Minnesota Golden Gophers tight end Duke Anyanwu had his medical hardship waiver approved by the NCAA and will return to the team for a sixth season. Anyanwu tweeted the news out on his personal page.
— Duke C. Anyanwu, Jr. (@dukeanyanwu) May 5, 2015
Anyanwu will replace Maxx Williams in head coach Jerry Kill’s system, as Williams was recently drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in the second round of last week’s NFL Draft. This leaves the Gopers without a player who caught 61 passes for 986 yards and 13 touchdowns across two seasons.
Enter Anyanwu, who missed all of last season with a torn ACL. He joined the team as a freshman in 2012 and took a medical redshirt after tearing his ACL then too. Given the recent developments, he now has three years of eligibility remaining and thus could make it seem as though Williams never left the program, assuming he stays healthy.
He has only appeared in one game for Minnesota thus far, but Anyanwu has solid size at 6’4″, 239 pounds and the drive to succeed. Plus, he was Williams’s backup in camp last year before injuring his knee. If he can stay on the field and off the trainer’s table, then he will have every chance to win the starter’s job.
Minnesota was 8-5 (5-3 Big Ten) last season, its fourth under Kill. The team earned a trip to the Citrus Bowl, where it lost to Missouri.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports