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2003 FB Roster


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According to today's Herald, Aaron Austin, has decided to concentrate exclusively on basketball. He will not be playing football this fall. I see Brian Loe and Demetrius Charles are listed on this years roster. Somebody indicated in a post this past spring neither would be back. I noticed some interesting 'walk-ons' listed. Notably Ken Weber (a transfer from Mich. Tech.), Abdur-Rahman, Aagard and others. Hopefully, everybody shows up today.

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Dan Aagard was a first team AP all-state defensive back at Edina last fall. I had not heard he was coming to UND until I saw his name on the roster. He is a very nice addition to an already very good recruiting class. With Alexander, Wenzel and Aagard from this year's class, along with Hoffschneider, DeSautel and Greenwood (among others) from last year's class, that's an outstanding group of young db's.

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UND92,96 Posted on Aug 10 2003, 01:16 PM


....DeSautel and Greenwood (among others) from last year's class, that's an outstanding group of young db's. 

I guess I am mildly surprised that DeSautel is playing DB. He is tall and Athletic, not sure about his speed. Started out as a QB in High School, but had a hard time hitting his target in games. Converted to WR and DB, and did a great job.

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DeSautel reminds me of Kelly Howe in terms of size as a safety. He also has some good blood lines in that ex-Viking safety Kurt Knoff is his uncle. I'm not saying he'll have a career as good as Howe (or Knoff), but he does appear to be a very nice prospect. I don't personally know what type of speed he has, but since he was all-metro as a db I have to assume it's at least decent.

If it doesn't look like he'll make an impact at safety, he could easily put on 25 or more pounds and play tight end--a position where he was a first team all-stater. It wouldn't surprise me if that position change ultimately happens because I believe the need for a pass-catching tight end is greater right now than for another defensive back. I wouldn't mind seeing a tight end tandem of DeSautel and Drew Thomas in a year or two.

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All indications from the coaching staff are that Desautel has alot of potential. Physically, he could definitely be a great player at safety. The toughest part though will be mentally for him, especially in the sioux "D". He has come along a little slowly with the mental part of the game (making checks, making correct reads, etc) but that is expected for every safety in the system. As far as comparing him with Kelly Howe, it's way too early to tell. Physically, yes you could compare him with Howe because of their frames, but mentally, it's not even close to comparable. Kelly was a field general on the field, knew the defense in and out, and had alot of other intangibles he brought to the table, not to mention his natural ability to just flat out make plays. Give Desautel some time- which he will get this year - to develop, and we will see a much improved player by next fall. Most of the learning happens in the first year of eligibility. Playing behind Stratton, Bransted, and Gagner will be a blessing in disguise for him this year. He has great potential.

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I see Brian Loe ... listed on this years roster. Somebody indicated in a post this past spring neither would be back.

Figured I'd post what I know... (hi, Loe)... Brian planned to possibly transfer to be able to get more involved in the game. Unfortunately he was hurt (neck) during the season last year when he had replaced Bentow as the starting punter. The injury turned out to require surgery early this summer and now Brian is rehabbing in order to possibly punt for the Sioux after obtaining a medical redshirt for this coming season.

If I have anything wrong, I apologize.

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Two recent Sioux football articles:

One from the Bismarck Tribune

and one from the AP (unsure of the originating newspaper)

Sioux offensive line drops weight

The Associated Press - 08/12/2003


North Dakota's offensive linemen are defying the trend. While blockers elsewhere seem to be getting bigger, making 300 pounds routine, the Sioux linemen are shrinking.

If 295 pounds can be considered shrinking, that is.

"Our line coach wanted us all to be under 300 pounds this year when practice started," all-conference tackle Ben Olson said. "If we weren't under 300, we'd have to pay a fine of conditioning wind sprints."

Olson probably has a few days of practice sprints ahead of him until he reaches the standard. But Olson is closer to his goal than he is to last year's playing weight of 320. Guard Barry Smith is 20 pounds lighter at a streamlined 295 - and liking it.

"At least one of us is a pull-blocker on every play," Smith said. "So if you're trying to block defensive backs, you can't be fat and slow. We're trying to be more athletic."

Also sleeker are fellow returning starters Chris Kuper and Brian Dokken, along with Ben Murphy and Ryan Grant, who also both figure to earn playing time. Members of the group all may be approaching 300 pounds, but they're relatively lean, at an average height of 6-5 1/2.

The offensive line figures to play a key role as UND attempts to bounce back from last year's 5-6 record after a national championship in 2001.

"The offensive line is experienced and should also be physical," head coach Dale Lennon said.

UND's running game was lacking last year, averaging just 3.7 yards per carry and 140 yards per game. But the sole blame did not sit with the blockers, Lennon said.

"We didn't rush for many yards because we were always playing catch-up," he said. "We'd always find a way to give up a lot of points early, so we'd have to pass to catch up. We weren't able to play our typical game that we've played through the years."

Another running game problem was a revolving door at tailback caused by injuries and suspensions. This year's spot is wide open because freshman sensation Riza Mahmoud, who ran for 753 yards in nine games, is suspended for the season for disciplinary reasons.

Lennon said there is no front-runner for the position. The leading candidates are Jim Miller, Chris Beatty and Adam Roland, who all were slowed by injuries last season. Also in the mix are veteran Aaron Schwenzfeier and newcomer Brandon Strouth, who was the most impressive tailback in spring practice.

"Our running game won't be flashy with 70-yard runs," Lennon said. "We'll be going for the consistent gains of 4, 5 and 6 yards."

The AP article implies Riza Mahmoud was suspended for one year, and not dismissed. Is this correct?

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