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: 20 Days
2013 Media Day Booklet (contains roster, depth chart, bios, 2012 stats)
The North Dakota football team was in full pads again for the morning session at Memorial Stadium. Head coach Chris Mussman was pleased with the effort of his offense in particular as that unit responded from a shaky previous day.
"I thought that side of the ball made some nice adjustments and corrected a lot of mistakes from yesterday," he said. "That's what you want to see out here. Improvement every day."
Both sides of the ball worked on red zone situations with the yardage markers out once again as the team continues to install new plays. There was still no "live" contact during the workout, but both the offense and defense are continuing to work at a tempo pleasing to their head coach.
- Former UND defensive back and 2013 Fighting Sioux Football Legend honoree Dan Martinsen watched practice from the sidelines. He was introduced to the team following the practice and gave them a piece of advice his father gave him while he was a player at UND. "If you leave every practice knowing that you worked harder than anyone else on the field, then you are going to be just fine."
- A scout from the Green Bay Packers was on site for the morning practice. Pro liaison Danny Freund said that expects more and more representatives from NFL teams at practice in the coming weeks.
- One of the areas during special teams work was kickoff return. The three primary kickoff returners were senior Greg Hardin, senior Jake Miller and junior Jer Garman.
- Check out UND Football's instagram account (www.instagram.com/undfootball) for some cool pictures from today's workout.
What's on tap for Saturday
The second two-a-day of fall camp is scheduled for Saturday. The team will go in full pads in the morning and returnn to the field in the afternoon for a lighter workout.
Student-Athlete Spotlight: No. 11 Zeb Miller
Senior Zeb Miller was walking over to a quiter area to be interviewed for this piece and without fail, one of his teammates said, "Don't mess up the interview, Zeb, but we know you probably will."
He didn't respond to the ribbing from his teammate. He's used to it, so as always, Miller took it in jest, then deadpanned, "That's the life of a kicker."
For Miller, kicking has always been something he has done, he just didn't take it up on a football field until he was in high school.
For UND, it was a good thing he did. He went on to earn all-state honors as a senior at Ankeny (Iowa) High School and received interest from a number of colleges before settling on UND.
"I never thought that way in high school," Miller said of potentially kicking in college. "When I first started doing it, it was something different and it intrigued me. I was fascinated by it. I slowly developed a love for kicking. It's enjoyable. I was always told to do what you enjoy and I have fun doing it."
He's been doing it ever since and doing it well. The 2013 season will be his fourth as a starter at UND and no other placekicker in UND history has been more accurate. Miller has drilled 36-of-48 attempts (75 percent) in his three seasons.
And, to no surprise, the game-winners are always his favorite, but the one that sticks out the most was during the 2011 victory at Northern Colorado. "I would say in general, the best one was my 54-yarder at Northern Colorado that won the game," Miller said. "It was the first time we had played a Big Sky opponent, so it was nice to put my footprint on that game."
There are only a select number of periods in a given practice where Miller actually gets to hone his craft at Memorial Stadium. That's part of his "Life as a kicker" mentality. So, for a majority of the two-hour sessions, he is helping run the line of scrimmage and trying to keep his teammates loose.
"At practice, I'm spotting the ball and hanging around the guys, so I try to keep them fresh, maybe take their minds off of football a little bit while I'm out there," Miller said. "It's the life of a kicker. You do your role and that's what you do."
As for the ribbing, he says there is always something new every day. "It is enjoyable though," he added. "You can't take some of the stuff that does happen too serious. It's all in good fun."
And it should be that, especially considering the weapon that Miller has been. And, if by chance, his teammates haven't taken full notice, several publications and preseason prognosticators have. He is on the Fred Mitchell Watch List for Placekicker of the Year and also on the watch list for the College Football Performance Awards Plackkicker Award. Phil Steele's named him to their preseason All-America Team (Third) and All-Big Sky Team.
Miller and his teammates will kickoff the season on Thursday, Aug. 29 vs. Valparaiso and if it's up to the 6-foot-1, 216-pounder, it won't be his last season playing football. "I want to pursue that avenue of professional football," Miller said. "I'm going to take every chance I get to make that happen."
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.