What has been lost in the playoff frenzy at the end of November/beginning of December was the fact that UND is right in the middle of recruiting season. From now until signing day on February 1st, 2017, the staff will be out on the road trying to fill out what has been a very good class, thus far. We expect this class to be around 20-22 kids by the time it’s all said and done.
UND will be holding their first official recruiting weekend for high school players on January 13-14th. Typically, UND holds two weekends before Christmas break but the playoff game vs. Richmond kicked everything back. Nice problem to have.
We would be surprised if UND isn’t hosting any junior college players this coming weekend (Dec. 17-18th). The Junior College signing period is officially open now for any Juco player who has graduated in December or was a qualifier out of high school. The advantage to getting kids signed at Christmas break is they start school in January and get a full winter/spring/summer of weights & spring ball in before fall camp. The major needs would be QB, CB, and S.
Commit WR Cameron McKinney has signed with UND and will be enrolled for spring semester.
Transfer RB James Johannesson from the University of Minnesota has already signed with UND, as well.
Enrolling for spring obviously gives those two a huge head start when it comes to potentially playing next fall.
Current Class of 2017 Commits (14)
Noah Larson – ILB (Baraboo, WI)
This Baraboo standout played multiple positions in high school on both sides of the ball and did well at every spot. He appears to be deceptively fast and is considered a strider, although his top end speed seems to be pretty good. Always around the ball and his biggest asset is his ability to accelerate and EXPLODE through the ball carrier when tackling. Once he gets his hands on you, you’re not going far. Projects as inside linebacker.
Brock Boltmann – QB (Edina, MN)
Boltmann’s senior film shows the maturation and progression you want to see from his junior film in terms of arm strength, athleticism and decision-making. Love seeing his high-arching “3-ball” throws on deep routes. Boltmann should be a contender for the 2-deep in the fall of 2018 after a year of redshirting.
Cameron McKinney – WR (Seattle, WA)
McKinney arrives on campus next month and will begin working out with the team this winter and be eligible for spring practice, which is huge for his development going into the fall. All indications are that the speedster will be in the mix and rotation next August, and will hopefully be someone to stretch out and take the top off of defenses. He just needs to go earn it. Also, a punt and kick returner candidate.
Connor Kruse – OL (Waconia, MN)
Kruse is a big, physical Luke Knauf style offensive lineman. We project Kruse will play guard for UND but being all offensive lineman need to know two positions he could also be a tackle. Shows good push up front and stays on his blocks well. Kruse will be a nice fit in UND’s run-first type of offense.
Leif Bungum – OLB (Dodge Center, MN)
Bungum falls under the “athlete” category. OLB will be a perfect position for him as he can move well in space but has the frame to get up to 220 or so and hold up in the run game. Bungum will also be huge on special teams with his size and speed. These are the body types that UND is trying to stock up on.
Graham Devore – TE (Mahtomedi, MN)
While all of Devore’s awards and accolades came from rushing the passer on the defensive side of the ball, he projects as a tight end at UND in Paul Rudolph’s offense. If tight end doesn’t work out, defensive end looks be a fantastic backup plan for him. Love kids with multiple position potential and Devore has that.
Bryden Swenson – OLB (KCC, MN)
Jalen Morrison – NG (Woodbury, MN)
Many of Morrison’s highlights come from the offensive side of the ball, which is impressive given his size, but he projects as a zero technique 2-gapping noseguard in UND’s 3-4 defense. The 6′-3″- 250 pounder will have a chance to compete early in his career after a year in the weight room. Has a Mark Callahan prototype body with his big lower body (no, we’re not saying he’s the next Callahan).
Quintin Seguin – DE (Windsor, ON)
Sequin is also expected to be on campus and enrolled in January for winter workouts and spring ball. Has a good looking body already but still needs to add more weight to play DE. Shows great strength and is really good at the point of attack with his hands. Would like to see him be more relentless and improve his motor. Ceiling is VERY high.
Ezekiel Ott – DE (Caledonia, MN)
Zeke Ott is the type of player that you watch on film and think “3-year starter”. He’s very athletic in his stance and has a good burst on the snap off the edge. He will no doubt need to work on his hands and technique and put on 30 pounds or, but he should be in the rotation in 2018 after redshirting.
Brady Leach – K (Moorhead, MN)
The leg strength is obvious when watching Leach’s highlights. 29 touchbacks will attest to that. With Reid Taubenheim being a senior this year the timing is perfect to bring in Leach and redshirt him, meaning he has four years remaining to play.
Mikey Griebel – WR (Littleton, CO)
Griebel is the ‘slash’ guy you love to have at your disposal in your offensive toolbox. He put up video game-like numbers and production at Columbine High School in Denver over 4 years of playing varsity football. We see him in a Weston Dressler type role (no we’re not saying he’s the next Dressler). This swiss army knife can play inside slot WR, RB, punt returner and kick returner. Classic “jet sweep” guy. In our opinion, he is a darkhorse candidate to have his redshirt pulled next fall, specifically for the return game on special teams. A highly contested recruit.
Jack Pifer – WR (Fargo, ND)
Pifer played QB in high school at Fargo South and was a dual-threat, but the 6-4 athlete will arrive at UND as a preferred walk-on at the wide receiver spot for Bubba Schweigert. Probably considered a project for a couple years until he can develop physically and get a feel for the WR position.
Tyler Shannon – S (Arvada, CO)
Shannon was an offensive weapon from the backfield and at wide receiver at Ralston Valley High School, but projects to play defensive back at UND. At 6-2 185 pounds, he is a prototype-sized safety prospect in the back row. Very good speed and agility, should translate well to the safety position. While he probably redshirts next season, he could be in the rotation early in his career given the current depth chart at the position.