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Gophers Football: Head Coach Jerry Kill Expects 'Building Year' With So Much Youth

The Minnesota Gophers football team is exactly one week away from its 2012 season opener against UNLV, but head coach Jerry Kill can't help but warn at just how young the core of his roster actually is heading into the year.

The second-year coach spoke with the Star Tribune's Sid Hartman about the challenges facing his squad heading into the new season, and hopes that his team's sheer athleticism can help erase some of that inexperience when the time comes.

"We're a young team -- and that's a good thing when you're building a program," Kill said.

"I do believe we have some talent, we have some kids that can run well, but there are a lot of them that are freshmen, redshirt freshmen, sophomores and redshirt juniors."

The Gophers went 3-9 in Kill's debut season, but the 50-year-old coach definitely had a number of good things to take from last year's inaugural trip through a Big Ten schedule. And because of that, a number of players, none more important than quarterback MarQueis Gray, are expected to take the next step in their development in 2012. Whether that translates into an improvement in the win column is a different story entirely, but it's apparent that Kill is doing an admirable job of rebuilding the program.

Head over to The Daily Gopher for more Minnesota football coverage, and be sure to check out SB Nation's college football hub for more news from around the country.

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