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UND Drive: "It's all football"
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Updated: Wednesday 08/05/2011 15:20:36 (ET)
by UND Athletics Media Relations
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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 29 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. - Fall camp has been underway for more than a day now, but if you ask head coach Chris Mussman, the drive towards the season-opener vs. Drake began on Friday morning when his team hit the practice field for the first time.

"It's all about football now," Mussman said. "There are no more distractions and we can turn our focus towards the Drake game, which we will spend the next 27 days getting ready for."

Day one was typical of most first practices for teams around the country, the energy was high, the excitement level was there, but also present were the opening day jitters and rust that will take a few sessions to knock off.

"I was pleased with the effort and impressed with the maturity of the first unit," the fourth-year head coach added. "They were lined up where they were supposed to be and knew what was going on.

"As expected, it got a little sloppy after that with some of the new guys, but those guys are going to learn and those are easy fixes for us as a coaching staff. All-and-all it was good day."

The Sioux worked out for just over two hours as early morning rains gave way to immense sunshine for the initial workout of the fall. Individual unit work eventually evolved into some full 11-on-11 work to close out the session.

Senior Kenny Watkins (Plano, Texas) and redshirt freshman Daryl Brown (Plymouth, Minn.) were both the beneficiaries of tipped passes as both had an interception in the team drills. The cornerbacks seemed to respond well to the energy brought to the field by their new position coach - Benny Boyd.

The quarterbacks worked primarily on some intermediate passes without trying anything deeper than 10-15 yards. Junior Jon Heimler (Colfax, Wis.) seemed to be a popular target for the signal callers, hauling in a number of short passes throughout the practice. Sophomores Greg Hardin and R.J. McGill also were targeted plenty of times.

The team will return to the practice filed on Saturday morning for another 9:15 a.m. start time. 

News and Notes
- The Grand Forks media was well-represented at the opening practice of fall camp. Members from WDAZ, Valley News Live and the Grand Forks Herald were all present and accounted for at the opener.
- Look for a feature story to air next week on Minot natives Spencer Bickel and Dan Hendrickson on Valley News Live as those two turn their focus towards the gridiron after seeing their hometown endure the summer floods - should be a good piece by newcomer Josh Coan.
- WDAZ is planning a live interview with head coach Chris Mussman during this evening's (Friday) broadcast around 6:20-6:25 p.m.
- Veterans Ross Brenneman, Brent Goska, Dominique Hawkins and Mitch Sutton all shared their thoughts with the various media representatives following the first day of camp.
- In addition to the other four invited walk-ons, Thompson native Garret Reineke also suited up for the first day of fall camp bringing the total number of players to 95. The redshirt freshman will wear No. 58 and play outside linebacker for the Sioux. 

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