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Elmore ready to see more action with Gopher football team

Gaelin Elmore is shown ready to take a snap at defensive end for the Gophers last season.1 / 2
Somerset’s Gaelin Elmore (87) is shown rushing the quarterback during a game last season against the University of Iowa. This was the game where Elmore made his first collegiate start and recorded his first quarterback sack. 2 / 2

Gaelin Elmore made an immediate impact for the University of Minnesota football team as a freshman defensive end last season.

This fall, the Somerset native wants to be even more of a factor for the Gophers.

Elmore saw action in all 13 games for the Gophers a year ago, as Minnesota rose to prominence in the Big Ten. Elmore was in the rotation at defensive end throughout the season, recording 11 tackles, one quarterback sack, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

Elmore heads into the 2015 season competing for a starting defensive end position. He said he’s not worried whether he starts, because he knows he’ll be in the defensive rotation as the coaches try to keep fresh players on the field.

Elmore is now listed at 6-6 and 262 pounds. The Gophers start their season with team meetings next week before holding their first on-field practices of the season on Aug. 10. Elmore said the ramped up expectations of the team were shown in the work the players put in during this summer.

“They were the hardest workouts I’ve ever done,” Elmore said. “The workload and the intensity were really turned up this summer.”

Elmore said he was down by 10-15 pounds from his playing weight when he began the summer. He said through the summer workouts he’s gained that weight back, all in muscle.

“I’m a lot stronger than last year,” he said.

While Elmore said he enjoyed the camaraderie of the off-season workouts with his teammates, he said he can’t wait to get back onto the field. Elmore said he’s looking to make an immediate impact in the practices, knowing that the coaches will be deciding much of the player rotations and starting assignments based on player performances during August practices.

Elmore is part of the line of Somerset football players who’ve gone to the next level and made an impact. That includes Bryan Witzmann, who is in his second training camp with the Houston Texans, and Jeremy Kelly, a starting senior guard for North Dakota State. Adding to the list of Somerset grads this fall is Max Praschak, who will be a freshman for the Wisconsin Badgers.

Elmore said many of his teammates come from elite high school programs from around the nation. He said his teammates take notice when he lists off all the football successes that have come from the high school with an enrollment under 500 students.

“It gives some credibility,” Elmore said.

Elmore has settled into the academic side of college smoothly. He said he finished the spring semester with a 3.35 grade point average and he’s done well in the coursework he’s taken over the summer. He hasn’t decided on a major at this point, saying he still has some generals to complete before he has to make that decision.

Dave Newman

Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.

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