Gophers lose one, gain one via football transfers


Marcel Jones was one of the more heralded Minnesota football recruits in the 2005 incoming class. But Jones never reached the field with the Gophers last season and, now it appears he never will, as Jones has transferred to Division 1-AA Northern Iowa, said his father, Randy.

His father said his son also had transfer offers from Division I-A programs such as Boston College and Hawaii. Since Northern Iowa is a Division 1-AA school, Jones will not have to sit out the upcoming season.

“Marcel was never happy (at Minnesota),” his father said. “Marcel committed before his senior season (at Simley High School in Inver Grove Heights, Minn.), the spring of his junior year, actually. And then he went to summer camp and he came home and told me, ‘This isn’t the right place. It didn’t feel right.’ “

Things didn’t go well for Jones off the field, either, as he – along with wrestler Nate Matousek – was charged with third-degree felony assault stemming from an incident at a Dec. 9 party in which a 20-year-old man suffered broken teeth and a black eye.

Matousek’s charges were dropped in early May and Jones’ father said the felony charges against his son have also been dropped but that his son has accepted a plea on a misdemeanor of aiding and abetting and will probably receive probation. Marcel Jones declined to comment.

“He had that incident last December where there were a lot of published reports that were lies,” Jones’ father said.

“He was asked to take a polygraph test by the FBI and he took a polygraph test and passed it, stating clearly that he did not kick this kid.”

Jones’ father also said the allegation that his son made a phone call bragging about kicking the victim’s teeth in was proved to be untrue through phone records.

“Somewhere along the line, my son’s been made out to be an animal, and he’s not,” Jones said.

But, his father said, that is all in the past now and Marcel Jones is just looking to receive a fresh start.

And so far, he’s getting one.

“Marcel called last night,” his father said. “He goes, ‘This is what football’s supposed to be. I’m enjoying football for the first time in two years.’ “

Gophers land Henderson
While the Gophers are losing a quarterback, they’re gaining a defensive lineman.

Raymond Henderson said he is transferring to Minnesota from Tennessee. Henderson was dismissed from the Volunteers’ roster in the spring.

Henderson said he chose Minnesota over schools such as Ohio State, Wisconsin, Louisville and Indiana. He cited Minnesota’s connection with his high school, Oak Creek, Wis. – home to former Gophers such as defensive end Keith Lipka – as a big reason he chose Minnesota.

He said he will start taking classes in July and will have to sit out the 2006 season because of NCAA rules. Since Henderson, already redshirted at Tennessee last year, he said he will have three years of eligibility at Minnesota.

“I’m hoping just to come in and contribute and make plays,” Henderson said of the 2007 season. “When I step on the field, it’s do what I gotta do.”

In his senior season at Oak Creek, Henderson, listed on Tennessee’s Web site at 6 feet, 6 inches, 255 pounds, recorded 83 tackles and 14 sacks.