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Senior E.J. Welch is looking to make his mark in his final season with the UND football team.
UND Football #BrickByBrick: Day 12
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Updated: Saturday 08/12/2013 14:56:14 (ET)
by UNDsports.com
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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: 17 Days

2013 Media Day Booklet 
(contains roster, depth chart, bios, 2012 stats)

Daily Report
 
The North Dakota football team was back on the Memorial Stadium turf today for another full pad practice that featured more "live" work in the final two periods. It was just as spirited as the first one from Saturday and the day off provided a little extra energy to the two-hour workout.

Head coach Chris Mussman let his team know on Saturday that there would probably be more of these 10-minute live sessions at the end of practice, then any full-fledged scrimmages during fall camp. 

Notes
- In Monday's live work, the offense and defense once again traded big plays. Senior wide receiver Blair Townsend opened the session by netting a first down on a catch over the middle that saw him break a couple of tackles to gain the necessary yardage.
- True freshman Aeron Carr, who has opened some eyes during fall camp, also made a nice catch-and-run to net a first down that saw him use incredible balance on the sideline to not go down right away and fend off a couple of defenders.
- Senior Dominique Bennett, who has drawn the praise of defensive coordinator Josh Kotelnicki on several occasions, showed his athletic ability by fighting off a block to tackled Romon Bridges in the backfield on a reverse attempt by the sophomore wide receiver.
- Senior safety Chavon Mackey delivered the hardest hit of the session, knocking sophomore P.J. Sparks out of bounds in a pile up. Sparks hopped right up and seemed to enjoy the contact.
- There were three NFL scouts in attendance at the football offices on Monday as the Arizona Cardinals, Seattle Seahawks and Indianapolis Colts were all represented.
- Freshman Jake Disterhaupt started fall camp at safety, but has been switched to wide receiver where he has been working the last couple of days. Disterhaupt was a standout on both sides of the ball at Moose Lake-Willow River High School where he was one of 10 finalists for the 2012 Minnesota Mr. Football Award.

What's on tap for Tuesday
The third two-a-day of fall camp is slated for Tuesday and the team will also spend the evening at the youth football fields next to Purpur Arena, assisting with the Grand Forks Youth Football League. The team spends one evening each fall camp working with the areas aspriing football players.

Student-Athlete Spotlight: No. 92 E.J. Welch
Senior defensive tackle E.J. Welch knew right when he stepped onto the UND campus that this is where he wanted to continue his collegiate football career.


"After I finished my last season in junior college, UND was the first place I visited and right away, I immediately felt at home and clicked with the guys that hosted me on my recruiting visit," Welch said.  "When I met with Coach Mussman, it was a no-brainer. I knew right away this was the place I wanted to be. I felt at home." 

Welch spent two seasons at Mesabi Range Community College before enrolling at UND prior to his junior season. He was coming off a sophomore season when he earned NJCAA All-America honorable mention honors after making 62 tackles and registering six sacks. 

Welch appeared in nine games a season ago, making five tackles for the Green and White, but he is poised and ready to improve on those numbers in his last college season.

"Coming in from a JUCO, it was a bit much at first," Welch admitted. "I feel like I know the defense a lot better now and it's just a matter of cleaning a few things up, making sure there are no missed assignments and bringing the same effort and attitude every play."

For Welch, it wasn't so much the phsyical aspect of the change from the JUCO ranks to the FCS level, but it was his mental approach that needed to change. 

"A missed conception that people have is that there is no talent in junior college ball, but there is plenty of talent," he said. "When you step it up to this level, the main adjustment, at least for me, was the scheming and mental part of the game.

"That was the biggest difference for me. The guys are the same size, it's just that mental part, learning the playbook, knowing where you are supposed to be that I really needed to work on."

Welch will be a key contributor going into his final campaign after the defensive front lost three veteran starters from the 2012 club and he is going to do all he can to make sure his unit helps the defense improve in year two of the Big Sky.

"I think we got a slight wake-up call last year," he said. "After playing through a year in the Big Sky, we all saw what it takes to succeed. Being in the rotation, the thing I expect the most is for us to be relentless run stoppers and make sure that offensive line moves backwards and hold our line."

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)

Season Tickets
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.

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