we address that. And weâÄôre trying to do that right now,âÄù he said.

HeâÄôs often compared this rebuilding project with that of Southern Illinois. He said Tuesday that was more difficult than his current task at Minnesota because of more problems off the field and inferior facilities.

Still, there remain some similarities.

âÄúThis year has taught me the same thing that Southern Illinois taught me, which is when you win, enjoy it,âÄù he said. âÄúIâÄôm looking forward to enjoying some wins here in the future. I donâÄôt think thereâÄôs any question about that.âÄù