MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — In just 24 days, the University of Minnesota football team will play its first game of the season.

A lot of attention will be paid between now and then on which freshman will earn the starting quarterback job. But the truth is this whole team is young and inexperienced.

WCCO’s David McCoy tells us how coach PJ Fleck is approaching that challenge in training camp.

You’ve heard PJ Fleck say it before, and he’ll say it again. This is a young, inexperienced Gophers football team. But a few practices now into fall camp, and he’s not worried about that.

“We talked about the youth, inexperience. There’s going to be days they make plays, there’s going to be days they struggle. And they’ve got to be able to respond to those. But overall, I really like the football team, I like the leadership of the football team. It’s young, it’s youthful, it’s inexperienced, but when you start going through practice and you know you are but you can’t tell all the time, that’s a good sign,” Fleck said.

Fleck has said this several times already too. This team might be young and inexperienced, but the talent is there. Now it needs to be developed. And it’s definitely on an accelerated track.

“Those young guys have to get caught up fast. That’s that ‘race to maturity.’ We have no time to waste. We don’t have next year with those freshmen. We’ve got right now,” Fleck said. “And those guys have to play like juniors and seniors. And they just got here. And that’s very difficult to do. So we have force fed the information. We have not gone at a slow pace.”

“Last year we were just spoon-feeding to people. And then sometimes they’d spit it out. And we’d have to get it around the mouth like a little kid does, and you put it back in,” Fleck said.

How much is retained and swallowed down, if you will, is yet to be seen. But that’s what fall camp is for.

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