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Gophers Football: Starting Running Back Will Likely Be Donnell Kirkwood

The Minnesota Golden Gophers are about one week from opening the new college football season and, despite not having released their depth chart quite yet, it sounds as though Donnell Kirkwood has been penciled in as the starting running back.

Kirkwood isn't guaranteed anything yet, of course, but the redshirt sophomore continues to be spoken about positively when head coach Jerry Kill is asked about his position. The latest example came Friday -- as transcribed by the Pioneer Press.

"Donnell Kirkwood has had an excellent camp because he's stayed healthy through camp," Kill said Thursday, Aug. 23. "He's worked tremendously hard in the weight room to prepare himself. This is the first time Donnell has been healthy since I've been here. So I think he is certainly worthy of a guy who has stepped forward and that's been here that I'm very excited about."

There are a slew of running backs in line for touches out of the backfield including James Gillum, David Cobb, Devon Wright and K.J. Maye, but it sounds as though Kirkwood is in the driver's seat as of right now.

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.