MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The University of Minnesota football program has had a history of producing NFL tight ends.

Think Ben Utecht, Matt Spaeth and Maxx Williams. They’re all Minnesota products that made it. They are nourishing another at that position. There’s a current tight end from Wayzata hoping to join that list some day.

Brandon Lingen remembers last season well. It was his breakout season, making plays and understanding there could still be more.

“It’s awesome. Last season was great but it wasn’t enough,” Lingen said. “I need to be doing more. We didn’t win enough games last year so it definitely was some fuel to the fire for this offseason and getting ready to take that next step.”

He was an understudy prior to that of a now NFL tight end, learning from Maxx Williams.

“Playing with Maxx he taught me so many things. But one thing he taught me was really how to approach the game the week prior,” Lingen said. “How to prepare for games. In the film room, what to look at and different things, breaking down other defenses.”

What the coach sees is a player who keeps getting better, because he keeps getting bigger. The Gophers have added height at the receiver position and they’ve always got good size at the tackle position. That means Lingen, right in between, can be both an effective wide receiver, almost, and an extension of the offensive line.

Lingen doesn’t really care what they ask of him, just that they ask him to be on the field. That by itself is a dream come true.

“I look at myself as whatever the team needs me to be,” Lingen said. “On run plays I’m going to block as hard as I can and on pass plays, I’m going to try to get open for Mitch and try to make a play.”

Mike Max

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