And the mass transferring of college quarterbacks continues.
According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, former Minnesota quarterback Max Shortell has decided to transfer to Jacksonville State of the FCS ranks. Shortell tweeted his intentions on Thursday.
Minnesota announced in December that Shortell would be departing the program, though Shortell’s father told the Star-Tribune at the time his son felt he would not get a chance to play after losing his starting job in October to freshman Philip Nelson. Shortell had taken over for the injured MarQueis Gray in 2012, but inconsistent play led to Nelson burning his redshirt midway through the year.
In 13 games with the Gophers, Shortell threw for 1,172 yards with eight touchdowns. Since Shortell will be transferring down a level, he will be eligible to play right away.
Quarterback has been a revolving door for Minnesota this year thanks to injuries and inconsistent play. Against Wisconsin, the Gophers could start their third QB this season in freshman Philip Nelson.
According to the Star Tribune, and barring a sudden change, Nelson will take the field against the Badgers later today. UM has not confirmed this report.
Even though Max Shortell has been listed as the starter on the depth chart, the Star-Tribune reports that Nelson has been taking most of the first-team offensive snaps this week in practice. Shortell has been inconsistent as the team’s starter the past couple of weeks and opening game starter MarQueis Gray is still nursing an ankle injury.
The plan for coach Jerry Kill was to redshirt the freshman this season with the hopes that Nelson would learn the offense and become the quarterback of the future for the Gophers. A heralded in-state prospect, Nelson appears to be needed right away.
It’s been a little over a week since Minnesota quarterback MarQueis Gray sustained a high ankle sprain against Western Michigan. Gray missed Saturday’s win over Syracuse and he’ll in all likelihood be out this Saturday against Iowa.
“We walked out the tunnel together. I started jogging,” coach Jerry Kill said of last weekend’s game against the Cuse . “I’m 51, and he couldn’t keep up with me.
“I don’t anticipate him playing next week. It would be a minor miracle if he was ready to play. I can’t control the healing process, but right now, I’m not real optimistic (about) how quick that’s going to come along.”
That means Max Shortell should get the start again as the Gophers begin Big Ten play. The sophomore played well enough against the Orange, throwing for 231 yards (and more importantly, no turnovers).
The Hawkeyes are struggling in a big way after losing to Central Michigan. If Shortell can stay mistake-free and let Minnesota’s defense, which has been playing well, continue to carry the burden, the Gophers can go to Iowa City and grab another win on the year.
(Hat tip: Star-Tribune)
The good news for undefeated (?) Minnesota is that its starting quarterback didn’t suffer a season-ending injury in the win over Western Michigan.
The bad news? It’s unclear when MarQueis Gray will return to the playing field.
What’s known is that an MRI revealed neither broken bones nor structural damage in Gray’s left knee. The diagnosis is that Gray suffered a high-ankle sprain of undetermined severity.
Based on the initial prognosis, it appears Gray could be out for upwards of a month. Or he could be back after missing just a week. Such are the vagaries of this type of injury.
“High ankle sprains are usually a month,” Gopher head coach Jerry Kill said. “Now, how bad the sprain is, is (the question). There are different degrees. I don’t think anybody knows the degree (yet). We’ll see if he’s swelled up, how he moves on Monday.”
Kill said that the coaching staff will get Max Shortell, who replaced Gray following the second-quarter injury, “ready to go” for this weekend’s home game against Syracuse.
After replacing Gray, Shortell completed 10-of-17 passes for 188 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.
Updated 7:54 p.m. ET: MarQueis Gray told Minnesota coach Jerry Kill after the Gophers’ 28-23 win over Western Michigan that he has a high ankle sprain. The length Gray will be out with the injury is unknown.
Oklahoma State isn’t the only team with an injured quarterback. Minnesota senior quarterback MarQueis Gray left Saturday’s game against Western Michigan with an apparent left ankle injury in the second quarter and will not return.
Gray was taken off the field on a cart for further examination and was replaced by sophomore Max Shortell. He later re-emerged on the sidelines on crutches.
Shortell has played well in Gray’s absence, throwing for three touchdowns in what is now a 28-17 lead over WMU.