It’s been quiet around the UND Football world as of late but as we get closer to spring ball, things should start to heat up. Here’s what we have for our random thoughts on the program as of late:
- The program recently held their winter testing, which comes after the winter workouts to gauge how much a player improved over the course of those workouts. There were a handful of “speed guys” who didn’t run due to minor injuries, one of which was freshman transfer JJ Robertson, who didn’t run because of a tweaked hamstring. It was tweeted by strength coach Nate Baukol that the Top 6 times in the 40 yard dash were turned in by WR Greg Hardin, WR Kenny Golladay, RB Adam Shaugabay, S Baylee Carr, RB Jake Miller, and OLB Cordero Finley, in that order. We don’t have any official times yet, but we know UND uses electronic timing for their 40’s, which is the most accurate timing method, similar to what the NFL Scouting Combine. Electronic times are much more official and typically 2 tenths (.20) slower than hand-held times.
- Hardin being on top is not a surprise at all but the one we are shocked by is Kenny Golladay, who turned in the 2nd fastest time on the team. Golladay is all of 6’4″-195 and has always been very athletic but didn’t appear to be a burner during his true freshman season. His natural and most obvious strengths have always been his size and length. He’s showed decent top-end speed but not ‘Top 5-on-the-team’ type of speed. This tells us his body is responding very favorably to the intense workouts that go on at the collegiate level. He already has arguably the best hands on the team. Now you throw in legit speed to go along with it? Golladay hasn’t even finished a full year of college yet. This has the makings of something special, UND fans. It looks as though Head Strength Coach Nate Baukol’s program is working wonders for many of the players, especially Golladay.
- Special Teams Coordinator, Recruiting Coordinator and Linebackers Coach Josh Kotelnicki was recently promoted to Defensive Coordinator by Head Coach Chris Mussman. This is a deserved promotion for Kotelnicki, who has been in the UND defensive system as a player and a number of different roles as an assistant coach for many years. He takes over the position from the recently departed Mike Mannausau, who took the Assistant Athletics Director/UND Champions Club Director position last month.
- Because of his elevated role, it’s safe to say that Kotelnicki will no longer be able to be the Special Teams Coordinator and Recruiting Coordinator as well. This means there will be some shuffling of staff responsibilities. An obvious candidate to replace either of those positions is Wide Receivers Coach Luke Schleusner, who has experience in both capacities in previous coaching stints. We think Schleusner would be the perfect fit for either position. In our eyes, Running Backs Coach Danny Freund and Defensive Backs Coach Benny Boyd are other in-house candidates to fill one of the positions as well. A lot of this will play out once the last hire is made, which is presumably the defensive line position.
- Spring practices are on the horizon with the culmination of it all being the Spring Game on April 20th. The QB position and the defense will be in the spotlight for 2013. As always, we expect the spring game and tailgating to be a big event that will be marketed and promoted fairly hard by the UND Athletic Department. It seems like it grows and gets bigger every year.
- UND made its first wave of offers to the Class of 2014 within the last couple of weeks. It looks as though over 30 scholarship offers have been made so far. Early offer recruiting is an even more inexact science than normal recruiting as many of the early offerees will receive FBS scholarship offers and not be a factor in the long run. Also, many of the early offerees fall down the recruiting depth chart and ultimately get dropped as more and better players come along.
- It was tweeted by Coach Mussman that the locker room remodel is nearing completion. The new lockers are being installed in the middle of March, presumably in time for the beginning of spring ball.
- If we were betting men, we’d say the odds are 75/25 that shovels will be in the ground for the IPF by May of this spring. Then all of us can finally take a collective sigh of relief that the acronym “IPF” will become a reality, rather than the big elephant in the room that everyone wonders about. It is indeed a “game changer” and will bring UND Athletics to the forefront for facilities at the FCS level across the country.