The Minnesota Gophers season is set to begin this month and they are going to be without a few key defensive pieces from last year. Antoine Winfield Jr. is one of those players and he is off to a great start in the NFL.
Through his first three games of his NFL career Winfield has 23 tackles, two sacks, two pass breakups and a forced fumble. The former Gopher’s star fell to the 45th overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft and it looks as if the Buccaneers selection has paid off. It was announced Thursday morning that Winfield has been named September's defensive rookie of the month.
For those who have followed the Gophers over the last few seasons this news shouldn’t come as a surprise. Winfield Jr. was always making big plays in Minnesota’s defense and his skill sets have transferred over well to the NFL level.
Although it has only been one month and three games of football at the next level, Winfield Jr. has shown no signs of slowing down from his final season in maroon and gold. In 2019 he totaled 83 tackles, three sacks, two forced fumbles and seven interceptions for the Gophers.
It would have been fun seeing Winfield follow his father's footsteps and play for the Vikings, but the Vikings already had their tandem at the safety position. Instead, Winfield Jr. is on a much better team playing with the best quarterback of all time in Tom Brady.
It might not be as fun watching him dominate on a team outside of the state, but at least he may get a chance to play for a Super Bowl ring early on in his career.