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Prescott's Filkins put his focus on football

Jake Filkins (48) at TCF Stadium.

MINNEAPOLIS - What has Prescott's Jake Filkins most impressed about new University of Minnesota Head Football Coach Jerry Kill is his meticulous attention to detail.

"He watches everything, it's amazing,' Filkins, who is beginning his sophomore year of eligibility as a long-snapper for the Golden Gopher football team. "He's intense and makes us be accountable for our mistakes and how we perform. But that's good because it's made me a better snapper. I feel more focused in what I'm doing and I think that's true for the whole team."

And when it comes to focus, Filkins will be doing the same thing when it comes to football and school. He's decided not to go out for wrestling for the 2011-12 school year and concentrate on football.

In 2010, on a lark, Filkins tried out for the football team and made it as a walk-on long-snapper. However, Filkins was already at U to wrestle and tried to do both for the 2010-11 school year.

"It was tough, tough to deal with both sports," Filkins said. "There was no down time at all. You went from one right to the other and it just wore you down. It affected my health and my school work. I wanted to see if I could do both, but it was just too much."

There's not a lot two sport athletes in college for the reasons Filkins just mentioned and hardly any football players who double as wrestlers. Filkins says he'll miss wrestling but he's happy to give full attention to football.

"I've been wrestling since I was little and I'll miss it. It will strange not to be a part of it," Filkins said. "But it will make it easier for me to do a better job at what I do, which I need to if I'm going to help the team improve its punting and special teams."

Filkins split time as a long-snapper last season and is one of three long snappers on the Gophers' roster. He says he feels completely different now than at this time a year ago getting for the season opener.

"You've done it before, that's the biggest difference there is," Filkins said. "You go into a game and you know what's going to happen. You know how to practice. You know how to get yourself ready and mentally prepare. It's definitely going to be easier for me to go out there on the road to start this season than it was a year ago."

The Gophers will play at home for the first time in 2011 this Saturday against New Mexico State with the kick-off set for 2:30 p.m. at TCF Stadium.