P.J. Fleck stresses ‘Keep bringing the floor up’ at Gophers spring practice

The University of Minnesota football team is nearing the end of its spring season, and you’re going to hear a consistent message from P.J. Fleck until the Aug. 29 opener against North Carolina: "Keep bringing the floor up."

Fleck is using the spring practices to get reps for his depth players who will be competing for starting jobs in fall camp. The Gophers are coming off a 6-7 season, and Fleck after Tuesday’s practice compared the development of his team to a golf swing. It’s never perfect, always needs work. One day it’s great and the next, not so much.

"My son is trying out for the golf team, he comes home the other day and is like ‘I fixed my golf swing.’ Tiger just shot 16-over, you don’t fix a golf swing, it’s golf. You make sure swing better," Fleck said. "Came home the other day and is like ‘I’m never playing golf again.’ It’s golf, you didn’t fix anything. We’re not here to fix certain things, you’ve got to make yourself better. This team wants to do that, it’s fun to watch them."

The Gophers held practice Tuesday open to media and recruits, the final one workout anyone outside the team will see before they're done for the spring season. In team sessions, the defense appears to be ahead of the offense. Anthony Smith got a sack Tuesday, and there were a few near interceptions. Max Brosmer took more shots downfield, and Drake Lindsey led the second team offense on a touchdown drive.

Daniel Jackson did not practice Tuesday, and Darius Taylor was held out with a minor injury. Le’Meke Brockington shined. There’s also an ongoing battle on the offensive line at right tackle between Martes Lewis and Phillip Daniels, who are splitting reps.

The Gophers have about a week left before they break for the summer. With no public spring game, we won’t see them again until fall camp starts.


The spring transfer portal window opened on Monday, and at least three players have left the program. They are offensive linemen De’Eric Mister and Cade McConnell, and defensive back Tariq Watson. Walk-on wide receiver Cade Osterman also left the team.

Fleck acknowledged there will be roster shuffling between now and Aug. 29. Look for the Gophers to add a quarterback behind Brosmer as Lindsey learns through his freshman year, and keep an eye on former Cooper star and LSU transfer Jaxon Howard.

"We’re open to a lot of things. There’s going to be probably a few additions, just like there’s some subtractions. Everybody in the country is dealing with that piece. Whatever the needs are, we’ll make sure we have people for those needs," Fleck said.

As he walked away from reporters Tuesday, Fleck added, "Stay tuned."