Former football player joins second hall of fame

Carl Eller was named an All-American by eight organizations in 1963

Former defensive tackle Carl Eller will become the 20th Minnesota football player to be enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend, Ind., when the 2006 Hall of Fame Class is inducted Dec. 5.

Eller is one of 15 former players and coaches in the 2006 Hall of Fame Class that includes Florida State coach Bobby Bowden, Penn State coach Joe Paterno and former NFL standouts Emmitt Smith and Bruce Smith.

Eller played for the Gophers from 1961-1963 and in the NFL from 1964-1979. His 134 career sacks in his 15-year NFL career earned him a place in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2004.

In 1984, the Gophers football team renamed its Outstanding Defensive Player of the Year Award to the “Carl Eller Award.”

Speath on watch list

Matt Speath, a senior tight end on Minnesota’s football team, has been named to the 37th Rotary Lombardi Award watch list.

The award is given to the nation’s best offensive or defensive lineman.

Speath is one of four Big Ten players – including Wisconsin offensive tackle Joe Thomas and Penn State offensive lineman Levi Brown and linebacker Paul Posluszny – to be named to the preliminary list of 43 collegiate athletes.

Thomas was a semifinalist in 2005 and Posluszny was a finalist last season.

Football game times set

Five game times for the 2006 football season have been set for Minnesota.

The Gophers will travel to take on Purdue at 11 a.m. Sept. 23, and at 7 p.m. Sept. 30 they will host Michigan.

At 11 a.m. Oct. 14 Wisconsin will host Minnesota. The Gophers will take on Ohio State in Columbus, Ohio, at 2:30 p.m. Oct. 28.

Minnesota’s Nov. 4 homecoming game against Indiana has been set for 11 a.m.

Basketball team inks forward

Minnesota’s men’s basketball team announced it signed Engen Nurumbi to a national letter of intent for next season.

The 6-foot, 7-inch forward played two seasons in junior college – his freshman year at University of Prince Edward Island in Canada and his sophomore year at Arizona Western Junior College.

Last season Nurumbi averaged 16.7 points and 8.1 rebounds per game to earn third-team National Junior College All-America honors.

Gophers to play in ESPNU Classic

Minnesota’s men’s basketball team is one of eight teams that will play in the inaugural ESPNU Classic basketball tournament in Orlando, Fla., on Nov. 23, 24 and 26.

The field includes four teams – West Virginia, Arkansas, Montana and Southern Illinois – that played in the 2006 NCAA Tournament.

Eight games will be played over the three-day period with the two undefeated teams playing for the tournament title and the other six teams playing in consolation games on the final day.