We’ve seen a bigger emphasis on an improved running game over the last couple practices. It appears that UND is trying to really work on getting it on track. They have been running out of a number of different schemes/formations. We said previously that it was at the top of the list for us as something to watch for.
We love the left side of the offensive line right now. Tackle Joe Kleason and guard Brandon Anderson are doing a nice job in all phases. Center Shea Walker also seems to have adjusted well to his new role. Walker has the tools to be a good one. Left tackle Darren Deneui has also played well and obviously has that spot locked up. The right guard position is one that seems up for grabs as Sean Meehan and Jake Hoerchner are really battling to see who will get the start vs. Valpo.
Running behind the O-line has been a stable of RB’s that includes Jake Miller, Jer Garman, PJ Sparks and Adam Shaugabay. All 4 bring different elements to the running game with their unique running styles. True freshman Patrick Sharp has also taken some reps and physically looks like a mature college player. He still needs to add weight, but if injury becomes a concern at this position Sharp could be called on. Still too early to say who will be starting or getting the lion’s share of the carries.
The QB situation is about as close to a dead-heat as it gets. Both Joe Mollberg and Ryan Bartels have been having their moments, according to all reports and what we’ve seen and heard. Mollberg appears to be the better overall athlete and long-ball thrower while Bartels is the steady, pocket passer who likes the short to intermediate stuff and throw’s them well. Going to be a tough decision for 1st year OC Luke Schleusner. It would be nice if one of the freshman QBs started to pull away from the other to make it easy for picking a starter going into week one prep against Valpo. So far, that hasn’t happened as far as we can tell.
We have not seen much of WR R.J. McGill yet in fall camp. He is trying to come back from a knee injury but he has not been back 100% as of yet. Something to keep an eye on. The senior from Arizona did play as a true freshman so he could use a redshirt this season if needed. Might not be the worst thing moving forward if he’s not 100%.
McGill’s fellow AZ-WR freshman Aeron Carr has really impressed in fall camp. The highly recruited Carr was a speedster and big play dynamo in high school and not much has changed in college. Because UND is so deep at receiver we still see Carr redshirting and putting on some size in the weightroom this fall/winter.
At 6’6″-285, freshman AJ Stockwell could physically play right now. He is currently lining up at TE but would be an outstanding tackle someday with some added weight. We think he will redshirt but he could easily play as a blocking TE right now, if needed. With Zach Adler (who also looks great this fall camp), Luke Mathewson, and Tucker Nordby, Stockwell should not be needed unless there is an injury. However, if he just wows the staff enough, he is a candidate to has his shirt pulled.
Junior Dwayne Pecosky finally found a home. The newly converted fullback (from OG and DT) from Mullen HS in Denver has really thrived in his new position and should help the run game immensely. He has nice athleticism and a definite mean streak.
****We plan on holding our first Fall Q&A session sometime early next week – probably Tuesday at 12pm – a little nooner chat action. We will update once we get it hammered down.