The UND football team moved inside to the High Performance Center with a little rain in Grand Forks on Wednesday.
A scout from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was on hand, making it five NFL teams in two days to visit. The Texans, Saints, Lions and Steelers are the others.
Most of the attention has to be on safety Cole Reyes. Funny enough, Reyes made two interceptions today during team drills within about 10 yards of the Bucs scout.
Focused on the offensive line today for a feature later this week on Mat Cox, who was hurt in 2016 during the team’s first league game at Montana State. Cox has pretty much locked down the right tackle spot.
Starters so far have remained consistent at A.J. Stockwell, Dan Bell, Patric Rooney, Demon Taylor and Cox. Grant Aplin has plenty of experience, and he’s trusted. He’ll see the field this year.
But the notable change on the offensive line this year is the depth. The Fighting Hawks were on thin ice much of last year, but I don’t think you’d have to hit the panic button anymore if a starter goes down.
Backups Noah Mortel, Ryan Tobin and Nathan Nguon look to me like they’re going to be really solid players. They just might not have a big role until 2018 or 2019.
The best play of practice came on the final play of the day when Andrew Zimmerman hit a deep ball to fullback Kyle Norberg, who had ran behind everyone for the long touchdown. Some impressive wheels from a jacked-up fullback. Other than that, noticed Noah Wanzek and Demun Mercer made plays and one of my surprises of camp — TE Logan Alm — continues to catch balls.
Defensively, it’s clear UND is trying to give a ton of reps at inside backer to Noah Larson to see if they can pull his redshirt.
At safety, Jordan Canaday saw a lot of action today and could be an important part of the depth back there. The defensive backs have had a lot of bumps and bruises (and more). To some extent, Canaday is winning a game of last man standing.