Memorial Stadium was warmed up a bit from Thursday’s overcast temps, but it was still a great day for August football as UND went through the team’s second practice of 2017.
It’s still too early to say you’re seeing any real, concrete themes, but here’s what I picked up on:
- Two true freshmen are standing out from the rest so far, although they’re at the skilled positions and it’s a little tougher to tell this early in camp about guys who play physical spots. Wide receiver Izzy Adeoti and cornerback Hayden Blubaugh look like future impact players and time will tell if they have a redshirt pulled in 2017. Blubaugh, who was a heck of a running back in Colorado, has a knack for getting in passing lanes. He batted two balls down at least on Friday. Adeoti has some jets and good body control to go with a college-ready frame. He’s got a stacked position group to crack but if he can offer something unique, he’ll play this year.
- The battle for UND’s No. 2 quarterback position has been a bit underwhelming. I’d give the nod to Brad Heidlebaugh at this point. I’ve been hard on his throwing motion on this blog before, but he’s putting the ball in the right spot right now and Andrew Zimmerman has been fighting it so far.
- Speaking of the quarterbacks, I’ll echo my thoughts from Day 1: Nate Ketteringham looks legit. He could be a huge get, especially if the two mentioned before don’t set the world on fire.
- Sophomore Noah Wanzek could be poised for a big year. He added 20 pounds in the offseason and he wears it really well. It seems like every 20 minutes he’s contorting his body to make a ‘wow’ catch. He had one down the sidelines on Friday that would have been a catch if it was against anyone other than Cole Reyes, who punched it out at the last second.
- As the pads come on and the physicality becomes a bigger player at practice, we’ll learn more about the interior positions. For now, UND’s offensive front appears to be Mat Cox at right tackle, Demon Taylor at right guard, Patric Rooney at center, Dan Bell at left guard and A.J. Stockwell at left tackle. It should be a much more seasoned group than went to Stony Brook to start 2016.
That’s it for now. As always, love to hear your thoughts out there.