ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

UND FOOTBALL: UND ready for signing day

UND will become a Big Sky Conference football program this year. And from its limited competition against the Big Sky during its Division I transition, one thing is fairly clear at the Memorial Stadium football office.

UND sports logo

UND will become a Big Sky Conference football program this year. And from its limited competition against the Big Sky during its Division I transition, one thing is fairly clear at the Memorial Stadium football office.

The Big Sky is a wide-open league -- one where offense, it seems, comes first.

And the quickest way to score is by throwing the ball, preferably to some big wide receivers.

On Wednesday, UND will announce its 2012 recruiting class. Coach Chris Mussman said UND will sign between 20 and 23 players, including the three transfers the school recently announced.

A point of emphasis will be on quarterbacks and receivers -- ones with size.

ADVERTISEMENT

"Our priority went to height at receiver," Mussman said. "We want the taller, more rangy type of receiver as we move into the Big Sky. We've got guys in the slot; we just need bigger guys on the perimeter so you can get some one-on-one matchups in the red zone."

In earning a share of the Great West Conference title last season, UND averaged 310 yards of offense per game, including 162 passing yards.

Teams in the Big Sky last season averaged 393.6 yards of offense, including 241 passing yards.

The league traditionally has been more wide open offensively and has produced six Division I Football Championship Subdivision national champions. Also in 2011, Eastern Washington quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell won the Walter Payton Award, which goes to the top FCS player each season.

Two receivers with size reportedly have given verbal commitments to UND -- 6-foot-3 Anthony Fletcher of Goodyear, Ariz., and 6-3 Kenny Golladay of Chicago.

UND likely will bring in four quarterbacks, including former North Carolina quarterback Braden Hansen, a 6-6 left-hander who already is enrolled for the spring semester. The other quarterbacks expected in fall camp will be Joe Mollberg of Detroit Lakes, Minn., Ryan Bartels, of Sycamore, Ill., and Grafton High School's Jake Hanson, who is expected to be a preferred walk-on.

With the additions, UND could have seven quarterbacks on its roster next season.

During the recruiting season, Mussman said UND pretty much remained in the states it has recruited the past few years -- North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Arizona and California.

ADVERTISEMENT

Illinois was a new target for UND this season.

Assistant coach Luke Schleusner was UND's recruiter in the state.

"Illinois is a new area for us," Mussman said. "We've never actually recruited the state of Illinois during my time here. And Luke did a good job."

Mussman also said linebackers and defensive linemen were other priority areas in recruiting.

After UND announces its 2012 class, attention will turn toward spring football in late March.

It could be an interesting one.

"We've told some guys that this will be an important semester for them to stay in the program," Mussman said.

What To Read Next
Featuring local prep hockey results, area boys and girls basketball scores and much more!
Featuring area men's and women's basketball results, college hockey scores, local college tennis results and much more!
Featuring boys wrestling results, prep hockey scores, area college basketball results and much more!
Girls basketball