Gophers go under the lights to practice at Huntington Bank Stadium

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The Gopher football team stepped into the spotlight for practice at Huntington Bank Stadium Thursday night in Minneapolis.

“A lot of guys make plays,” Gophers head coach PJ Fleck said of Thursday’s practice. “I thought today a lot of our best players were making tons of plays on both sides of the ball.”

One of the best Gophers 2022 players isn’t really a point guard, but he’s a guy who lets point guards do their job. John Michael Schmitz is one of the best offensive linemen in the country. He’s on preseason watch lists for the Lombardi Award (top offensive or defensive lineman), the Outland Trophy (top interior lineman), and the Rimington Award (top center).

“John Michael really gelled that position together,” Fleck said of Schmitz and his work with the offensive line. “He demanded a lot of them in the offseason. When your best players are your hardest workers, they can drag everyone down with them.

The Gophers open the season against New Mexico State on Sept. 1 at Huntington Bank Stadium.

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