We can safely call June 24th an unprecedented day in UND football recruiting history.
Bubba Schweigert and company hauled in SIX more commitments yesterday to up their 2020 class total to eleven. This is by far the most commits they have had by the July 4th summer break.
We will have more in the future about how it transpired but it seems relationships and early, consistent efforts were recurring themes.
The first commit of the day was RB Creighton Mitchell of Valley High School in West Des Moines, IA. The 5’8″-165 speedster rushed for 557 yards and 9 TD’s during his junior season. He also returned kicks for the Tigers – his longest being a 96 yard scamper for a TD. We can definitely see him filling that role for UND in the near future. Mitchell also caught 22 passes for 195 yards and 2 TD’s.
With the loss of John Santiago & Brady Oliveira to graduation, running back is a position of need in this class. Mitchell actually reminds us a lot of Santiago with his vision and quick-cutting ability in the hole.
The second future Hawk to commit was safety Chase Perchal of Millard South High School in Omaha, NE. After six straight commits from the offensive side of the ball it was only a matter of time before the defense jumped into the party. Perchal should be a force for years to come at safety for UND. While slightly undersized at 5’11”, he makes up for with a compact frame and big hitting ability.
Perchal is also a track standout where he showed his speed by finishing 5th at the Nebraska State Track Meet in the 100 meters. His best time this past season was an impressive 10.99. Percal attends the same school as current Hawk TE Alex Cloyd.
A bit of surprise came next as massive nose guard Craig Orlando of Verndale High School in Verndale, MN committed to UND. Orlando was actually on campus yesterday for an unofficial visit and decided to pull the trigger at that time.
Orlando is the perfect sized nose guard for UND’s 3-4 scheme at 6’3″-255. NG may be the most important position on the defense and with the graduation of four-year stalwart Tank Harris UND needed to find the future of the position.
Football may not be Orlando’s best sport as he is also a standout wrestler for Verndale. Orlando won the Class 1A state championship at heavyweight this past season and finished with an astounding 47-1 record – he also pinned all seven of his opponents at the state tournament. UND is apparently trying to corner the market on wrestlers turned football players as they already have commitments from standout heavyweights Bennett Weber and Andrew Fenton.
The video below shows Orlando playing tight end for the Pirates and it’s quite an amusing production.
After a bit of a down time, when we thought the night may possibly be over, the UND Football Recruiting twitter page posted that UND in fact had six commitments on the day.
One of those commitments was linebacker Jack Ihry of Finley-Sharon/Hope-Page High School in North Dakota. Ihry, 6’1″-200, projects as a linebacker in college and will be joining the team as a preferred walk-on.
Ihry also played running back for the Spartans, rushing for 1,760 yards and 19 TD’s during his junior season.
Ihry reminds us a bit of former Hawks OLB Jake Disterhaupt. Ihry impressed at UND’s recent Elite Camp with his speed and change of direction ability. This is a solid in-state pick up for the Hawks. Ihry also plays baseball for the Spartans.
Schweigert stayed in state by landing massive OL Jack Kuntz of Devils Lake High School. We have to admit that Kuntz flew under the radar this recruiting season but we aren’t sure why when watching his tape.
At 6’5″-280, Kuntz moves quite well and had a good showing at UND’s OL/DL/Team camp, as well as the Elite Camp. He will be a preferred walk-on and is the 4th in-state commit for UND and 5th offensive lineman overall.
Kuntz also wrestles and throws shot put, discus & javelin for the Firebirds.
To cap off the night UND received their second running back commitment of the day in Benilde St. Margaret’s product Isaiah Smith. We mentioned earlier about UND needing to stockpile running backs with their recent losses and Smith certainly helps shore up the position.
The tape shows that Smith is a home-run hitter ever time he touches the ball. He possesses one-cut ability after handoff and can get to the second level quickly. Smith has experience in the spread system, much like Mitchell does also.
During his junior season Smith rushed for 1,237 yards and 13 TD’s. Smith also plays basketball for the Red Knights.
Smith attends the same high school as current Hawks center Patric Rooney and former Hawks QB Keaton Studsrud.
UND actually received another commitment last Saturday in the form of OL Easton Kilty of Stratford High School (WI). At 6’5″-260, Kilty has a lot of room left on his lean frame to put on some size and become a solid tackle for offensive line coach Joe Pawlak. He will bring a different look to this OL group, which has a nice mix of 6’2″-6’5″ frames to fit in across the line.
Kilty is another one that attended last Thursday’s Elite Camp and put forth a good showing-thus earning a scholarship.