The Minnesota Golden Gophers are entering year three under head coach Jerry Kill and will try to work their way up the Big Ten standings. They have plenty of questions to answer on offense on how they will score points in 2013, which puts added pressure on the Gophers’ defense to keep the team in games next fall. Safety Brock Vereen is confident his group can get that job done.
Brock Vereen is the younger brother of New England Patriots running back Shane Vereen, and Kill believe he has the talent to get to the NFL as well. The senior safety returns after finishing sixth on the team in tackles last season, recording 64 tackles with nine pass breakups and two interceptions. Kill has raved about his improvement over the years at Minnesota and will be leaning on him to make big plays in the secondary in 2013.
And Vereen is ready for the challenge. He feels that the defense took a lot of lessons away from last season and they are finally ready to run Jerry Kill’s system at full-speed. That experience level is giving the defense a heightened sense of confidence that Vereen says will translate onto the field next season.
For Minnesota, the biggest obstacle to their success in 2012 was their inability to finish games. According to Vereen, many of Minnesota’s losses last year were lost “in the fourth quarter.” A more confident Gophers team in 2013 should be able to finish out some of those games and get Minnesota back towards the top of the conference.
As Vereen told reporters, Minnesota is “closer than a lot of people think.” If the Gophers buy into that idea, then Vereen could very well lead them into contention for the Legends Division in 2013. Will Vereen’s confidence be validated next season?