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Over the past week, the Gophers football team has had six scholarship players — including starting quarterback Athan Kaliakmanis and redshirt freshman running back Zach Evans — announce they are entering the transfer portal. On Saturday, a prominent player said he is staying with the team.

True freshman running back Darius Taylor, who leads the team with 591 rushing yards in five games played, announced on X, formerly known as Twitter, that he will be back for another season, citing Dinkytown Athletes, the Gophers' name, image and likeness (NIL) collective.

"Thank you Gopher fans for supporting me during my time in Minnesota. Thank you to my TEAM who has made this a world class experience. After talking with my family and taking time to think I have decided to come back for another year with Dinkytown Athletes. Who's going to join me?" Taylor posted.

Taylor's decision is key for the Gophers, who are trying to prevent programs with more NIL money at their disposal from poaching their best players.

"We'll be a Triple-A ballclub for somebody else," coach P.J. Fleck said in September, urging more fans to support Dinkytown Athletes. "That is the reality and the truth of the situation."

Taylor burst onto the scene this season, rushing 33 times for 193 yards against Eastern Michigan, 22 times for 138 yards against North Carolina and 31 times for 198 yards against Northwestern. He had 59 yards on 16 carries against Iowa before leaving the game in the fourth quarter because of a leg injury. He did not play in the final five games of the regular season.

QB recruit named title game MVP

Quarterback Drake Lindsey, who has verbally committed the Gophers, passed for 355 yards and a touchdown as Fayetteville High School defeated Bentonville 22-16 on Saturday to win the Arkansas Class 7A state championship. Lindsey was named the title game MVP as Fayetteville finished 13-0. Lindsey passed for 3,916 yards and 52 TDs with two interceptions this season.

Offensive line recruit decommits

Mauricio Hinds, a three-star offensive tackle from Clearwater (Fla.) Academy International, announced on X he has decommitted from the Gophers. Hinds, 6-5 and 285 pounds, gave the Gophers a verbal commitment in June. He is the fourth player in their 2024 recruiting class to rescind a pledge.