UND's Moorhead products excited about their futures in Bison-Fighting Hawks game
UND and North Dakota State play Saturday at 2 p.m. in the Alerus Center in the first matchup in Grand Forks since 2003.
The last time North Dakota State's football team came to Grand Forks was Oct. 18, 2003.
Moorhead High School defensive end Jack Teiken was born a month later. Spuds defensive back Jamal Dixon wasn't born yet, either.
As the Bison near a return up I-29 for Saturday's 2 p.m. kickoff, Teiken and Dixon -- both UND commits with NDSU scholarship offers -- can dream of a matchup that will be played annually once again.
In future years, it's easy to see how UND's growing Moorhead connections will have a heavy impact on the UND-NDSU rivalry.
"Seeing how the tickets have already sold out and how the atmosphere will be, there's a lot of build-up," Dixon said. "It makes me want to be part of it even more."
Teiken and Dixon will join a growing number of Moorhead products in Grand Forks, as quarterback Trey Feeney and twin brother wide receivers Blake and Brady Walthall joined the program this fall.
Dixon is the brother of UND standout running back and Moorhead graduate Otis Weah, who is a preseason All-American and was a finalist for the Walter Payton Award last spring.
"It really excites me, and I'm glad we're going to play each year," said Feeney, whose dad Kevin is the head coach at Moorhead and a former Bison standout quarterback. "I think we have a good opportunity to get a win, and I think if it goes back and forth, that truly makes a rivalry and that'd be awesome for the community."
For Feeney, the Moorhead-to-UND movement started with linebacker Jade Lawrence, who played for the Hawks from 2015-19.
"He loved it up here and would come back and tell us about it," Feeney said. "(Grand Forks) is a good distance away, and I love the coaching staff here and they recruit Moorhead well."
Moorhead, which went 7-0 last season and has started this year 3-0, has produced at least nine Division I athletes in the past few seasons.
Spuds linebacker Austin Altepeter committed to the Bison in June.
"(Pipeline) is a funny word to use but there are certain guys that come through the (Moorhead) program with certain priorities in mind," Teiken said. "There's no talk about if you go through Moorhead, you go to UND. (Altepeter) is going to NDSU. Everyone fits in a different spot. It comes down to priorities. It just so happens some of us have the same priorities.
"I love (Moorhead players at NDSU) to death, and I'm excited to play against them."
Dixon and Teiken say the Moorhead community has been supportive of their college football choices.
"We have a great support system around us and there's a lot of people in Grand Forks rooting for us," Dixon said.