Noticing UND sophomore safety Kadon Kauppinen is never difficult. Between his long hair and his constant energy, it's easy to spot No. 24.
But the Sun Prairie, Wis., native is really hard to miss at the High Performance Center lately.
Kauppinen was active again Monday as the UND football team went through Day 15 of camp in preparation for the spring season.
Kauppinen has waited his turn in his first two seasons on campus, playing in 12 games in 2019 but mostly on special teams as he finished with nine tackles.
Fighting Hawks fans will likely remember Kauppinen in 2019 for his 7-yard touchdown return on a blocked punt against Northern Colorado. The play was punctuated with Kauppinen flapping his arms like wings in the end zone.
UND's latest depth chart lists Jordan Canady and Hayden Galvin as returning starters at safety. But Kauppinen, at 6-foot-2 and 210 pounds, is the clear No. 3 and don't be surprised if Kauppinen pushes for a starting job.
Kauppinen was involved in two strong defensive plays Monday. First, he and rookie cornerback Sam Robertson broke up a Brock Boltmann pass for Brett Finke.
Later, Kauppinen drilled wide receiver Tyler Burian on a quick-hitting pass along the line of scrimmage during team drills.
The team drills weren't full contact drills and some offensive players took exception to the hit, but it appeared as though Kauppinen was apologetic.
Here are the details from Day 15:
The scene: UND practiced in full pads from about 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. at the High Performance Center. It was minus-20 outside during practice.
Play of the day: Practice ended on the best catch of the day. Running back Austin Clemetson made a one-handed snag on a receiving route on a pass from Ethan Postler.
Looking good: For the second day in a row, this goes to Bo Belquist. The rookie wide receiver from New Rockford made a great catch on a back-shoulder throw from Tommy Schuster early in practice and caught another ball over the middle from Schuster later in team work.
Needs work: Pass protection during team drills. UND's offense didn't muster much Monday with defensive pressure streaming into the backfield.
Day 15 notes
- During linemen drills, the starting offensive line won a lot of matchups. Linebacker Ty Shannon and defensive lineman Luke Lennon were able to get through once the No. 2's worked in on the O-Line.
- Redshirt freshman Jacob Lindemann, a Roseau product, took reps with the No. 2's at times on the offensive line and held up well.
- Cornerback Sammy Fort is piecing together a nice camp, as he broke up an out route between Tommy Schuster and Tyler Burian.
- UND's offensive struggled in team drills to end practice. Linebacker Ray Haas charged in quarterback Tommy Schuster untouched to bust up one of the first plays.
- In Quincy Vaughn's reps during team work late in practice, UND went heavy on the run including a big draw from Dalton Gee.
- In Tommy Schuster's second round of reps in team work, defensive lineman Chandon Pierre flushed him from the pocket to break up the play.
- Brock Boltmann also saw time at quarterback late in practice. His best throw was a quick hitter to the outside for transfer wide receiver Jake Richter, who's going to be a load to tackle on those bubble plays.
- Right after the Boltmann-Richter connection, though, Bryden Swenson blew up a rollout play for Boltmann.
- From there, the rookie defenders made some plays including a nice pass rush by linebacker Quintin Urwiler, a run stuff for nose guard Craig Orlando and a pass breakup for corner Sam Robertson.