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Donnell Kirkwood Could Start Season As Gophers Running Back

Minnesota Golden Gophers sophomore running back Donnell Kirkwood has set himself apart in camp and could emerge as the starter in the Gophers' running back committee, according to the Pioneer Press.

Coach Jerry Kill is likely to use three running backs in his offense, and Kirkwood has made significant strides to elevate himself above the other five running backs competing for playing time. Last season, Kirkwood suffered from hamstring problems but still had 63 carries for 229 yards and three TDs.

Junior college transfer James Gillum was placed on the top of the depth chart in spring camp, but Kirkwood has risen above Gillum through strong preseason practices. Sophomores David Cobb and Devon Wright, along with freshmen K.J. Maye and Rodrick Williams are all competing for carries and playing time as well.

For more on Minnesota football, check out The Daily Gopher and SB Nation Minnesota.

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