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DeLeon Eskridge Will Not Return To Gophers For Senior Season

The Minnesota Golden Gophers' offense took a bit of a hit on Friday afternoon, as the school announced that senior running back DeLeon Eskridge would not be returning to the team for his senior season.

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Phil Miller of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune broke the story first, and he is reporting that Eskridge has asked for a release from his scholarship to deal with a family situation, and it is likely that he will transfer to a school closer to his home in the San Francisco area. It has been pointed out that he does have a redshirt year left, so he could potentially transfer to another BCS school.

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Eskridge was the Gophers' leading rusher last year, rushing for 698 yards and seven touchdowns. He also had a very solid spring, and all indications were that he was going to be the primary running back in 2011, or at the very least a part of a tandem with fellow senior Duane Bennett.

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Bennett, who rushed for 523 yards and three touchdowns in 2010, now moves into the starter's role at running back. The Gophers also have three red-shirt freshmen at the position in Donnell Kirkwood, Devon Wright, and Lamonte Edwards.

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Here's hoping that DeLeon Eskridge can get things straightened around, and we'd like to thank him for what he did as a Gopher. . .sometimes, though, there are some things that are just more important than football.

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Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.