New Rockford-Sheyenne wide receiver Bo Belquist was a little hesitant at first to approach his family about the possibility of playing football at UND.
His dad, Elliott, played wide receiver at North Dakota State (1999-03) and Bo was born when his father was still playing for the Bison, so Bo grew up going to games in Fargo.
“I talked to everyone and they said they’d be with me wherever I go,” said Belquist.
With that family promise in hand, the multi-sport athlete made a verbal commitment Wednesday night to accept a scholarship offer to play at UND.
“I just went to visit there and get to know the coaches and something clicked with them,” Belquist said. “It felt right. We talked about the offense, and I felt like I fit into that well there.”
I am excited to say that I am going to continue my football career as well as academics, at the University of North Dakota. Special thanks to my family and friends, also thanks to @BubbaSchweigert and the other amazing coaches for everything they did. #Jets pic.twitter.com/A6AC0XjNSm— Bo Belquist (@BelquistBo) July 11, 2019
After the 2018 season, UND head coach Bubba Schweigert parted ways with former offensive coordinator Paul Rudolph.
Schweigert promoted wide receivers coach Danny Freund to coordinator. Freund, a former UND quarterback, plans to feature a more pass-friendly offense than previous seasons.
“They were talking how they’re going to start passing more and have to get the ball to skill players,” Belquist said. “It seems like something we do in high school right now.”
As a junior playing 9-man football, Belquist caught 54 passes for 1,096 yards and 18 touchdowns. He also had 39 carries for 337 yards and nine touchdowns.
The 6-foot, 165-pound Belquist, whose dad is the head coach of the Rockets, was a first-team all-state wide receiver. New Rockford went 9-1 in 2018, losing in the state quarterfinals to eventual state champion Thompson.
He also was a second-team all-state selection in baseball, won the long jump and triple jump at the North Dakota Class B state track and field meet and averaged 15.8 points per game in basketball.
UND’s 2020 recruiting class has reached 16 commitments, including six North Dakota recruits.
The six North Dakota commits include Belquist, Mandan tight end Elijah Klein, Grand Forks Red River offensive lineman Peyton Lotysz, Fargo North safety Peyton Fisher, Finley-Sharon-Hope-Page linebacker Jack Ihry and Devils Lake offensive lineman Jack Kuntz.
UND's 2020 recruiting class
1. Elijah Klein, 6-7, 205, Mandan (N.D.) High School, WR-TE
2. Bennett Weber, 6-5, 270, Waconia (Minn.) High School, OL
3. Peyton Lotysz, 6-3, 265, Grand Forks Red River, OL
4. Andrew Fenton, 6-3, 260, Menomonie (Wis.), OL
5. Easton Kilty, 6-2, 260, Stratford, Wis., OL
6. Chase Perchal, 5-11, 185, Omaha, Neb., S
7. Creighton Mitchell, 5-9, 190, Des Moines West Valley (Iowa), RB
8. Craig Orlando, 6-3, 255, Verndale, Minn., NG
No highlights available
9. Sam Robertson, 6-1, 175, Wayzata High School (Minn.), CB
10. Isaiah Smith, 5-11, 190, Benilde-St. Margaret's, RB
11. Peyton Fisher, Fargo North, S (PWO)
12. Jack Ihry, 6-0, 200, Finley-Sharon-Hope Page, LB (PWO)
13. Jack Kuntz, 6-5, 280, Devils Lake, OL (PWO)
14. Dylan Boecker, 6-3, 200, Menonomie, Wis., LB (PWO)
15. Jack Wright, 6-0, 170, Tulsa (Regent Prep), WR
16. Bo Belquist, 6-0, 165, New Rockford-Sheyenne, WR