Team Member Information
TONY BRINKHAUS GRADUATED AND DID NOT PURSUE THE DRAFT.
Tony Brinkhaus was born March 26, 1985 in Bloomington, Minnesota. He is the son of Richard and Mary Brinkhaus and played football at Bloomington Jefferson High School in Bloomington, Minnesota under the direction of former Gopher Jon Leverenz. In high school, Brinkhaus was named was all-city, all-county, all-conference, all-area twice and earned the all-state recognition. In 29 games, Brinkhaus registered 180 career tackles, including 102 solos, 42 tackles-for-loss and 16 sacks. He also forced five fumbles and had three fumble recoveries. Brinkhaus had 72 tackles his senior season and also had 18 tackle-for-losses and eight sacks. Tony Brinkhaus was a three year letter winner in football and in track at Bloomington Jefferson High School and lettered in basketball.
As a University of Minnesota scholar-athlete award winner, Tony Brinkhaus was a redshirted freshman in 2003 and began his freshman season in 2004. As a Golden Gopher Freshman, Brinkhaus appeared in 11 games and started in the game vs. Michigan State. Brinkhaus helped the Gophers average 438.3 yards of total offense, which ranked third-best in the Big Ten, 15th in the nation and was the second-highest average in school history. He was also a part of an offensive line that allowed just nine sacks in 12 games, the third-best mark in the Big Ten and the fewest at Minnesota since 1970. Tony Brinkhaus was a key component of a Gopher team that scored 47 touchdowns in 2004, the third most in school history and his blocks aided tailbacks Marion Barber III and Laurence Maroney in becoming the first players in NCAA history to each rush for 1,000 yards in consecutive seasons.
As a Gopher sophomore in 2005, Tony Brinkhaus started all 12 games at right tackle and joined Mike Nicholson, Steve Shidell and Matt Spaeth as the only Gophers to participate in at least 1,000 plays. He helped lead the Gophers to an average of 494.8 yards of total offense per game, which ranked seventh in the nation, was the highest average in school history, and ranked third all-time in Big Ten history for average yards per game in a season. Brinkhaus was part of the Gophers’ rushing offense which ranked third in the country and first in the Big Ten, averaging 273.1 yards per game, the second-highest average in school history and the seventh-highest average in Big Ten history. Brinkhaus was the key player in protecting the quarterback as the Gophers allowed only three sacks, the fewest allowed in the Big Ten in 2005. Brinkhaus participated in 1,015 plays and proved that the offensive line could open holes for any Gopher tailback as Minnesota became the first school in Big Ten history to have three different running backs earn Big Ten Player of the Week honors in the same season when Laurence Maroney, Gary Russell and Amir Pinnix all earned the honor.
As a Golden Gopher Junior, Tony Brinkhaus continued to be a key component on the Gopher offense. He made the switch from guard to center and was part of the only offense in the country to both run and pass for 2,000 yards in each of the past eight seasons and he helped the Gophers pass for 2,874 yards on the season, the second-highest total in school history and helped the offense score 50 touchdowns on the season, the third-most in school history. Brinkhaus participated in 760 plays and earned his third consecutive letter with the Gophers. He made 12 of 13 starts, missing only the Wisconsin Badgers game due to injury.
With new head coach Tim Brewster at the Gopher football helm, Tony Brinkhaus is looking forward to a successful 2007 season. If Brinkhaus can stay healthy he should be a key component as a senior on the Gopher football team. His brother Andy is a sophomore offensive lineman with the Gophers as well and with this pair of brothers on the line, the Gophers are in a great position to be a competitive team. Tony Brinkhaus was named a 2007 captain.
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