UND held its third fall camp practice Sunday morning at Memorial Stadium. Here are a few details to know about it:
The scene: UND practiced in shorts, helmets and, for the first time this fall, with shoulder pads. The offensive and defensive linemen wore special concussion-prevention helmets, too. It was sunny with a breeze out of the south and west. The temp was 73 degrees when practice started at 8:45 a.m., and 82 when it ended.
Participation note: Offensive lineman Noah Mortel continued to be held out of drills. "He's still recovering from 2018 and we just have to really take a look at it each day," UND head coach Bubba Schweigert said. "Right now, he's not ready for full contact."
Play of the day: Speedy sophomore Cam McKinney, who is being moved from wide receiver to running back this season, showed a flash of his potential at running back at the end of practice. On a run between the tackles, he hurdled a defender on the ground, put his hand on the turf to keep his balance, then took off for a big gain.
Looking good: The battle for wide receivers to get on the field is fierce. UND returns its top four wide receivers from last season in Noah Wanzek (685 yards), Garett Maag (266 yards), Izzy Adeoti (217 yards) and Travis Toivonen (194 yards). Back-to-back strong practices from South Dakota State senior grad transfer Alex Wilde and quarterback-turned-receiver Brock Boltmann will make the depth chart interesting. Mikey Griebel, who offers a different skillset than Wanzek, Maag, Toivonen and Wilde, also will be in the mix. "Noah and Travis set a good tone there," Schweigert said. "They've been great teammates and really work hard on the practice field. We want them to keep setting that good example and guys to follow that lead. A lot of spots are up for grabs and we want it to be competitive. That's how you get better as a team."
Needs work: There were a few false start penalties from the wide receivers, which irked Schweigert. UND also missed a few field-goal attempts in the 30-40 yard range. The kickers were booting balls into the wind at the south end of the stadium.
Schweigert says: "Our whole practice, we want to be more consistent. We had some really good parts, and we had some parts of practice where guys need to be at a higher level. We had a few 5-yard penalties. Those are drive-killers. And the kicks. . . you have to be more consistent in the kicking game. We want to make them all when we're out here. We're evaluating. We've got competition at that position, so that's going to help us."
Next up: UND practices at 8:45 a.m. Monday at Memorial Stadium.
Day 3 notes
- Former UND defensive lineman Austin Cieslak and linebacker Tanner Palmborg watched practice from the sidelines. Athletic director Bill Chaves also attended practice.
- UND signee Caleb Nelson, a highly touted cornerback, still has not been cleared. He watched practice from the stands for a second-straight day.
- UND's standout defensive end Mason Bennett made his presence felt, forcing a fumble from running back Dalton Gee.
- Redshirt freshman cornerback C.J. Siegel has been impressive enough to earn some reps with the first team defense.
- Boltmann is doing it all for the Fighting Hawks, including getting reps as the holder on the field-goal team. Punter Cade Peterson appears to be the first-team holder and sophomore Ross Hinders is the first-team long-snapper.
- UND ended practice with a long play-action completion to Wilde on a play where Moorhead running back Otis Weah, who is not eligible to play this fall, stood up a blitzing linebacker to give time for the play to develop.
- Wanzek continued to show why he's UND's No. 1 target in the passing game with a pair of long receptions down the sideline.