Speaking with the media on Wednesday, Minnesota Golden Gophers offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca touched on a number of topics including redshirt sophomore quarterback Tanner Morgan’s play vs. Illinois, the plan for attacking Nebraska on Saturday, and sophomore wide receiver Rashod Bateman.

Making waves for referring to senior receiver Tyler Johnson as a “dude” in 2018, Ciarrocca had similar praise for Bateman.

“He’s really special, and he’s got an incredibly high ceiling,” said Ciarrocca. “When you see his skill set and then you combine that with his attitude; it’s only a matter of time before he is a dude. It’s not if, it’s just when with it. He’s a really, really good player, and really, really important to our offense. The growth that he has made in a year has really helped us a ton.”

Ciarrocca’s full comments can be found here:

A native of Tipton, Georgia, Bateman was a four-star in the 2018 class, per the 247Sports Composite. Posting 51 receptions for 704 yards as a freshman, he has caught 23 passes for 537 yards in five games this season.

For his part, Johnson registered 78 catches for 1,169 yards a year ago. Trying to keep pace with Bateman, he has 28 receptions for 350 yards on the year.

Improving to 5-0 with a 40-17 victory over Illinois (2-3) on October 5, the Gophers host Nebraska (4-2) on Saturday (7:30 PM ET, FS1).