Post-Spring ‘Stock Watch’

Just weighing in on what we saw and heard throughout spring ball practices and after the spring game.  We feel these guys saw their stock rise from the start to finish:  DISCLAIMER – We are only addressing guys that were off the radar or had a lot to prove and did so. Upperclassmen who were obvious #1’s coming in were not addressed in the following:

Offense – ‘Stock Up’

  • The QB position – junior Joey Bradley and senior Braden Hanson both have this offense going in the right direction.  This competition in fall camp will be healthy for the team overall.  While we expect Hanson to come out as the #1 guy, we won’t be surprised if Bradley challenges him all the way and could possibly be the starter for week 1.  Bradley has proved to be a very important player moving forward this spring, regardless if he starts or not.  We think his signing out of junior college has been more than justified.  He has made major progress in one year.
  • Shea Walker – the more experience this kid gets, the more we notice him.  The sophomore from Cretin-Derham Hall provides the offensive line with flexibility at both guard spots and could even possibly play some center if needed.  He’s always had the physical ability; now the mental side is coming around.
  • True freshman ‘hogs’ – Brandon Anderson, Ross Windfeldt, Sean Meehan and Jace Hellman all received valuable reps this spring and performed admirably overall against a very talented, athletic and experienced defensive line and outside linebacker crew.  They will be hard-pressed to find tougher competition up-front in the Big Sky.  All 4 will be in the mix on the ‘2-deep’ up front next year and will be big players in the future for the UND O-line.
  • Wide Receiver – already well-documented and discussed, this crew is probably the strength of the UND offense for talent and depth.  With a top 5 of Greg Hardin, RJ McGill, Blair Townsend, Tyrhe Ivery and Jameer Jackson, we all saw the kind of matchup problems they can and will cause next year for opposing defenses.  Jackson got a lot of press this spring but will still be #5 entering fall camp and has a lot of work to do mentally to become a more complete receiver.  He also needs to become a more polished route runner and still needs to get faster.   Townsend showed he is a lock to be in the top 4 rotation come fall.
  • Zach Adler – the freshman tight end from Nebraska had a solid spring and showed his athleticism and versatility.  Still has a ways to go but will be a contributor in the near future.

Defense – ‘Stock Up’

  • Kyle Woodsmall – the freshman defensive end from Missouri, although a bit undersized at 6’4″-235, showed the ability to handle the rigors of playing defensive end in a 3-4 scheme and has good athletic ability.  Another summer in the weight room to put on some pounds will definitely benefit him.  If he can get his playing weight up to 250, he could be a force.  He has the frame to easily do it and should be in the mix for backup duty playing time during his redshirt freshman season.
  • Seth Stanchik – the junior from Hudson, WI is finally healed up from a nasty broken leg suffered in 2010.   He showed the ability to play the defensive end position soundly and should log a fair amount of reps for the Sioux in 2012.
  • Linebackers Ben Peters and Will Ratelle had good springs and will be in the mix for starting/backup duties at the ILB positions.   We see Peters having a real shot at starting with Ratelle being a #2 or #3 while playing on most special teams.
  • Cornerback Rumeal Harris from Eden Prairie really stuck out this spring and was a pleasant surprise.   He maybe could push for the starting corner spot opposite Daryl Brown.   If he is successful UND could be starting an all-metro corner tandem with Brown being from Wayzata.   Regardless, he should be a backup at either corner and play on special teams.

Another amazing storyline is that the team virtually came out of spring practices without one major injury – a miracle to say the least.  However, we expect to learn of some defections/departures soon, as is the case every year following spring ball shakeout/depth chart changes.  We’ll keep you updated.

14 Responses

  1. MoSiouxFan

    Within the last month, Coach Mussman expressed at least some doubt about the ability of Kleason and Lynch to recover from their injuries and play next season. What’s your current take on their situations? Maybe Muss was being overly cautious?

    1. We have not heard anything else stating that Kleason and Lynch would not be ready to go come fall. We fully expect them to be at camp. Something to look for throughout the summer, though!

  2. Rob

    Rumor has it that there will be a “Through These Doors” type thing for football this year! Hope this is true, do you guys know anything about it? Also any new info on jerseys?

    1. We have heard that same thing. The UND Marketing and Media teams are second to none at the FCS level in providing interviews and video of practices and game highlights. We are not surprised they are going to expand what they started with hockey to include football.

      Our only request (for now) when it comes to media production is to come up with a permanent entrance theme song and production for gameday. Find a good song that everyone knows. Something that everyone will know is coming and will want to be in there seats for. Pick a song that is popular, just like Iowa and Virginia Tech have done with “Back in Black” and “Enter Sandman”. Those guys in hyslop have shown excellent creativity and we hope they do it the entrance music also.

      No news on the jerseys from our end. That is going to be hard to come by anyway since only the equipment manager and head coach usually know.

      1. Tom

        The tunnel walk isn’t exclusive to NDSU. Other schools do a similar type of entrance. It would be nice if we had some form of an entrance from the locker room area.

    2. I’m told black alternates are imminent for this season. At one point or another, Under Armor was maybe in the mix. However, I would think they would have to be Nike in order to match the current green and white uniforms. Unless UND was going to completely buy UA for everything (3 sets) they have to go Nike for the black alternates.

  3. FSSD

    No updates at Safety – I hope the Bulter is able to play this fall any updates on the current players or if Bulter will be available this fall.

    1. He may be able to play but realistically won’t be much help. He has not practiced one time since setting foot on campus and will not know the defense at all. He would be a huge help in a year or two though.

      We fully expect them to be looking towards the juco route for safety help.

    2. They absolutely need to look at JUCO safety help. If they can find someone that will help them immediately and challenge for a starting spot, then they should start looking for one now if they haven’t started already. In all fairness to the safeties on the current roster, nobody took the other starting safety job and ran with it.

      Lets be honest – Butler is a total wild card. Even if he’s eligible to play, he will still have a long learning curve ahead of him in order to get the defense down. Probably best to not expect him to be in the mix and if he is, we can chalk it up as a unexpected pleasant surprise. In the short time he was practicing this fall, it was as a scout team member. He also took zero reps in spring ball. So he has a LONG ways to go with our defense even if he is eligible. I would be happy if he could just contribute on special teams this fall and maybe play a little at safety towards the end of the year when he’s more comfortable with the defense and making checks.

  4. William Hunder

    I think you underestimate another receiver who was a bit dinged up this spring. I would also keep an eye on Casey Young to compete to be in the mix. Feedback is that he is very intelligent but needs more reps.

  5. Rob

    WE WANT MORE! Haha just kidding. I am guessing this is the last write-up you guys will have until August unless some big news happens.

    1. We are going to try and post weekly or bi-weekly during the summer months. Topics such as turf, jerseys, conference affiliation, IPF, Locker Room Updates, scheduling, coaching staff additions will all be stuff to follow this summer.

      You can follow us on Twitter also, we have been doing most of our communicating through that lately.

      Thanks for following, we will try and get going again with posts soon!

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