Former Portland State offensive lineman Babak Ghadaksaz received eight offers from FCS football programs after entering the NCAA transfer portal as a graduate transfer.
UND, however, stood out as a program with a winning tradition.
"I remember them winning the Big Sky and they won the Missouri Valley and made the playoffs," Ghadaksaz said. "I wanted to go to a competitive program, and the Missouri Valley is the most competitive in the FCS."
Ghadaksaz, a 6-foot-2, 290-pound former starter at Portland State, committed to UND to play his final season. He's expected to play guard, although he filled in at center in a pinch with the Viks.
"The coaching staff really grabbed me," Ghadaksaz said. "I met with some great coaches during this little short recruiting thing. Honestly, (UND offensive line coach Joe Pawlak) is part of a good lineage of offensive line coaches. I've watched tape with him, and I love the stuff they're doing. (UND coach Bubba Schweigert) is an awesome guy, too. They're all great people. I like the way the offense plays. All of it really grabbed me."
Ghadaksaz, a native of Orange County in southern California, has been to Grand Forks before. He came in 2018 as a redshirt after coming to Portland State from junior college.
Ghadaksaz had offers from South Dakota, Indiana State, Missouri State, Western Illinois, Central Arkansas, Abilene Christian and Eastern Kentucky.
UND is likely in need of help on the interior of the offensive line. Prior to the FCS playoffs, starting guard Kyle Hergel entered the transfer portal and has committed to Texas State. Senior starters Nathan Nguon, an Associated Press All-American, and Ryan Tobin, all-Missouri Valley honorable mention, have yet to publicly declare their intentions for the fall.