UND FOOTBALL: Senior receiver McGill back from 2013 knee injury
Last season, UND receiver R.J. McGill hoped he would be recovered from a knee injury that sidelined him during the 2012 season.
The senior, however, never made it back.
Instead, his season was spent rehabbing his knee.
However, he was running routes at Memorial Stadium on Monday with the thought of that 2012 injury in the rear-view mirror.
“My health is great,” said McGill. “I feel real good. My knee is good. Now, I’m not even thinking about it.”
McGill’s health will be a concern for UND, considering North Dakota will lack experience at wide receiver when the season opens Aug. 28 at San Jose State.
All-American Greg Hardin graduated and two other regulars — Kenny Golladay and Jameer Jackson — transferred out of the program.
McGill returns the most experience at wide out, even though it’s been roughly a year-and-a-half since he’s played.
Against Cal Poly in 2012, McGill tore his ACL and also had a light tear of his meniscus.
“My meniscus didn’t grow back like they expected it would so that’s why I missed the whole year,” he said. “The rest helped me.”
McGill, who played as a true freshman, had 22 catches for 275 yards through five games of his junior season. The top returning receiver from last season is Romon Bridges, who had nine catches for 56 yards.
To bolster depth at wide receiver, UND moved Tyrhe Irvery from the secondary back to wide out, where he started his career. Other receivers participating in spring drills include redshirt freshman Aeron Carr, junior Pat Brown, redshirt freshman Zack Selland and junior Casey Young.
UND’s receiving corps didn’t have a sharp practice Saturday. Monday’s practice at Memorial Stadium improved.
“We got better one-on-one from the previous practice,” said UND coach Bubba Schweigert. “We want to get open and catch the ball but sometimes, when you’re learning something new, you worry about getting open and forget the basics. You still have to catch the ball.”
McGill possesses UND’s most experience and the wide out has made big plays during his career.
“He’s got some quickness and explosiveness,” said Schweigert said. “But he’s learning a new offense.”
And that’s true for everyone in UND’s spring camp.
“Adding a new offense, defense and special teams, you’ll have your ups and downs,” said McGill. “We’re doing a lot of thinking right now. As we start slowing down with what they’re putting in, we’ll be able to just play.
“Things are changing. But I think it’s a good change. Everyone is looking at it in a positive way.”