The North Dakota football players got the rare chance for a role reversal during fall camp as they became coaches. The entire team instructed more than a hundred Grand Forks Youth Football League players during an annual clinic at Williamson Park.
Sophomore Chris Hall (Jacksonville, Fla.) took the role reversal a tad more literal than some of his teammates by sporting a straw hat, which is a look inspired by linebackers coach Josh Kotelnicki.
"It's really good to get out here and give back to the community," Hall said. "It's a lot of fun and we're just trying to teach a little football to these young players and hopefully they can learn a little from us. It kind of brings me back to my old days growing up and going to camps and stuff like that. It just feels good to give back."
The players broke into a dozen or so different groups, teaching different drills that covered both of the football fields at Williamson Park. There were passing drills, tackling drills, fumble recover drills and several others that encompassed all elements of the game.
But, before the fun was had with the aspiring UND football players, the 2012 version had an impromptu live session during its morning workout on Tuesday. The team drills in the middle of a typical practice are usually relegated to limited contact and no one going to the ground, but fifth-year head coach Chris Mussman wanted to stress the importance of each practice.
"We were a little sluggish today," he said. "It was our fourteenth practice and we're only allowed 29 before our first game and that includes a walk through on the night before. So, I felt like we needed a little energy boost and going live usually provides that."
The team spent about three periods of the 20-period practice in that live mode. Sophomore Jer Garman (Marion, Iowa) broke off a big run that covered nearly 80 yards. Classmate Darly Brown (Plymouth, Minn.) gave chase from across the field and clipped Garman's heel just as he was reaching the goal line.
- The team will go through its fourth two-a-day of fall camp on Wednesday as the Green and White will surpass the halfway point for the number of practices.
- Both field goal kickers in camp (Zeb Miller and Tanner Naastad) got their most extensive work of camp. Miller is a reigning second team All-Great West performer and had two game-winning field goals in the final two minutes of games last season.
- Midco Sports Network was at the morning workout, starting preparations for its weekly coaches' show that will debut on Tuesday, Aug. 28.
- There was no evidence during Tuesday's workout that the North Dakota coaching staff is considering the same strategy as its week three opponent. San Diego State head coach Rocky Long is toying with the idea of going for it each time his team crosses midfield. If anything, it has gotten people talking about his program (click for article here)