The UND Drive Blog will provide an inside look at the 2011 Fighting Sioux fall camp that begins on Wednesday, Aug. 3. Before UND can begin its first official drive of the season vs. Drake on Sept. 1, the team will spend 28 days on a different kind of a drive as the Sioux will work hard to reach the common goal of being the best-prepared team at the Alerus Center on that Thursday evening against the Bulldogs and each subsequent game that follows.
Grand Forks, N.D. - The pads are not popping quite yet, only because there are a few orders of business to take care of outside the lines before the 2011 edition of the Fighting Sioux football team hits the field for the first time on Friday (9:15 a.m.).
However, it is safe to say there are 94 eager young men hoping these next two days loaded with dorm check-ins, equipment check-outs, physicals and team meetings go by quickly. The same can be said for fourth-year head coach Chris Mussman and his eight-man staff, who are all ready to see what this season has in store as the squad continues its transition to the Division I level.
Even though there will be no field work, today is an important day and one that has been circled on the calendar of many as it officially marks the beginning of fall camp.
The first item on the agenda for day one is dorm check-in. For the players, who are coming in from 15 different states, this will take up a majority of the afternoon.
After getting acclimated to their new surroundings, the 23 newcomers on this year's roster will dine with each other for the first time at a place they will become acquainted with rather quickly: Wilkerson Hall. This will also be the first chance the newcomers have to meet many of the support staff they will be working closely with over the next four to five years.
After dinner, the newcomers will join up with the veterans for the first official team meeting of the season. That meeting is set to last about 30 minutes before the players will break out into position groups to meet for the first time with their respective units. That will be the final task of day one for the squad.
Day two starts early with breakfast at 8 a.m.
News and Notes
- Friday's first practice will be at 9:15 a.m. and last about two hours. All practices are open to the public and media.
- On Tuesday, close to 25 current football players headed over to the Thomas Ryan Aerospace Building to do a video shoot for the video boards at the Alerus Center. We will not give away all the secrets, but fans should be thoroughly entertained by the efforts these young men put into the shoot. We can say this, sophomore wide receiver R.J. McGill (Phoenix, Ariz.) did his best to replace Jarell Davis' dance moves - we will let the fans be the judge.
- There has been some shuffling within the coaching responsibilities with the departure of outside linebackers coach George Love during the summer. Love's replacement, Benny Boyd, will coach the cornerbacks. Co-defensive coordinator John Kelling will shift to coaching only the safeties and Josh Kotelnicki will now coach both inside and outside linebackers as well as maintain his role as special teams coordinator.
- Four walk-ons have been invited to participate in fall camp bringing the total of freshmen in the fold to 23. That quartet includes Grand Forks native Luke Hoplin, who will play offensive line, linebacker Ryan Nelson from Eagan, Minn., defensive lineman Aaron Hartung from Hudson, Wis., and defensive back Dillon Olson from Grygla, Minn.
- Seventeen of the original 19-member 2011 recruiting class will be in camp along with a trio of Californians, who signed during the summer (RB Romon Bridges (Stockton, Calif.), DB Chris Brown (Culver City, Calif.) and DB Dwayne Brown (Fontana, Calif.)). Defensive recruits Aarin Smith and Weslee Kavanaugh will not play for the Fighting Sioux this season.
- One of those recruits got an early start as quarterback Joey Bradley (Issaqua, Wash.) enrolled at UND in January and participated in spring drills. He enters the fall listed No. 2 on the depth chart.
- Redshirt freshman Tyrhe Ivery (Garland, Texas) switched numbers and will wear No. 1 this season. He wore No. 15 during his redshirt season in 2010.
- Running back Breon Butler, who wore No. 1 last season, will be listed as No. 24 on the 2011 roster. Butler suffered a season-ending injury during spring drills and will miss the upcoming campaign.
- Sophomore Caleb Nelson (Forman, N.D.) will start fall camp working with the defensive line after working as an offensive lineman during the spring.
- Sophomores Seth Stanchik (Hudson, Wis.) and Blair Townsend (Coon Rapids, Minn.) along with redshirt freshman Darren Peterson (Maple Grove, Minn.) will be back in action this fall after missing the spring with injuries.
Fall Camp Key Dates – Practice Schedule
Wednesday, Aug. 3 Players Report
Thursday, Aug. 4 Physicals (no practice)
Friday, Aug. 5 Practice #1 (9:15-11:15 a.m.) - Helmets
Saturday, Aug. 6 Practice #2 (9:15-11:15 a.m.) - Helmets
Sunday, Aug. 7 Practice #3 (9:15-11:15 a.m.) - Shells
Monday, Aug. 8 Practice #4 (9:15-11:15 a.m.) - Shells
MEDIA DAY – 11:30 at the Alerus Center
Tuesday, Aug. 9 Practice #5 (9:15-11:15 a.m.) – Full pads
Wednesday, Aug. 10 Practice #6 (9:15-11:15 a.m.) – Full pads Practice #7 (3:15-5:15 p.m.) - Shells
Thursday, Aug. 11 Practice #8 (9:15-11:15 a.m.) – Full pads
Friday, Aug. 12 Practice #9 (9:15-11:15 a.m.) – Full pads
Practice #10 (3:15-5:15 p.m.) – Shells
Saturday, Aug. 13 Practice #11 (9:15-11:15 a.m.) – Scrimmage
Monday, Aug. 15 Practice #12 (9:15-11:15 a.m.) – Full pads
Practice #13 (3:15-5:15 p.m.) – Shells
Tuesday, Aug. 16 Practice #14 (9:15-11:15 a.m.) – Full pads
Wednesday, Aug. 17 Practice #15 (9:15-11:15 a.m.) – Full pads
Practice #16 (3:15-5:15 p.m.) – Shells
Thursday, Aug. 18 Practice #17 (9:15-11:15 a.m.) – Full pads
Friday, Aug. 19 Practice #18 (9:15-11:15 a.m.) – Full pads
Practice #19 (3:15-5:15 p.m.) – Shells
Saturday, Aug. 20 Practice #20 (9:15-11:15 a.m.) – Full pads
Monday, Aug. 22 Practice #21 (9:15-11:15 a.m.) – Full pads
Tuesday, Aug. 23 Practice #22 (3:15-5:15 p.m.) – Full pads
Wednesday, Aug. 24 Practice #23 (3:15-5:15 p.m.) – Full pads
Thursday, Aug. 25 Practice #24 (7-9 p.m.) – Full pads *Alerus Center*
Friday, Aug. 26 Practice #25 (3:15-5:15 p.m.) – Full pads
Sunday, Aug. 28 Practice #26 (3:45-5:45 p.m.)
Monday, Aug. 29 Practice #27 (3:15-5:15 p.m.)
Tuesday, Aug. 30 Practice #28 (3:15-5:15 p.m.)
Wednesday, Aug. 31 Practice #29 (3:15-5:15 p.m.)
Thursday, Sept. 1 SEASON OPENER vs. Drake (7 p.m.) *Alerus Center*
All practices will be at Memorial Stadium unless otherwise noted