The Gophers football team added graduate transfer kicker Will Mobley to the 2021 roster Tuesday.
The Pennsylvania native walked on at Temple in 2017, redshirting that season. Through the next three years, he played in 29 games, making 26 of 35 field-goal attempts, his longest at 44 yards. He also averaged 52 yards per kickoff.
Mobley, who announced his transfer on Twitter, will be a preferred walk-on. The Gophers have worked this offseason to improve depth at linebacker, defensive line and special teams. They already added another walk-on transfer in Daniel Sparks from Louisiana-Monroe, who can punt and kick off.
Presumed COVID-19 absences sidelined several kickers and punters to start the season for the Gophers, forcing pooch and squib kicks from the still-injured default starter Brock Walker.
Birkie group cuts ties with Enbridge Energy
The American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation, which puts on the popular Birkie ski and trail events in northwestern Wisconsin, said it cut ties with sponsor Enbridge Energy after members of the "Birkie community" brought up the relationship.
Enbridge Energy is working to complete a new $2.6 billion pipeline across northern Minnesota that is the focus of several court petitions to stop the work over environmental and treaty rights concerns.
Enbridge's own goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions dovetailed with the Birkie's green initiatives, said a company spokesperson in an e-mail to the Star Tribune.
Enbridge said it plans to donate the Birkie sponsorship allotment to a different nonprofit organization serving the Hayward area.
• Redshirt senior Bethany Hasz of the Gophers was named U.S. Track & Field/Cross Country Coaches Association's national track athlete of the week. She won the 3,000 meters in her season debut at the Hawkeye Border Battle on Saturday in Iowa City in 9 minutes, 24.4 seconds — about 13 seconds off her career-best and the nation's best time so far this indoor season.
• Junior Taylor Heise was named WCHA forward of the week and Abbey Murphy rookie of the week following the No. 1 Gophers women's hockey team's three-game sweep over St. Cloud State last week. Heise had four goals, including two game-winning goals, and one assist. Murphy had two goals and three assists.
• The Gophers women's gymnastics season-opening meet against Iowa was moved ahead a day, to 3:30 p.m. Friday at Maturi Pavilion. It will be broadcast live on Big Ten Network.