UND recruit Jett Sutton could help solve Fighting Hawks' future at safety

Sutton, a 6-foot, 195-pound rising senior at Oak Park in Kansas City, has a reputation as a physical force.

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UND quarterback Tommy Schuster calls out plays to his teammates while huddled in the second quarter of Thursday's home football game versus the South Dakota Coyotes. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

The UND football program will enter the 2021 fall season with two senior starters at safety in Jordan Canady and Hayden Galvin, both taking advantage of the additional season the NCAA has granted following the pandemic .

When the Fighting Hawks eventually look to overhaul the position after the 2021 season, UND's latest commitment from the 2022 recruiting class could be part of the solution.

Jett Sutton, a 6-foot, 195-pound physical safety from Oak Park High School near Kansas City, became the Hawks' fourth commitment of the 2022 class recently.

Oak Park, which finished 3-7 in 2020, plays at the 5A level in Missouri, which ranges from 1A on the small side of the scale to 6A.

With the pandemic impacting the college recruiting cycle, Sutton said he and his family wanted to commit in a timely fashion as some schools indicated they'd only be taking in about a dozen recruits this year due to the NCAA granting a free year of eligibility in 2020. The 10-12 recruits would be less than half of the normal recruiting cycle.


On Sutton's visit to camp, he said UND recruiting coordinator Joel Schwenzfeier and running backs coach Robbie Rouse treated his family with great hospitality.

"Right when I landed, they were texting me that they were excited about seeing me at camp," Sutton said. "No one was treating me and my mom like that. At the end of the day, they were able to show me what I was hoping to be able to see."

Sutton played exclusively defense last season at Oak Park but will see time on offense as a slot wide receiver as a senior.

Sutton's highlights hint at a physical defender, one that can make plays at the line of scrimmage.

"I feel like I'm able to read the field well," Sutton said. "I feel like some kids aren't as aggressive as me. I broke my wrist in the third game of the season and, to be truthful, my doctor wasn't excited about me playing. But once you train to a certain point and work so hard, if you don't have to quit, it's not an option. A lot of kids don't have that same mindset."

Sutton also runs track at Oak Park, focusing on the hurdles and short relays. He also competes in the school's power-lifting program.

Sutton is UND's fourth verbal of the 2022 recruiting class and the first from outside Minnesota. The other three are heavily recruited Moorhead defensive end Jack Teiken , Princeton tight end Haydn Stay and Wayzata offensive lineman Brett Kelzenberg.

Miller has covered sports at the Grand Forks Herald since 2004 and was the state sportswriter of the year in 2019 and 2022.

His primary beat is UND football but also reports on a variety of UND sports and local preps.

He can be reached at (701) 780-1121, or on Twitter at @tommillergf.
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