Valley to Summit: TSN analysts approve of Hamilton's first-round pick of UND's Mason Bennett

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UND's Mason Bennett (left) and Noah Larson (right) smother Drake quarterback Ian Corwin in the first quarter of Saturday's home season-opener. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

Editor's note: Valley to Summit is a semi-daily roundup of news impacting the UND football and basketball programs, as well as updates from around the Missouri Valley Football Conference and Summit League.

Former UND defensive end Mason Bennett was the highest-drafted UND player in the CFL draft since Scott Schultz went No. 1 overall to the Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2001.

Bennett was selected No. 8 overall by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

TSN analysts calling the draft were high on the pick of Bennett, a native of Winnipeg, who became UND's Division I career sack leader.

"Very versatile at North Dakota," TSN's Duane Forde said. "They're getting a guy with a terrific resume and terrific set of accomplishments at the Division I level. He's going to help that defensive line rotation right away."


Forde is a former CFL player.

"You consistently hear about his motor," TSN's Davis Sanchez said. "That usually means you're not that athletic, but that's not the case. He's both athletic and has the motor. A lot of these sacks are coming from scheme. Because of those stunts ... he has great body lean. He's knocking those guards off balance. I like what he does with his pad level and how he is really effective on twists and stunts."

Sanchez played cornerback in the CFL and NFL.

"They love that athleticism to play on the edge," TSN's David Naylor said. "He can contribute on special teams. He's versatile, athletic and has size ... those are the attributes that drew the Tiger-Cats to him in this case."

Naylor is TSN's Football Insider.

Former UND defensive line coach Jordan Gigli, who's now at Northern Illinois, also gave UND Football 360's Kelly Howe a tremendous story of Bubba Schweigert disciplining Bennett early in his career.

NCAA releases guidelines for sports return

The NCAA is starting to put together some guidelines for the return of sports. It's a lengthy document .

The NCAA’s COVID-19 Advisory Panel -- "leading medical, public health and epidemiology experts led by NCAA Chief Medical Officer Brian Hainline" -- put together nine core principles to help guide institutions as they look to bring sports back on campus.


According to the NCAA, the document, “Resocialization in Sport,” takes into consideration federal recommendations, relying on experts, data and science.

“It is also important to take into consideration that there will not be a quick, single day of re-emergence into society,” Hainline said. “We will re-emerge in a manner that recognizes COVID-19 will be around until there is an effective vaccine, treatment or both. That is why resocialization should be rolled out in a phased way that helps assure sustained low infection spread, as well as aids in the ability to quickly diagnose and isolate new cases.”

NDSU adds assistant

North Dakota State head men’s basketball coach David Richman announced the hiring of Joshua Jones as an assistant coach for the Bison on Friday.

Jones comes to NDSU from Western Illinois, where he served as an assistant coach for four seasons from 2016-20.

Prior to his time at WIU, Jones was an assistant at Division II Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Mo., for two seasons from 2014-16.

Jones was a standout guard, four-year starter and four-year captain in his playing career at Eastern Kentucky from 2008-12.

UND lost to North Dakota State in the Summit League Tournament championship game at the end of the 2019-20 season.

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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