The Herald's takeaways from UND football Week 1
The UND football program released a full depth chart on Monday for the first time this fall.
I'll list off the depth chart, then get into some thoughts about the Week 1 two-deep.
LT -- Noah Mortel, Sean Russo
LG -- Ryan Tobin, Kyle Hergel
C -- Patric Rooney, Adam Stiner
RG -- Grant Aplin, Sean Russo
RT -- Bennett Helgren, Sean Russo
X Receiver -- Noah Wanzek, Brad Heidlebaugh
Fullback -- Graham DeVore, Brett Finke
Quarterback -- Nate Ketteringham, Andrew Zimmerman
Tight end -- Luke Fiedler, Alex Cloyd
B Receiver -- Garett Maag, Cam McKinney
Z Receiver -- Travis Toivonen, Izzy Adeoti
Tailback -- John Santiago, Brady Oliveira
OLB -- Tanner Palmborg, Austin Gordon
LE -- Austin Cieslak, Zeke Ott
NG -- Tank Harris, Steve Greer/Jalen Morrison
RE -- Mason Bennett, Carl Engwall
OLB -- Jaxson Turner, Jade Lawrence
ILB -- Donnell Rodgers, Ev Williams
ILB -- Noah Larson, Tryon Vrede
LCB -- Evan Holm, Hayden Blubaugh
S -- Tykeise Johnson, Lenny Nelson
S -- Jordan Canady, Ty Shannon
RCB -- Deion Harris, Jacob Odom
The first name that jumps off the page here is Tykeise Johnson starting at safety. Johnson is a junior college transfer and didn't play in 2017. The move partially makes sense because backup Lenny Nelson has missed a lot of fall camp with a shoulder injury. Nelson has worked back in the mix the past few practices but this might indicate he's not 100 percent yet. I expect Nelson to be the starter when he's 100 percent healthy.
Johnson must have had a nice offseason because the junior college transfer wasn't on the radar a year ago when UND was decimated with injuries on the back end. Late in the year, UND started freshmen Jordan Canady and Ty Shannon at safety. Johnson's starting position is also somewhat surprising to me because he's surpassed junior college transfer Hayden Galvin, who came to UND in the spring and seemed to be a strong two-deep candidate.
The two-deep includes three true freshmen. Garett Maag of West St. Paul is starting at wide receiver, which will give UND an interesting starting trio along with upperclassmen Travis Toivonen and Noah Wanzek. All three are 6-foot-4 and between 205 and 220 pounds. UND would benefit from one of the speedy, slot-type wide receivers emerging but that hasn't materialized yet. We're still waiting to see a breakthrough from Izzy Adeoti, Cam McKinney or Mikey Greibel. For the second year in a row, Greibel missed most of fall camp with an injury. He's had a cast on his arm for every practice.
The lone defensive true freshman on the two-deep is Jacob Odom at cornerback, backing up Deion Harris. Tyus Carter, who has started quite a few games in his career at corner, has been sidelined with an injury the past few practices, but I'm not sure that was even the deciding factor. Odom was pushing for playing time regardless.
Kyle Hergel is the other true freshman on the two-deep. He's listed as a backup guard. Hergel must be impressing to jump the two-deep that fast but it also shows UND is thin up front, especially in the absence of Nathan Nguon, who will miss at least the first few weeks with an injury.
It's not a surprise but worth noting that UND's 2017 leading tackler, inside linebacker Jake Rastas, isn't on the two-deep. He and Cam Hunt have been passed up by junior college transfer Tryon Vrede of the Netherlands and Ev Williams, a graduate transfer from the Minnesota Gophers. Vrede and Williams will back up redshirt freshman Noah Larson and junior Donnell Rodgers.