MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota will use prized recruit Jeff Jones as a wide receiver to start his first season on the field with the team.

Coach Jerry Kill confirmed Tuesday at his season-opening news conference that Jones has been switched from running back to wide receiver for now. Senior Rodney Williams, sophomore Berkley Edwards and freshman Rodney Smith are the leading candidates to replace the departed David Cobb.

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Jones took a redshirt year last season while catching up academically. He played at Minneapolis Washburn High School.

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Kill said the Gophers will start by playing all three running backs early in the season before channeling the majority of the snaps toward the player who emerges as the favorite.

Minnesota’s first practice is Friday. The Gophers open the season Sept. 3 against TCU.

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