The Herald's takeaways from the first day of UND football practice
The UND football team was back at Memorial Stadium on Thursday morning for the first practice of fall camp.
The cool, breezy weather for early August saw the usual happenings of a Practice No. 1, although head coach Bubba Schweigert wasn't in his typical form.
Schweigert viewed a portion of practice from a golf cart and otherwise maneuvered around with a cane as he continues to recover from an offseason hip injury.
Apparently no one was spared from last year's injury bug in Grand Forks.
Schweigert said the goal was to be fully healthy by fall camp, but the progress has been pushed back a bit.
For the players, here's what we saw:
- Andrew Zimmerman, the junior college transfer quarterback who saw a little action a year ago, took the first snaps at quarterback in the 11-on-11 sequences. Nate Ketteringham, the transfer from Sacramento State, rotated in next, while redshirt freshman Brock Boltmann took his turn third. Although Boltmann took the last reps, he had the most successful stretch of the three quarterbacks gunning for the starting job. Boltmann, however, did end the day with an interception in the end zone on a lob to wide receiver Pedro Schmidt. The pass was picked off by safety Jordan Canady, who then did the team's first Turnover Dunk.
- Unlike a year ago, when UND started the season already missing All-American cornerback Deion Harris, the injury sideline was mostly quiet on the first day of practice. Offensive lineman Nathan Nguon and defensive lineman Quinton Seguin were out with injuries. Harris, by the way, was back on the field and didn't show any noticeable limping.
- The longest play of the 11-on-11 sequence was a deep ball down the sideline from Ketteringham to wide receiver Noah Wanzek.
- Boltmann was successful fitting passes into tight windows, including one to redshirt freshman Graham DeVore for a nice gain.
- As Schweigert pointed out, Day 1 is pretty easy for guys to be energized and excited. It's the grueling stretch ahead that separates the talent, and we'll be able to get a better handle on a depth chart as practices continue.
- UND's defense opened up 11-on-11 play with newcomer Lenny Nelson at safety opposite Canady. Nelson started his time at UND at corner but has been learning both defensive back spots.
- Former UND standout linebacker Will Ratelle was back at Memorial. This time, he's helping UND strength coach Nate Baukol.
UND's Practice No. 2 is 9 a.m. Friday at Memorial Stadium. Practices are open to the public.