Gophers linebacker Cody Lindenberg stepping into leadership role

Also, new assistant coach Nick Monroe goes by ‘Swag Daddy’

Minnesota linebacker Cody Lindenberg pursues Nebraska quarterback Chubba Purdy during a college football game Nov. 5, 2022, in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Minnesota linebacker Cody Lindenberg pursues Nebraska quarterback Chubba Purdy during a college football game Nov. 5, 2022, in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Kelly Hagenson / University of Minnesota Athletics via St. Paul Pioneer Press

Leading up to the Pinstripe Bowl last December, Gophers senior linebacker Mariano Sori-Marin handed the leadership reins to Cody Lindenberg.

“I’m done talking to the group; this is your practice during bowl prep.”

That’s how Gophers defensive coordinator/linebackers coach Joe Rossi recalled Sori-Marin’s words to Lindenberg on Tuesday.

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Lindenberg, a third-year player from Anoka, took that dry run and has built on it in spring practices, now that Sori-Marin has exhausted his collegiate eligibility and is preparing for the NFL draft.

“Cody got a little practice with his big brother looking over his shoulder and he has picked up and done a really good job,” Rossi said. “By nature, he wants to lead. He wants to set the example. He’s a guy who does things the right way. He’s doing a really nice job with it. He’s really found his voice.”


Lindenberg’s 71 total tackles were second to Sori-Marin’s team-leading 88 last season.

“(Sori-Marin) pretty much told me — his job wasn’t done, we still had a game to finish and a game to win — but he told me it was going to be my room next year and I’ve got to take responsibility,” Lindenberg said. “It’s just so amazing to have a guy like Mariano my full three years here while he was here, to take bits and pieces of what he’s done not only for me but for the program.”

Safety Tyler Nubin, cornerback Justin Walley and defensive linemen Danny Striggow and Kyler Baugh also are leading their respective defensive position groups this spring.

Nick’s nickname

New Gophers cornerbacks coach Nick Monroe goes by the nickname “Swag Daddy.” It was given to the Mahtomedi native by a high school coach in South Florida around 2010.

Monroe recalled Thursday that coach building up to it during a recruiting visit, saying, “This coach right here, he’s got the juice, he’s got the swag. He brings it every single day.” On the next visit, the coach christened him “Swag Daddy.”

“I was like, ‘OK,’ ” Monroe said. “Kind of like somebody would say ‘boss man.’ ”

It spread in Florida and has followed Monroe from his previous job at Syracuse, including into the halls of the Gophers' Larson Football Performance Center. Well, except with Rossi.

“I do not call him ‘Swag Daddy,’ ” Rossi said Tuesday. “I called him ‘Swag Daddy’ and he called me ‘The Grinch.’ So I just kind of ended it there.”


Monroe and Rossi’s coaching careers first overlapped in 2002 and was maintained last summer when Syracuse and Minnesota were both working on preparations to play Purdue last season. Monroe replaced Paul Haynes, who took the same job at Wisconsin.

Newfangled title

New defensive line coach Winston DeLattiboudere has vast experience at Minnesota, from 51 career games played from 2016-19 to earning undergraduate and master’s degrees.

That has led to head coach P.J. Fleck awarding DeLattiboudere the additional role as newcomer coordinator to help freshmen and transfers acclimate to college and the football program’s culture. That role included helping players find a barber this week.

“It’s consistently building them up,” DeLattiboudere said. “I think that is a portion that people forget about. It’s that 6 a.m. text, ‘Hey, man, you are going to have an elite day. Let’s make sure we are in class on time.’ ”


The Gophers named Jeremiah Carter to the new position of Senior Associate AD for NIL/Policy and Risk Management. The former director of compliance at Minnesota will help manage name, image and likeness (NIL) management for Gophers athletes. … Elk River receiver Cade Osterman, who won Mr. Football in 2022, committed to the Gophers as a preferred walk-on this week. He flipped from Iowa State. His father, Aaron Osterman, had 111 receptions for 1,598 yards and seven touchdowns for the Gophers from 1992-94.


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