Each day of fall camp, the staff at UNDSports.com will put together a daily report and feature a student-athlete in its #BrickByBrick countdown. Stay tuned to the official website, Instagram (UNDFootball) and Twitter (@UNDFootball) for all the up-to-date information leading up to the season opener vs. Valparaiso on Aug. 29.
COUNTDOWN TO KICKOFF: 13 Days
2013 Media Day Booklet (contains roster, depth chart, bios, 2012 stats)
Friday's full pad practice at Memorial Stadium was light on contact, but high on intensity. Most of that intensity came from the coaching staff as they tried to keep the squad's energy up after a two-a-day on Thursday.
The first team sessions were run on air with the offense and defense working on different ends of the field. The next team sessions were opportunities for both sides of the ball to start preliminary work on different fronts and schemes they will see from future opponents. The first-team defense served as scouts for the offense during a 10-minute period and the roles were reversed for the final 10 minutes of the practice.
- Senior Greg Hardin was one of nine wide receivers named to the 25th Annual USA College Football Pre-Season FCS All-America Team (full team here)
- Redshirt freshman quarterbacks Joe Mollberg and Ryan Bartels continue to share reps at the No. 1 quarterback position. It looks like that battle will come down to the final weeks of fall camp as expected.
- The special teams emphasis was on the punt game during today's practice. All three punters in camp (Mitch Meindel, Ben Peters and Maverick Edmunds) faced live rushes both deep in the end zone and out in space.- One of the more intriguing drills during any practice is when the wideouts and defensive backs get to go one-on-one.
- Tom Miller from the Grand Forks Herald has been stockpiling interviews for a special UND Football section the newspaper is going to publish prior to the season opener vs. Valparaiso. Miller has spoken with wide receiver Greg Hardin, running back Jake Miller, offensive coordinator Luke Schleusner and defensive coordinator Josh Kotelnicki in recent days.
- True freshman safety Cole Reyes has missed the last few days of practice with a thumb injury. The safety positions are two of the more intriguing battles during fall camp. Junior Baylee Carr, who led the team in tackles last season, seems firmly entrenched in his free safety spot, but is being pushed by sophomore Javen Butler. Seniors Chavon Mackey and Will Lewis are neck-and-neck for the strong safety spot. True freshman Cam Kuksa has impressed the coaching staff as well during fall camp and might play his way into the rotation.
What's on tap for Saturday
The team will go through another two-a-day before taking Sunday off the practice field. The two-a-day session will be the second-to-last one as the opener vs. Valparaiso continues to draw closer.
Student-Athlete Spotlight: No. 26 Chris Hall
Senior cornerback Chris Hall stayed in Grand Forks during the summer to work out with his teammates and get in better shape. It was the first time he did not go back home to Jacksonville, Fla., for the summer to work.
Hall is glad he did. "This year, I stayed up here all summer. I benefited from that a lot," he said. "I'm probably in the best shape of my life. Each Tuesday we got together as an offense and defense and just worked plays and tried to get better on our own. That has really helped us this fall camp."
As a senior leader on the defense, Hall wants to make sure what transpired in some games last season does not happen again. He has set his mind to doing just that.
"This season we want to work hard and become better as a whole unit on the defensive side," Hall said. "We want to get that nasty taste from last season out of our mouths and improve this season."
Hall will get that opportunity as he works this fall to lock down one of the two cornerback positions on the defense. He has been a reserve most of his career, but did garner five starts last season as Daryl Brown battled through some injuries. But, with fellow Jacksonvill native Chavon Mackey's move to safety, the door is open for Hall to be the starter opposite Brown in 2013.
So, how exactly did a Florida kid end up in North Dakota? For Hall, it was a matter of good timing because for most of his prep career he thought he was going to play college baseball.
However, after a successful senior season on the gridiron, those plans changed. His high school coach called him into his office one day and said the University of North Dakota was here to see him.
After listening to the sales pitch and coming to Grand Forks for a visit, Hall was sold. "I'm happy with my decision to play football," he said. "I had several schools playing mind games with me, but North Dakota showed immediate interest and I came up here to check it out. I met some good people and that made my decision easy."
For Hall, who plans to move back to Jacksonville to work his father as a car broker after graduation, it is the people that he is going to miss the most.
"My favorite about living up here so far has just been the people," Hall said. "You can never meet enough good people in life. Back in Florida and the south in general, people are just different. But, up here in the midwest, people are more friendly and approachable. It's hard to meet a stranger up here."
Hall will be making sales pitches of his own soon enough, but in the meantime, he has one more season to put all of his focus and energy into.
Fall Camp Schedule
|Date||Times (Practice #)|
|Sat., Aug. 3||9:15 a.m. (1)|
|Sun, Aug. 4||9:15 a.m. (2)|
|Mon., Aug. 5||9:15 a.m. (3)|
|Tues., Aug. 6||9:15 a.m. (4)|
|Wed., Aug. 7||9:15 a.m. (5)|
|Thur., Aug. 8||9:15 a.m. (6)|
|3:15 p.m. (7)|
|Fri., Aug. 9||9:15 a.m. (8)|
|Sat., Aug. 10||9:15 a.m. (9)|
|3:15 p.m. (10)|
|Mon., Aug. 12||9:15 a.m. (11)|
|Tues., Aug. 13||9:15 a.m. (12)|
|3:15 p.m. (13)|
|Wed., Aug. 14||9:15 a.m. (14)|
|Thurs. Aug. 15||9:15 a.m. (15)|
|3:15 p.m. (16)|
|Fri., Aug. 16||9:15 a.m. (17)|
|Sat., Aug. 17||9:15 a.m. (18)|
|3:15 p.m. (19)|
|Mon., Aug. 19||9:15 a.m. (20)|
|Tues., Aug. 20||9:15 a.m. (21)|
|3:15 p.m. (22)|
|Wed., Aug. 21||9:15 a.m. (23)|
|Thur., Aug. 22||9:15 a.m. (24)*|
|Fri., Aug. 23||9:15 a.m. (25)*|
|Sun., Aug. 25||3:15 p.m. (26)*|
|Mon., Aug. 26||2:30 p.m. (27)*|
|Tues., Aug. 27||3:25 p.m. (28)*|
|Wed., Aug. 28||4 p.m. (29)*|
* All practices will be at Memorial Stadium except Aug. 24-28* (Alerus Center)
Starting at $75 per seat, season tickets for UND’s 2013 football season are now available. The seven-game home schedule is the best of the DI era and features matchups with four preseason top 10 teams: South Dakota State, Montana, Montana State, and Eastern Washington. Fans can save over 50 percent off single-game ticket prices by reserving your season tickets today. Place your orders by visiting UNDsports.com or calling 701-777-4582.