Well, after yesterday’s marathon and orgy of information, it’s time to start wading through it all and analyzing the class in order to give our very amateur thoughts on all of it. Take it for what it’s worth given the fact that these kids haven’t even stepped on campus yet. We will follow up with some sort of grade for each position. Again, very arbitrary. Don’t take it too seriously.
These are our Top Five “Gets” in the Class of 2013:
1. WR Aeron Carr (AZ) – will definitely redshirt because of the strength and depth of the WR position, but wow does he have talent. Probably the highest-profile recruit in this class. Competition was high on this kid – 24′ long jumper.
2. S Cole Reyes (IL) – we are in awe of his football savvy instincts that he shows against the passing game. Probably the best UND recruit at safety we have watched on film in the last 3-4 years. Can’t believe more MAC schools weren’t on him-had multiple FCS offers.
3. OL AJ Stockwell (MN) – a massive kid who played out of his natural position in high school because of his athleticism, Stockwell could probably play TE or Tackle on offense in college. We see him as a Tackle. Competition was high on him and a preferred walk-on with the Gophers was turned down to come to Grand Forks.
4. LB Kyle Norberg (IL) – He’s a sideline to sideline ILB who will be perfect alongside Brian Labat in the future. Iowa offered a preferred walk-on and strung him along until the deadline for a scholarship offer that never materialized. Being named 2nd Team All-State in Illinois by the Chicago Tribune for all classes is a huge honor.
5. DT Garett Cary (WI) – A massive defensive tackle who is also a standout wrestler. Had a Northern Illinois preferred walk-on offer late but chose to come to UND. Is a candidate to play next fall at another big position of need.
The ‘Kenny Golladay Vastly Underrated and Under-Recruited Award’ goes to….
Last year, we told you Kenny Golladay was the steal and diamond in the rough of the class. We have 2 this year, both from the Land of Lincoln again.
Kyle Norberg is an absolute stud with legitimate 4.6 speed for an ILB. Iowa was on him until the end but his only FCS offers were from UND and USD. It is a strange one but we aren’t arguing. While most of his honors and accolades in high school were at the fullback position in the triple option, we feel he projects very well and will bring a whole new look to the ILB position.
Marcus Cheatom had absolutely nothing going on besides UND for recruiting – exactly like Kenny Golladay last year. How? - we do not know. He is a perfect fit for the 3-4 at noseguard and if he were an inch or 2 taller he would be playing in the Big Ten. Part of Cheatom’s problem is that his film was very rare, if any, on the Internet. We have heard that he can dunk a basketball. Simply amazing athleticism if true, given his size.
The Sleeper players that may make some noise before they are done are:
1. RB Patrick Sharp – He has 10.9-11.00 flat speed in the 100 and a strong frame to go with it.
2. ATH Jake Disterhaupt - He is an all-around good athlete and even better kid. He will find the field wherever he ends up playing. Flat-out winner.
3. NG Marcus Cheatom – This kid was off everybody’s radar due to an injury during senior season. His tape shows explosive burst off the line and unbelievable footwork. He and Mike Edwards will make quite the combo on the interior line during short yardage and goalline situations.
Top candidates to have their redshirts pulled:
1. Mitch Meindel – This is a no-brainer. UND has graduated their punter from last season (Brett Cameron) and we expect Meindel to step right in and take over. He showed a very strong leg on his Kohl’s Kicking Camp video’s and should do well next season.
2. Cole Reyes – We believe at least one safety in this class will play this fall. Reyes’ natural playmaking and ball skills are already top-notch at a dire position of need. He also has great instincts and high football IQ. All traits of someone who could play early. His top-end speed is our only concern, but we feel he is a’ 4.6ish’ guy right now. A free safety center-fielder.
3. Cam Kuksa – Another safety who would rather kill a WR over the middle than play the ball and go for the interception. Still has the athleticism and speed to do other things. Probably will need to be coached up more on football IQ than Reyes, but has the natural ability to be a difference-maker early in his career. We see him as a downhill strong safety who will be in ‘the box’ a lot for run support.
4. Kyle Norberg – You may have heard this name before? Already talked about him above ad nauseum. Another position of need this year that just got much better.
The Ones That Got Away (officially visited UND and were offered):
OLB Dexter Bell (Navy)
DE Ryan Stendler (Northern Illinois)
OLB Jameer Thurman (Indiana St.)
LB Michael Redmond (?)
TE Noah Scarver (Montana)
LB Chris Weber (Nebraska-walkon)
CB Armond Hawkins (Idaho)
LB Mikias Alipate (SDSU)
K Jake Eliot (Memphis)
Regarding the bizarre situation at DeLaSalle High School with Oscar Opara signing at UND, per the Minneapolis Star Tribune; everything we have heard and read on Opara since the start of the recruiting season pointed towards him not coming to UND to play football. Our most recent info on it still reinforces those opinions. We do not believe that Oscar Opara ends up at UND this fall. It’s too bad, because he looks like a terrific player on film at a position that UND needs more of – cornerback.