When Bubba Schweigert took over as UND head coach in 2014, the Fighting Hawks spent the next few years struggling to put together a complete wide receiving corps.
Before Schweigert was hired in Grand Forks, UND's top two wide receivers -- Kenny Golladay and Jameer Jackson -- opted to transfer after the firing of Chris Mussman.
As the 2019 season opener approaches, however, UND has returned its wideout corps to a unit of strength -- perhaps the deepest position group in the program.
It's good timing, too, as the Hawks transition from a big-personnel offense under former offensive coordinator Paul Rudolph to a more wide receiver-friendly approach under new play-caller Danny Freund, who has shown three-, four- and even five-wide receiver sets during fall camp.
The Hawks will be led by 6-foot-4 senior Noah Wanzek, who has led UND in receiving the past two years. The Jamestown native ranks eighth in UND history in career receiving yards (1,675) and career receptions (127). He's tied for 10th in career touchdown receptions (14).
After Wanzek, UND returns 6-4 senior Travis Toivonen (1,035 career receiving yards) and sophomore Garett Maag (266 yards, five touchdowns as a rookie).
One of the highlights of fall camp has been the development of quarterback-turned-wide receiver Brock Boltmann. The 6-1 sophomore from Edina, Minn., made the position switch during spring ball.
"Brock Boltmann has had a really good fall camp," UND first-year wide receivers coach Sam King said. "Since the switch, he hasn't taken a step back. We're still trying to understand how to use him best."
Senior Alex Wilde, a 6-3 transfer from South Dakota State, as well as sophomore Mikey Griebel, a 5-7 Littleton, Colo., native, have had impressive camps and are expected to be in the mix, as well.
Junior Israel Adeoti has sat out much of fall camp as he recovers from an injury last year, but the 5-10 Plano, Ill., native played in 18 games in his first two years on campus.
Despite all the depth at wide receiver, UND hasn't ruled out removing the redshirt on true freshman wide receiver Chrysten Cochran, a 5-11, 177-pound River Rouge, Mich., native.
"I would say he's a four-game guy for sure," King said of the rule that allows true freshmen to play in four games without losing redshirt status. "His role has really yet to be determined, but we like to play a lot of our freshmen that four games. We're not going to save a guy if he can impact the team this year."
UND also knows how fast injuries can impact the position group. In the Hawks' second-to-last game of the 2018 season, UND lost at Idaho after suffering injuries to Wanzek, Toivonen, Adeoti and Maag.
"Guys will get banged up, and we'll play guys who give us the best chance to win," King said.