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PRO FOOTBALL: Ex-UND standout Dressler close to signing NFL deal

Weston Dressler, former UND star wide receiver, couldn’t tell reporters at a press conference in Saskatchewan on Thursday where he’s headed to pursue an NFL opportunity.

But, the Bismarck native made it clear an NFL contract is imminent.

“I’ve been instructed that I can’t say who the team is until a contract is officially signed,” said Dressler, who was released from his CFL contract with the Saskatchewan Roughriders earlier in the day. “We just need to cross the T’s and dot the I’s.”

An announcement on Dressler’s destination isn’t expected to take long. The six-year CFL veteran said he only needs to pass a physical before the deal is official.

Although Dressler couldn’t divulge where he’s headed for sure, his only known NFL tryout was with the Kansas City Chiefs earlier this month.

“Ever since I first touched a football, I’ve wanted the opportunity to play in the NFL on the game’s biggest stage,” said Dressler, who is 28. “To get to that point now is pretty surreal. It’s exciting for me.”

Dressler said the NFL team he plans to sign with expects the 5-foot-8 speedster to be a punt returner and a slot receiver.

“It’s a good position to go into training camp to battle for a spot on the roster,” Dressler said. “This situation … I feel very good about the chance to make a football team.”

Lucky ‘13’

Dressler said he has requested from the NFL team to wear No. 13, a nod to the Saskatchewan Roughriders fans.

“I requested 13 to show my respect for the 13th man of Rider Nation,” Dressler said.

At UND, Dressler caught 243 passes from 2004-07, amassing 3,382 yards and 38 touchdowns. In total, Dressler left UND with 19 school records.

After college, Dressler spent six seasons with the Roughriders, racking up 442 catches for 6,536 yards and 43 touchdowns. He was a two-time all-star and the league’s rookie of the year in 2008.

The Roughriders won the Grey Cup in November. In the championship game, Dressler had five catches for a game-high 81 yards and a touchdown.

“It’s a tough situation for the Roughriders,” Saskatchewan assistant general manager Jeremy O’Day said. “He’s someone who’s been an all-star, someone with tremendous character and leadership skills … selfishly, for the Riders, it’s not a fun thing to go through.

“He was a great player for us. He was on pace to be one of the greats. We’re happy for him but sad to see him go.”

Tom Miller

Miller has been with the Grand Forks Herald sports department for the past 13 years. He's also a Grand Forks native and UND graduate. 

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