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Gophers fans walking in late to watch Thursday's last open spring football practice might have been shaking their heads watching several balls hit the ground during team drills.

New quarterback Max Brosmer, a New Hampshire transfer, zipped passes to his wide receivers seemingly in the right spots, but they suffered from a case of the drops for a period or two.

Coach P.J. Fleck even stepped in to talk with senior Elijah Spencer, but not dwelling on mistakes helped the depleted receiving unit turn things around by the end of the session.

"There's a ton of work that needs to be put in," Brosmer said. "The guys do understand what it takes. Sometimes it's hard to see from the outside what's being put under the lights, for example. It's definitely a grind, but I love that part of football."

Several potential targets for Brosmer were not practicing Thursday, including leading returning receiver Daniel Jackson, transfer wideouts Jaylen Varner and Cristian Driver and tight end Nick Kallerup. Even standout tailback Darius Taylor and Oklahoma transfer Marcus Major saw limited action.

"We're creating more playmakers," Fleck said. "There are a lot of young guys making a ton of plays right now. That's better for our football team. There are some guys who played a ton of football not out there right now. But that makes the quarterback have to be better. Because either the catch radius isn't as big or the windows aren't going to be as big. The separation might not be there as much."

Spencer and fellow receivers Kenric Lanier and Kristen Hoskins all redeemed themselves with big catches after dropping passes from Brosmer and freshman quarterback Drake Lindsey during 11-on-11 work.

Carrying over from last weekend's closed scrimmage, redshirt freshman receiver Donielle Hayes stood out with some highlight grabs Thursday, including a touchdown in the back of the end zone with tight coverage.

"[Hayes] has made a bunch of plays the past few days," Fleck said. "He had a great scrimmage on Saturday. That's what's fun about creating that depth. Who are the next guys?"

Hayes, a 6-foot, 170-pound Florida native, was mentioned by cornerback Justin Walley as one of the most impressive players offensively during spring practice.

"He's getting a lot of the reps right now," Walley said. "He's taking advantage of them. [Thursday] he had a really good catch. He's just showing glimpses that he can play on the field."

Fleck also pointed out Ohio transfer running back Sieh Bangura and redshirt freshman tight end Pierce Walsh among the standouts who have caught his eye so far.

"[Bangura] has had to learn a lot, but he's made a ton of plays in the run game and the pass game," Fleck said. "I think [Walsh] has come on strong as a freshman tight end. He's gained the weight that he needed to gain. But he can run, he can catch, and he can block. He's tough. That's fun to always see."

Tight end commitment

The Gophers received a commitment from three-star Mentor, Ohio, 2025 tight end Cross Nimmo on Thursday.

Nimmo, who played at Lake Catholic High School, also had offers from Illinois, Louisville and Rutgers among others. He also made unofficial visits to Illinois and Louisville this spring.

Nimmo joins a four-player 2025 Gophers recruiting class that includes four-star California quarterback Jackson Kollock.