This is the 12th of several articles that highlights the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers available for the 2010 NFL Draft.
The draft will be held April 22-24 in New York City on Entertainment Sports Prime Network (ESPN).
This is the seventh installment of scholarship players that played several games during their Gopher careers. The player featured here is wide receiver Eric Decker.
Decker is a 6 feet 3 inch tall, 220-pound wide receiver that played his prep football at Rocori High School in Cold Spring, Minn. He had 2,156 receiving yards and 28 touchdowns while earning two all-state, all-conference, all-area and all-section honors. Despite his gaudy high school numbers, he was rated has a two-star prospect by both Rivals and Scout.
After redshirting his first season at Minnesota, he appeared in 13 games with three starts. He recorded 26 receptions for 378 yards and three touchdowns. He had a breakout season as a sophomore. That season, he recorded 67 catches, 909 yards and nine touchdowns. He followed that up with an 84 catch, 1,074 yards and seven touchdowns, despite being hampered by a high ankle sprain. He also had 11 rushes for 87 yards and a touchdown. Last season, he led the Gophers with 50 catches, 758 yards and five touchdowns in eight games. He also completed one-of-two pass attempts with seven yards and one touchdown. He missed the final five games of last season due to broken lisfranc bones in his foot that required surgery.
He participated in the Gopher pro day. He only participated in the upper body tests.
He will is hoping to return to full speed in June. He will have his foot re-examined in Indianapolis in June and may be able to begin running again at that time.
While attending the scouting combine in Indianapolis, he was addressed many questions about his injury history that slowed or ended the final weeks of each of the last two seasons.
“Those were freak accidents,” he said at the Gopher pro day. “I am not worried about it.”
In addition to football, he starred for the Gopher baseball as a junior and senior. He was selected as a high draft pick by the Minnesota Twins last July. He turned down a contract offer to concentrate on his final season of football eligibility. He does not plan on returning to the baseball diamond.
“Baseball is done,” he said. “Football is my passion.”
He is the only guaranteed Gopher to be drafted this week. Gopher head coach Tim Brewster said that after talking with numerous NFL coaches and general managers he believes Decker will be selected in the second round Friday.