MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — These days, Minnesota Gophers head football coach Jerry Kill isn’t just looking to recruit players, he’s recruiting students — enough to fill the 10,000 seats in the student section, which has proven to be a tough task to tackle.

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Only 1/3 of the available student tickets have been sold.

“We’re working hard to put a good product on the field, but at the same time we need them,” Kill said.

Friday morning, coach Kill passed through the student union and gave away 250 tickets to Saturday’s game against New Hampshire in exchange for a commitment – to be there.

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Nearly every student was happily surprised by the gesture.

“I know they’re expensive, so to get one for free is pretty cool,” says student Reiloy Dougherty. “I’m excited to go.”

While the coach is hoping to fill the stands Saturday, he really hopes the freebies bring some of these students out again, an essential part of the winning football program he’s trying to create.

“We haven’t won a Big Ten championship in 45 years,” Kill said. “It’s gonna take a whole community to help us move forward.”

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Kill had no problem giving out the tickets. They were gone within an hour.