Gopher walk-ons Annexstad, Howden the latest to earn scholarships

LINCOLN, NE - OCTOBER 20: Quarterback Zack Annexstad #5 of the Minnesota Golden Gophers passes in the first half against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Memorial Stadium on October 20, 2018 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images) 

More Gophers football walk-ons are getting rewarded for their hard work this past season with scholarships. The latest two? Quarterback Zack Annexstad and defensive back Jordan Howden.

Head Coach P.J. Fleck made the announcement on Twitter Tuesday morning, stating he's had 10 walk-ons earn scholarships in the last two years.

Annexstad came to the Gophers as a preferred walk-on and won the starting role in August, becoming the second-ever walk-on true freshman to start a season opener. He started the first seven games of the season, going 3-4, before he went out with an injury. 

Redshirt freshman Tanner Morgan closed out the season as the starter, which included two key victories over the Wisconsin Badgers in the Axe game and Georgia Tech in the Quick Lane Bowl. Annexstad and Morgan each recorded nine touchdowns on the season, which is tied for the third-most all-time for a Minnesota freshman.

Freshman defensive back Jordan Howden also received a scholarship. He recorded 45 tackles and one interception on the season.

Amid the offseason changes, includes a loss on the the defensive side of the ball. A source told Fox 9 defensive tackle Royal Silver will be leaving the Gophers due to "medical reasons." He would have been entering his senior season. Silver played at Iowa Western Community College for two seasons before coming to Minnesota. A redshirt junior, he played in 11 games at Minnesota this season and recorded 13 tackles.