It is becoming quite apparent that the new UND football staff is going to do whatever it takes to upgrade their current roster. With the loss of 10+ players at Christmas break, along with a handful of rumored cuts/defections after spring ball, there wasn’t near the talent on the roster that is needed to win ball games at the FCS level. The coaches realized that and are doing something about it.
Added to the roster in the past week are two FBS transfers and a Juco transfer. Alex Tillman (CB-Houston), Jordan Hinojosa (DL-Minnesota), and Dylan Bakker (LB-West Hills JC) all have signed with UND. That brings the total number of transfers to nine, with 7 of them being junior college and 2 being FBS transfers. With that being said, we believe UND has two more spots they can fill in their “signing class” for fall camp. Expect a couple more. They can only sign 30 players total in an official signing class.
Alex Tillman (CB) – (University of Houston)
5′-10″ – 187. Senior. Houston, TX.
Tillman has spent the past four years at the University of Houston where he was mainly a backup cornerback and special teams player. Tillman played on most of the Cougars special teams and should fill that role for UND as well. He shows pretty good athleticism and speed, as you would expect from an FBS transfer. Tillman will provide depth at the cornerback position, which has been significantly upgraded this off-season with the additions of Charles Flowers, Dom Blackmon and Tillman.
Jordan Hinojosa (DL) – (University of Minnesota)
6’3″ – 272. Sophomore. Miami, FL.
Hinojosa originally signed with Minnesota out of high school but ended up at Coffeyville CC instead. After one year there he once again signed with the Gophers and redshirted this past season. Hinojosa will have three years of eligibility remaining.
Defensive line is one of UND’s biggest weaknesses and the addition of Hinojosa will provide a sorely needed boost of talent and ability. We don’t want to call him a sure-fire all-conference pick or anything but he does have the ability to be a good player based on his high school and limited college highlights. He was highly ranked out of high school down in Miami and we are assuming some of that expected talent will translate to the FCS level. Hinojosa will bring effort and a high-motor, which can always be used especially on a team that is rebuilding from scratch.
Dylan Bakker (OLB) – (West Hills CC) Hudl
6’2″ – 225. Junior. Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Bakker comes to UND from West Hills CC in Coalinga, CA. He is an interesting situation in that he came to the United States from Amsterdam to pursue his dream of playing college football. He certainly transitioned well to the U.S. game as his highlights and accolades are certainly impressive:
Bakker made 55 tackles and had three sacks as a freshman in 2012 at West Hills, then backed it up with a team-leading 68 tackles and three more sacks as a sophomore. He also added 14.5 tackles for loss, including six in one game against Gavilan when he finished with a career-high 15 total tackles. For his efforts, Bakker was named the team’s Defensive MVP and earned spots on the All-California Region 2 First Team and All-Golden Gate Conference First Team.
Bakker shows good speed for a linebacker and solid fundamentals, which isn’t always the case for junior college players. He visited Stony Brook immediately after his visit to UND and was offered a scholarship by the Seawolves.