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2018 and a Look Ahead

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I agree with everything you said, and especially on recruiting.   I keep saying Bubba simply can't recruit and that is our biggest downfall.   The only kids from our 19 class that have really knocked my socks off are Case and Riviere .   We are just getting out maneuvered by other schools on way too many great athletes.

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6 minutes ago, Hawkster said:

I agree with everything you said, and especially on recruiting.   I keep saying Bubba simply can't recruit and that is our biggest downfall.   The only kids from our 19 class that have really knocked my socks off are Case and Riviere .   We are just getting out maneuvered by other schools on way too many great athletes.

How have they knocked your socks off without playing a down at UND?

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1 hour ago, geaux_sioux said:

How have they knocked your socks off without playing a down at UND?

Let's say I like their stats and film.   Come on man, you gotta be impressed with something.

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15 minutes ago, Hawkster said:

Let's say I like their stats and film.   Come on man, you gotta be impressed with something.

I prefer to wait and see what they look like after they actually get here and show what they’ve got. That’s why I love fall camp. The cream rises really quickly and the quality of the recruits is revealed. 

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On 12/4/2018 at 11:38 PM, UND Fan said:

Since losing the season finale at NAU after too many games slipping away throughout the season, I have stayed away from all ss.com football threads (other than recruiting) until tonight.  I am sure there have been countless comments about the season, coaching, the future, etc.  I will give my thoughts on a new thread as I am not sure where I would put this otherwise....

2018

Wins & Losses - a very disappointing season with so many games being lost that were winnable.  Too many times we made mistakes that cost us games instead and "finding a way to win" those games.  I realize that comment was not too profound - everyone agrees!

Offense and Defense -  I will lump these two together as both were pretty good at times and also embarrassing poor at too many other times.  With our two big RBs and an OL that performed relatively well (better than expected), it was disappointing many times that we could not get a yard or two on 3rd and 4th downs.  That cost us a couple of games and probably (right or wrong) prompted the coaching staff to be more conservative on 4th downs later in the season.  

QB play - Ket looked quite good early in the season but regressed as the season went along.  Without seeing Zimmerman in practice, I don't know if he should have received more playing time.  When things were not going good in the last half of the season, it sure didn't seem like it would have hurt anything by giving Zim some significant playing time.

Special Teams - I have followed UND FB and FB in general for many, many years.  I am not sure I have seen another team (college or pro) have more special team problems.  Our kickers had poor years but it was all aspects of STs that were quite poor throughout the season.  UND has been blessed with very good to excellent placekickers since the 70s.  With that reputation and an indoor stadium, that run of really good kickers should have continued.  Leach came in with very little fanfare compared to many of his predecessors.  The word was that he needed to work on his accuracy but that he had a very strong leg and would do a great job on kickoffs.  That wasn't the case.  I felt sorry for Leach as, in my opinion, he didn't have the talent to meet our expectations.  He did better at the end of the year.  I hope I am wrong and that he will develop into a very good PK for us.  The long snapper needs to greatly increase the speed of getting the ball back to his punter.  The jury is still out as to whether the punter is of DI quality - he wasn't this year.

Attendance - it was not good, somewhat understandable based on our record and the fact that we just weren't very exciting to watch.  The student attendance was embarrassing and it probably won't get much better until we win on a regular basis.  I agree with others that the student section needs to be moved.

Coaching 

Bubba is a friend of mine and I would sure love to see him turn the program around so we regularly qualify for the playoffs and are well respected within the FCS.  It looked like we were headed that direction a couple of years ago but we have sure gone the wrong direction since '16.  I would guess that we need to see some significant improvement next year or Chaves will make a change (as he should).  With next year's schedule, a winning record will be a real challenge.

As most agree, the two coaching changes should have been a couple of years ago.  While I expected that we would go outside the organization for our OC, if we were not going to go outside, Freund was a great choice.  His attitude and excitement is unquestioned and I think he will do a good job.  I do hope the two open spots are filled from the o/s.

I do not know Kostich.  He is apparently a great guy, a good recruiter and the kids really like him but special teams have been a real problem for the last 2-3 years.  Something has to change, maybe Kostich duties will shifted to another area.

Recruiting 

I have following UND's recruiting very closely for many years - I am the guy who posts all the recruiting info on Wiki.  While I have updated the info continually over the years, I have not commented a great deal about our results. 

That said, I firmly believe that we have not recruited well at all in recent years and I don't see this year's commits as a great class either.  In my book, you need to bring in 10 real studs each year.  These are not kids that may develop into good contributors, they are kids that you know are going to be very good.  If you can bring in at least 10 each year, you will have a talented two-deep group of players.  After these 10 or so, you need to bring in another 8-10 that should be contributors.  A few (Wanzek, for example) will be very pleasant surprises.  I think we have 4-5 studs committed so far but we don't have many scholarships remaining so I expect it to be another so-so year.

I also firmly believe that, if you bring in a lot of kids that didn't have offers, you probably didn't have a good recruiting year.  It is great to get a Santiago that was overlooked by many but that just doesn't happen very often.  We haven't proven smart enough to consistently win with recruiting unknowns so we better be going after and getting kids that other schools want.  All-State honors are also a good indicator of a recruit's talent level in many cases.  We used to pull a lot of all-staters out of MN years ago but that isn't happening any longer.  

The above said, it is difficult to recruit to GF.  The first obstacle is going head-to-head with NDSU.  We will rarely win one of those battles until we start winning.  So many potential recruits drive by the three other Dakota schools in get to GF.  Even though this is DI FB, playing closer to mom & dad, grandparents and girlfriends is a big deal to many kids.  With SDSU doing so well in recent years (and with great facilities) and USD improving their program, recruiting will remain a major challenge.  Thia is the primary reason why we need Phase II completed as soon as possible.

Regarding the lack of QB talent, lack of recruiting QBs, etc. in recent years, this is totally a mystery to me.  I have no idea how we knowingly got ourselves into that position.  I have concerns about certain positions in this recruiting class - both quantity and quality.

Until our recruiting efforts improve, we will not become an 8+ game winner year in a year out.

2019

I have the same concerns as many of you about the defensive line and a few other positions.  I won't go into any detail on that.  

With our schedule and not being able to "figure out ways to win close games",  winning more than 6 games next year will be a challenge.  I hope I am wrong.

LET"S HELP BUBBA 3

We were able to pretty quickly raise enough $ to assist the FB team with ankle braces this past fall but we fell well short of helping them with the video equipment needed to better provide players with game & practice film.  I think part of the problem was the team's lack of success plus LET'S HELP BUBBA is probably not the best title for our efforts.  Some had said they planned to donate to the video equipment effort but have not done so.  I am going to tell UND to pull the website down on or about December 15.  If anyone is able to help, it would be great.  Remember, we are helping the program.  Hopefully, we will continue to do so with whomever the coach may be.

Chaves

Like others, I am very tired of UND being just competitive (sometimes barely competitive) in all non-hockey sports for many years.  I really think Chaves will do everything he can to produce winning programs at UND.  It may take a few years (and new coaching staffs in some sports) to accomplish this but Chaves will do his best to make it happen.  I just hope that I (and many others) have the patience to wait for it to happen!  

 

Most of the 2018 recruiting class red shirted.  Waletzko and Maag were developed men.  It is a deep group and the number of guys contributing by their sophomore year will pleasantly surprise you. 

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I think the biggest thing with recruiting is you need to hit with your scholarship offers and those kids need to contribute in a year or two. With the PWOs, you need to get the local kids who have potential to be studs. I like the Zavalney kid being 6-4, huge stride and an all around athlete. I like his potential to contribute in a couple years. I would like to see another OL commit that could contribute soon, whether it be JC or HS or even transfer. I'm not too concerned with RB with James leading the way and Gordon spelling him from time to time it should be a solid 1-2 punch. 

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10 hours ago, geaux_sioux said:

I prefer to wait and see what they look like after they actually get here and show what they’ve got. That’s why I love fall camp. The cream rises really quickly and the quality of the recruits is revealed. 

Sure, that’s obvious. Evaluating the kids in-pads in-person is obviously the best way, minus actual game play. 

But I agree that the other best routes, as @UND Fan said, are based on high school honors (all-conference, all-state, etc.) and competing offers. The high school’s honors takes into account ON THE FIELD accomplishment and judging by coaches who saw the recruit in person. The competing offers make sense in that the recruit’s ability and potential is being confirmed by other institutions. 

There are always exceptions to these rules, which some will always bring up, but you can’t build a winning program using only under the radar recruits. Sure, you will find some, but if only 10% of your recruiting classes turn out to be high level contributors, then your teams will be average to below average. They by definition will not be above average because they are composed of below average contributors. 

Look at UND’s recruiting classes under Bubba - the percentage of the players in those classes turning into high level performers (i.e.all-conference players) is far, far too low. This will need to improve going forward or else UND will continue to struggle. As much weight as we often put into coaching (which is important no doubt), we need to remember the majority of the weight has and always will be in player ability- which starts with recruiting.

Sure, it’s fun to see which recruits turn into good players once they’re committed and on campus for fall camp.

Key point:

**BUT

as your post alluded to, if UND is always relying on surprises out of their classes, then UND is already behind their competition. They need more recognized recruits out of high school relative to what they’re currently getting. **

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48 minutes ago, UND-FB-FAN said:

Sure, that’s obvious. Evaluating the kids in-pads in-person is obviously the best way, minus actual game play. 

But I agree that the other best routes, as @UND Fan said, are based on high school honors (all-conference, all-state, etc.) and competing offers. The high school’s honors takes into account ON THE FIELD accomplishment and judging by coaches who saw the recruit in person. The competing offers make sense in that the recruit’s ability and potential is being confirmed by other institutions. 

There are always exceptions to these rules, which some will always bring up, but you can’t build a winning program using only under the radar recruits. Sure, you will find some, but if only 10% of your recruiting classes turn out to be high level contributors, then your teams will be average to below average. They by definition will not be above average because they are composed of below average contributors. 

Look at UND’s recruiting classes under Bubba - the percentage of the players in those classes turning into high level performers (i.e.all-conference players) is far, far too low. This will need to improve going forward or else UND will continue to struggle. As much weight as we often put into coaching (which is important no doubt), we need to remember the majority of the weight has and always will be in player ability- which starts with recruiting.

Sure, it’s fun to see which recruits turn into good players once they’re committed and on campus for fall camp.

Key point:

**BUT

as your post alluded to, if UND is always relying on surprises out of their classes, then UND is already behind their competition. They need more recognized recruits out of high school relative to what they’re currently getting. **

Jimmys and Joes

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1 hour ago, UND-FB-FAN said:

Sure, that’s obvious. Evaluating the kids in-pads in-person is obviously the best way, minus actual game play. 

But I agree that the other best routes, as @UND Fan said, are based on high school honors (all-conference, all-state, etc.) and competing offers. The high school’s honors takes into account ON THE FIELD accomplishment and judging by coaches who saw the recruit in person. The competing offers make sense in that the recruit’s ability and potential is being confirmed by other institutions. 

There are always exceptions to these rules, which some will always bring up, but you can’t build a winning program using only under the radar recruits. Sure, you will find some, but if only 10% of your recruiting classes turn out to be high level contributors, then your teams will be average to below average. They by definition will not be above average because they are composed of below average contributors. 

Look at UND’s recruiting classes under Bubba - the percentage of the players in those classes turning into high level performers (i.e.all-conference players) is far, far too low. This will need to improve going forward or else UND will continue to struggle. As much weight as we often put into coaching (which is important no doubt), we need to remember the majority of the weight has and always will be in player ability- which starts with recruiting.

Sure, it’s fun to see which recruits turn into good players once they’re committed and on campus for fall camp.

Key point:

**BUT

as your post alluded to, if UND is always relying on surprises out of their classes, then UND is already behind their competition. They need more recognized recruits out of high school relative to what they’re currently getting. **

Didn't we have a bunch of All-Conference and a few All-American accolades in 2016?  Winning helps, there is a front-runner component to this, too.

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22 minutes ago, gundy1124 said:

Didn't we have a bunch of All-Conference and a few All-American accolades in 2016?  Winning helps, there is a front-runner component to this, too.

Yeah but we didn't have any All-Conference players this year!?!?!

 

 

:whistling:

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We had the player talent to make the playoffs this year.

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8 hours ago, gundy1124 said:

Didn't we have a bunch of All-Conference and a few All-American accolades in 2016?  Winning helps, there is a front-runner component to this, too.

No doubt winning influences the media and other voters for all-conference honors. It’s sort of a catch 22. Have a winning season, get all-conference selections. Have all-conference selections, get winning seasons. I guess we all would like more of both: winning seasons and all-conference performers. Remember individual stats also play big role, which can be real good despite not many wins.

Lastly, as Mike Ditka said, “players win the games, but coaches can lose them.” (Random bit on how good players can still end up on losing teams that are misdirected).

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8 hours ago, jdub27 said:

Yeah but we didn't have any All-Conference players this year!?!?!

 

 

:whistling:

Plenty of ability on the 2018 team, which is partly what makes the 6-5 record so disappointing.

Past All-Conference Performers:

RB John Santiago

CB Deion Harris

NG Tank Harris

OLB Tanner Palmborg 

Players certainly capable this season:

RB Brady Oliveira 

DE Mason Bennett

ILB Donnell Rodgers 

ILB Noah Larson (Jerry Rice award finalist)

CB Evan Holm

 

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36 minutes ago, UND-FB-FAN said:

No doubt winning influences the media and other voters for all-conference honors. It’s sort of a catch 22. Have a winning season, get all-conference selections. Have all-conference selections, get winning seasons. I guess we all would like more of both: winning seasons and all-conference performers. Remember individual stats also play big role, which can be real good despite not many wins.

Lastly, as Mike Ditka said, “players win the games, but coaches can lose them.” (Random bit on how good players can still end up on losing teams that are misdirected).

Can substitute 'high end recruits' for 'all-conference performers' too.  Need to figure out how to win enough to be more attractive to the kids we are recruiting.

That's why 3-8 two years ago killed us.

 

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