With spring football in the rearview mirror, the UND Football coaching staff now turns their attention to the never-ending world of recruiting high school student-athletes for the class of 2011. According to the NCAA recruiting calendar, schools are allowed "Four weeks (excluding Memorial Day and Sundays) selected at the discretion of the member institution and designated in writing in the office of the director of athletics" of official spring recruiting from April 15th to May 31st where both academic and athletic evaluations can be done. The UND staff hit the road for their first week of recruiting on Monday. I would guess that they will first address their "backyard" states of North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, while also dipping into Colorado, Nebraska and Missouri. All were states recruited last year. They will recruit for 2 weeks and then return for a week off to conduct their spring youth football camp for middle school kids. When they resume recruiting, they will probably attack the more distant states of California, Arizona, Texas and Florida until the end of May. Once the spring recruiting cycle is over, the staff will evaluate the game film they have gathered and compile a recruiting depth chart. Scholarship offers usually follow shortly thereafter to their top "blue-chip" recruits.
The staff has been more active this spring and has extended approximately 10 scholarship offers so far. At this time last year, no offers had been made. This apparently signals a change in recruiting philosophy by Coach Mussman when compared to the last couple years. The scholarship offer with the most local flavor and interest is Fargo Shanley OL Connor McGovern. If he’s not the top recruit in North Dakota, he’s top 3 for sure. The 6-4 270 pounder was a 1st team all-state selection last year and has been starting since his freshman year. It will be an uphill battle to get the Fargo product, who also has an offer from NDSU. Shanley’s head coach is Cavalier, ND native Steve Laqua, who is a former bison player and coach.
It’s also the time of year where the staff has to decide if they need some immediate JUCO help and depth at any positions. It would seem as though defensive line depth is the most glaring need at this point. After the first group on the depth chart, there is a lot of unproven youth in that area. One name being thrown around on different sites is Vernell Price, a 6-2 305 pound DT from San Diego Mesa College, who would be a great fit at nose guard in the UND 3-4 defense, based on his size. I believe they are also looking at a couple other JUCO defensive ends to help with overall depth as well. Keep in mind that Broc Bellmore and Ty Boyle moved around quite a bit last season and played some defensive end as well as nose guard. My guess is that they would like to keep Bellmore at nose guard as much as possible with fellow nose guard Devin Benjamin. Boyle has the versatility to play both. We will keep you updated on the JUCO news.