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DT BRANDON KIRKSEY JUNIOR
Brewster thinks Kirksey has the talent to become one of the nation's better defensive linemen. Kirksey's forced fumble against Air Force in September, which was returned 52 yards for the game-winning touchdown, was a highlight of the Minnesota season.
WR DA'JON MCKNIGHT JUNIOR
McKnight stepped up after the Gophers lost star receiver Eric Decker to injury in late October. The Dallas product made all 17 of his catches (for 311 yards) in the final five games and will battle Troy Stoudermire to be the go-to receiver this fall.
FS KIM ROYSTON SENIOR
The transfer from Wisconsin was Minnesota's third-leading tackler in 2009. He broke a leg in spring practice but is expected to be ready by the season opener.
RG MATT CARUFEL SENIOR
The 6' 5" lineman was arguably the best on a unit that struggled tremendously last year. The Notre Dame transfer made 11 starts in his first season with the Gophers and will be counted on heavily to improve the run- and pass-blocking up front.