Our 2020 defensive reaction is below with our offensive thoughts in another post from yesterday.
All together the early-version of the 2020 class consists of 26 players from 10 states/provinces. 15 offensive players – 10 defensive players – 1 kicker.
Expect the defense to be the focal point in January was it gets closer to February. The staff still needs to address safety and cornerback for sure. The loss of Chase Perchal to injury leaves the Hawks with only one safety in the class (Peyton Fisher).
- Reid Neal- 6’2″-170 – Yorktown High School (IN)
- Quincy Vaughn – 6’4″-230 – Football North (ON)
Running Back (2)
- Creighton Mitchell – 5’8″-175 – Valley High School (IA)
- Isaiah Smith – 5’11”-190 – Benilde St Margaret’s High School (MN)
Wide Receiver (3)
- Jack Wright – 5’11”-175 – Regent Prep School (OK)
- Bo Belquist – 6’0″-160 – New Rockford-Sheyenne High School (ND)
- Marcus Preston – 6’2″-180 – Free State High School (KS)
Offensive Line (6)
- Bennett Weber – 6’4″-280 – Waconia High School (MN)
- Peyton Lotysz – 6’2″-250 – Red River High School (ND)
- Andrew Fenton – 6’3″-260 – Menomonie High School (WI)
- Easton Kilty – 6’6″-260 – Stratford High School (WI)
- Jack Kuntz – 6’5″-280 – Devils Lake High School (ND)
- Jagger Ferden – 6’5″-250 – Marengo High School (IL)
Tight End (2)
- Elijah Klein – 6’6″-190 – Mandan High School (ND)
- Max Gunderson – 6’5″-200 – Detroit Lakes High School (MN)
Nose Guard (1)
- Craig Orlando – 6’3″-255 – Verndale High School (MN)
- Jack Ihry – 6’0″-200 – Finley-Sharon Hope-Page High School (ND)
- Dylan Boecker – 6’3″-185 – Menomonie High School (WI)
- Quinn Urwiler – 6’0″-180 – Batavia High School (IL)
- Wyatt Pedigo – 6’0″-200 – Hoisington High School (KS)
- Kason Kelley – 6’2″-220 – Millard North High School (NE)
- Devon Krzanowski – 6’2″-215 – St. Cloud State (transfer)
- Ken Bohnenkamp – 6’3″-220 – Rochester C.C. (transfer)
- Peyton Fisher – 6’0″-175 – Fargo North High School (ND)
- Sam Robertson – 6’1″-175 – Wayzata High School (MN)
- Adam Stage – 5’9″-180 – St. Cloud State (transfer) (MN)
Reaction – Defense
I think it’s safe to say that linebacker was a point of emphasis in 2020. Wow. The Hawks added seven linebackers to the roster and bulked up a depleted inside corps, while also adding some speed to the outside group.
Only two of the seven linebackers will play outside – Quinn Urwiler and Dylan Boecker. Urwiler is a stud. Only goes about 5’11”, which is why he didn’t have more offers, but to watch is tape is amazing. The speed and quick twitch he possesses is unique, to say the least. Plus he has a bulldog mentality. He will be fun to watch come off the edge in UND’s 3-4 scheme.
Boecker is a PWO but has a nice, long frame. Reminds us a bit of Tanner Palmborg – come in unheralded but develop over time and turn into a playmaker at OLB.
At inside linebacker the Hawks got one of their main targets in this class when they signed Wyatt Pedigo. The Kansas product is a junk yard dog type of linebacker – tough and will make a ton of tackles. Pedigo is also a state champion wrestler, which is a bit of a theme with this class. The past few years have been all about basketball players but this year its the men on the mat.
Kason Kelley will add a little more height to the ILB group at 6’2″-220. Kelley had 92 tackles and 16 TFL’s this past season and was a solid addition this class.
We wrote about the addition of Devon Krzanowski the other day but it can’t be understated how important it is to add quality, experienced depth to this group.
Ken Bohnenkamp is new to the linebacker world but has good size (6’3″) and explosiveness on tape. The Iowa product went to Rochester CC to hopefully earn an FCS offer and he came did just that.
Last but not least local product Jack Ihry signed with the Hawks. We feel Ihry has a real shot to earn a spot down the road with development. A highly decorated high school player, Ihry could be a solid special teams guy early on in his career.
We mentioned above that safety is a position they need to keep recruiting. With Ty Shannon moving to OLB, they are now one down and when factoring in the graduation of Lenny Nelson they need to keep stockpiling safeties for years to come. Peyton Fisher of Fargo North is the lone safety in this early signing class. At 6’0″-190, Fisher will be a strong safety type for the Hawks. Fisher is also a state champion swimmer for the Spartans.
In our chat yesterday I labeled CB Sam Robertson as possibly the SOC (steal of the class). I really like his technique and ball skills at corner. Good size at 6″0-170 and will no doubt put on 20 pounds. He had 15 pass breakups as a senior the for the state champion Trojans. Robertson really came on his senior season – I think UND got a good one here.
A possible second SOC is nose guard Craig Orlando. The Verndale, MN product is an absolute beast at 6’3″-255. UND has a major need for high-end nose guards and Orlando certainly fills that void. He is a two-time state champion at heavyweight in wrestling, also.
All in all – I feel UND did what they needed to do at linebacker. They took a bunch of defensive lineman last year so that wasn’t as big of an emphasis in 2020. They still need to find another safety and possibly a cornerback. With Caleb Nelson able to play safety it will help their depth but they still need to keep getting more of them. You can never have too many safeties.