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UND football fall camp Day 1: Devils Lake's Jack Kuntz climbs depth chart

UND football opened fall camp on a cold, windy Wednesday morning.

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Fighting Hawks offensive linesman Jake Oliphant holds the pad as teammate Bennett Weber (65) pushes him back during the first football practice of the season at Memorial Stadium in Grand Forks on Wednesday, August 3, 2022.
Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald
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GRAND FORKS — The UND football program released its 2022 roster this week, along with a depth chart as fall camp opened Wednesday.

One of the surprises of the depth chart was starting right tackle Jack Kuntz of Devils Lake.

In the spring, UND had used experienced linemates Donny Ventrelli and Easton Kilty at tackles. However, to start fall camp UND has moved Kilty in to guard to open a spot for Kuntz to see the first significant playing time of his career.

"One of the things we wanted to do was improve our inside play from a year ago and we're going to experiment with this," UND coach Bubba Schweigert said. "We have to work on other guys at the tackle position, but we think we helped ourselves with some new guys we got into the program and young guys who have been developing through the spring and summer."

Kuntz is a 6-foot-4, 305-pound sophomore. After redshirting in 2020, Kuntz saw action in a reserve role in three games in 2021.

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"He's bigger and stronger and that helps," Schweigert said. "I think his knowledge of the system is better than a year ago. Still, a lot of work to do at those positions. I like what Jack does. He comes to work every day."

Here are the details from Day 1:

The scene: UND conducted practiced outdoors at Memorial Stadium from 8:45 a.m. to about 10:15 a.m. The temperature was about 65 degrees with winds of about 20 miles per hour. Construction equipment provided a backdrop as UND and its development partners have begun work on Memorial Village.

Play of the day: UND wide receiver Elijah Klein continued to build on his strong spring ball with a catch over a defender down the field, utilizing all of the Mandan product's 6-6 frame.

Looking good: Cal Poly transfer Aaron Cooper, who will compete with Marcus Vaughn-Jones for one of UND's starting outside linebacker jobs, was a full participant at practice. Cooper had suffered an injury at the close of spring ball and his prognosis was unknown at the close of spring.

Day 1 notes

  • UND went through one period of full 11-on-11 to end practice.
  • Quarterback Tommy Schuster took the first reps. His first ball was an out route to Adam Zavalney that was bobbled as Zavalney went to the turf.
  • Schuster then connected with Bo Belquist on a short pass but also had a ball batted down near the line of scrimmage by Marcus Vaughn-Jones.
  • Quincy Vaughn took UND's next reps. His first attempt on a swing pass to Gavin Ziebarth sailed high.
  • Vaughn then had a pass on a scramble batted away by linebacker Jaden Feterl. Vaughn also completed a dump-off pass to Ziebarth.
  • Simon Romfo took UND's third reps at quarterback. He connected with Red Wilson on a pass. Wilson, a 5-foot-9 transfer from Mesabi Range, made a few catches on his first day of practice in Grand Forks.
  • Trey Feeney, a Moorhead product, took UND's fourth reps and connected on a short pass with running back Luke Skokna.
  • UND started fall camp healthier than it did a year ago. Four players were limited or held out entirely with injuries including running back Creighton Mitchell, rookie running back Anthony Moe-Tucker, offensive lineman Bennett Weber and offensive lineman Hunter Harvey.
  • UND's 2022 roster release showed a few players no longer on the roster from 2021 including Noah Mack, Conner Arel, Ken Bohnenkamp, Chandon Pierre, Ethan McKenney, Andrew Fenton and Favian Hudon.
  • Among those departures, Pierre would have been the only one to push for significant playing time in 2022. Pierre has decided to focus on law school.
  • The start of fall camp made for a busy day of media for UND after practice. Midco Sports, WDAY, Valley News Live, the Herald and UND's in-house video staff were all in attendance. UND athletic director Bill Chaves also stopped by practice.
Related Topics: UND FOOTBALLUND SPORTS
Miller has covered sports at the Grand Forks Herald since 2004 and was the state sportswriter of the year in 2019.

His primary beat is UND football but also reports on a variety of UND sports and local preps.

He can be reached at (701) 780-1121, tmiller@gfherald.com or on Twitter at @tommillergf.
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UND conducted its lone scrimmage of fall camp Tuesday morning outside the Pollard Center, focusing on providing live reps for the youth on the roster.