The Sioux report to camp on Wednesday, August 3rd. The first two days will be logistical for the players with the first true practice coming on Friday, August 5th. UND’s first game is Thursday, September 1st at home vs. FCS opponent Drake University. More to come on Drake as camp progresses.
The Sioux recently added a defensive staff member. Benny Boyd has officially joined the staff as the cornerbacks coach. As has been documented, Boyd recently spent 4 weeks with the Pittsburgh Steelers defensive staff as an intern and had a chance to work with Dick Lebeau and his staff, which is one of the best staffs, if not the best, in the NFL. We don’t know specifics, but the knowledge he must have gained with them is invaluable. Boyd inherits a cornerback position that has been suspect of giving up the big play far too often the last couple of seasons. We expect to see a marked improvement with the corner play this season, especially considering the experience they have gained. The success of the defensive unit as a whole depends on it. It is also our understanding that Coach John Kelling will continue to work with the safety positions.
The much talked about Indoor Practice Facility seems to be gaining some steam in recent weeks. Apparently, there have been ongoing talks and negotiations with UND and Sanford Health about a large contribution to the project. There potentially could be naming rights involved in the deal and the number being thrown around is in the ballpark of 10 million dollars. This facility would be huge for UND if an announcement is imminent. It would catapult UND with some momentum into the 2012 recruiting season and beyond, as well as the start of Big Sky Conference play next season. This could also have a domino effect for other facility plans in the future. If anyone has seen the designs it will be a top-notch FBS-level facility, similar look to Nebraska or Michigan’s practice facility but with an indoor size track around it capable of holding meets.
As we tweeted earlier this week, it appears the UND/NDSU football game is going to be back on. We don’t know exactly what year but both teams have openings in 2014. We had heard 2013 but both teams schedules appear full for that season. It is our understanding that the game would be played every other year to begin with.
Two former Sioux will finally report to training camp now that the NFL lockout is over:
- TE/FB Jimmy Kleinsasser is entering his 13th season with the Minnesota Vikings and is in the last year of his 3 year – 9 million dollar deal he signed in 2009. For one player to last in the NFL for 13 years is remarkable – to do all of it with one team is downright amazing in this day and age. He sets the edge better than any TE in the league and that is the main reason why the Vikings keep bringing him back year after year. We did notice the Vikings have him listed at FB going into training camp. The drafting of 2nd round TE Kyle Rudolph may have led to the decision of playing Jimmy at both TE and FB to utilize his blocking skills. This could be the last season for Jimmy and hopefully with the addition of Donovan
McNabb the Vikings can make a little run and make his last year a good one.
- Starting RG Chris Kuper is entering his 6th season in the NFL, all with the Denver
Broncos. He is in his 2nd year of a 6 year – 28 million dollar contract. Kuper is slated to make 7 million dollars in 2011. He has been through two coaching changes at Denver and has survived them all. He is a very athletic, slightly undersized offensive lineman who can obviously adapt to different offensive blocking schemes.
As we tweeted previously, DL Ty Boyle has signed a undrafted free agent contract with the
Pittsburgh Steelers. Boyle fits the Steelers profile for their 3-4 defensive linemen – overachieving, smart, good motor. Hopefully he finds a fit with the team.
The Sioux have 3 players currently active on rosters in the CFL:
WR Weston Dressler (Saskatchewan), CB Donovan Alexander (Edmonton), and LB Curtis Dublanko (Montreal).
There is a new taunting rule in college football. A “live ball penalty” will be thrown during the act of any excessive celebration. This means that the penalty will negate any additional yardage that was achieved after the initial celebration took place. It will also negate a touchdown if that was the end result of that particular play. Personally, we thought they took care of any excessive celebration years ago and don’t feel this is even needed. However, there will be some teams that are going to have to change their mentality during big plays due to that fact they like to hold up their finger to show who is #1 or point to the crowd anytime they perform anything even close to a big play. This new rule could very easily change the outcomes of games.