Croft’s Shot To Lead Gophers Could Come Now

Sports

We all saw the incredible talent that Demry Croft has when he was playing quarterback at Boylan setting school records. This fall the rest of the country or at least the Big Ten might get a chance to see what he can do.

Croft has a shot to become the starting quarterback at the University of Minnesota.

Croft opened eyes in Minnesota’s spring game last month on the very first play.  He connected with receiver Rashad Still on a bomb down the sideline covering 47 yards. Croft completed 8 of 13 passes in that game perhaps earning him an early edge for the starting job, although nothing will be determined until August.

“It’s definitely wide open right now going into fall camp,” said Croft to Eyewitness News while home in Rockford. “You’ve just go to work hard, be more consistent. Be persistent and see how it falls.”

Minnesota’s starting quarterback last year Mitch Leidner has graduated leaving Croft to battle redshirt senior Conor Rhoda and redshirt freshman Seth Green for the top job this year. Croft saw some action in three games two years ago as a true freshman. He was redshirted last year….a decision he agrees with now.

“Absolutely! I have three more years left, so it was definitely the right decision,” says Croft.

A lot has happened in Croft’s two years at Minnesota. He was recruited and coached initially by Jerry Kill. Then Tracy Claeys took over when Kill was forced to step down with medical issues. Then Claeys lost his job in the heat of a sexual assault scandal involving some players.

Now P.J. Fleck is the head coach. The Fleck who could be sprinting down the field, hanging from the locker room ceiling and giving dramatic speeches while he was the head coach at Western Michigan.

Croft says Fleck is always high-energy. “Everything that you see on TV that’s really how he is off TV,” says Croft.

Fleck’s energy might carry Croft and Minnesota to a Big Ten West Championship. Croft is all-in on ‘Rowing The Boat’ with Fleck.

“Working with him is a pleasure,” says Croft. “He knows a lot about the game and he’s really a player’s coach.”

As for Croft his focus is on refining his touch as a passer. If He can do that he might be one of the lead rowers on the Gophers’ boat.

When asked what he’s focusing on this summer Croft says, “Be accurate. Be more consistent. Make throws that Big 10 quarterbacks make. Be consistent on third down. So that’s what I’m really working on.”

Croft is home in Rockford only briefly. He’ll return to Minnesota on Wednesday to continue conditioning and preparing for next season.
 

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