The UND football team begins spring ball on Friday inside the cozy confines of the High Performance Center. That cozy environment means I’ll spend a lot more time watching spring ball than I did at ole Memorial Stadium.
In the lead-up to spring ball, UND released a spring prospectus, which provided a roster and gave us confirmations on some comings and goings with the program.
The highlights don’t come as a surprise to most, I think. UND defensive lineman Carter Wilson and cornerback Torrey Hunt are no longer on the roster. Both players were suspended for the final game of the regular season in 2017.
In addition to Hunt and Wilson, players no longer with the program include cornerback Garrett Bollant, safety Vashon Tucker, fullback Andrew Jones, offensive lineman Wil Prine and walk-on wide receivers Chad Bartosh and Peter Lindgren. Of this group, I believe only Tucker and perhaps Prine were scholarship kids and everyone in this list was struggling to crack the depth chart.
The additions include defensive back Derek Murph, defensive lineman Nick Stahl, wide receiver Pedro Schmidt, tight end Brian Aefedt, fullback Seth Kreil, fullback Ian Brown, linebacker Bryce Couch and linebacker Gunnar Patz.
I’m fairly certain each of these additions are walk-ons. Murph, Stahl and Aefedt went to Grand Forks Red River. Murph was recruited to Bemidji State to play quarterback, although I don’t think he was on the roster in 2017. Stahl was at the University of Mary. Aefedt was at UND but not on the roster.
Kreil is from Hazen and Brown is from Bismarck, but I don’t know anything about them beyond that. Couch, it appears, came with juco cornerback Lenny Nelson from American River College. I don’t know anything about Schmidt. I also see linebacker Dijon Murray is still on the roster even though I thought he was a senior last year. *****UPDATE: Murray, as well as DB Tyus Carter, were given an extra year of eligibility due to injures *********
All these additions are longshots to be difference-makers but one or two work out from time to time so I’m pointing it out because fans like to root for the walk-on success story.
The updated roster also shows a few position changes and jersey changes. Deion Harris, who will sit spring ball recovering from that Achilles injury, will change from 19 to 24. Wideout Easton Erbes is swapping his 20 for Keaton Studsrud‘s old 7. Corby Richman is moving from linebacker to fullback and grabbing jersey 90. Former defensive lineman and tight end Logan Alm now listed as a FB. Brad Heidlebaugh, the pride of Rugby, will move from QB to WR as has been speculated. The speculation on Austin Gordon is also confirmed as he moves from RB to LB.
The Out For Spring With An Injury List only had one surprise to me and that was defensive lineman Jalen Morrison, who has been thought of as the future at nose guard after Tank Harris and Steve Greer.
The rest of the injury list includes holdovers from the regular season with Harris, Tamas Stewart, Luke Stanley and Donnell Rodgers.