Brent Yarina, Senior Editor, December 21, 2015

Peter Mortell is so much more than one of the best punters in the Big Ten.

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Known also for his mastery of social media, the Minnesota senior does plenty off the field to draw headlines. That includes charity work.

A season ago, Mortell used his $452 Best Buy gift card from the Citrus Bowl to purchase items and donate them to needy kids at St. Joseph's Home for Children in Minneapolis.

That's nothing compared to what he's doing this season.

According to, Mortell started a crowd funding effort to raise $10,000 to buy gifts for teenage patients at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital. After 12 hours, contributions exceeded $10,000, and he set a new goal of $25,000. Mortell is also looking for a $25,000 match from a corporation.

"It says a lot about this community, and I'm proud to be a part of it," Mortell told Saturday after practice for the Gophers' appearance in the Quick Lane Bowl against Central Michigan in Detroit on Dec. 28.

The Quick Lane Bowl's swag bag includes a $200 gift card, and, of course, Mortell will be giving it away. Even cooler: Mortell hopes to get teammates involved in the kind act, too.

"I'm going to talk to the team at some point once we get the gift cards," Mortell told "I'm sure a bunch of the guys are going to jump on board with this, and we will do something special."