We are definitely getting to the point where we need something to look forward to, I know that much. The season is just around the corner but it will seem like it takes forever due to no camps taking place and no spring game (which was supposed to take place April 10th).
That being said there have been some things going down lately when it comes to UND Fighting Hawks football.
Senior CB Hayden Blubaugh has announced that he is entering the transfer portal. The Colorado native played three years for UND and did not redshirt, meaning he could transfer to a FCS institution and redshirt (if NCAA doesn’t vote to allow transfers to play right away), then play in 2021. Or he could go D2 and play immediately this fall.
After much consideration I have decided to enter the transfer portal!
DB/ATH 2 to play 1 year.
Looking for a new home!!!
*i do not own the rights to this music* pic.twitter.com/HubQml66W8
— 12K (@haydenblu7_) April 16, 2020
Blubaugh had an up and down career for the Hawks. He played as a true freshman at cornerback for former DC Eric Schmidt, which is a very tough gig in UND’s high-pressure defense that often leaves corners on an island 1-on-1. He seemed to progress after getting experience in the system but was a bit inconsistent at times. Blubaugh notched one career interception and defended 17 passes.
The depth at cornerback has gotten very good lately and Blubaugh was more than likely going to see his playing time diminished in 202. That definitely could’ve been a factor in his decision to transfer. The emergence of C.J. Siegel and the return of senior stalwart Evan Holm from injury-forced-redshirt, along with promising young prospects Sammy Fort and Caleb Nelson created a position of strength for new UND DC Brett Holinka.
Also entering the transfer portal was junior Jeremy Jenkins. The Illinois native played in one game during his time on campus and will have two years of eligibility remaining if he transfers down.
A lots been going on lately! After multiple valuable conversations, I’ve decided to put my situation into Gods hands. With that being said, IM A LT LOOKING FOR A NEW HOME WITH 2 YEARS OF ELLIGIBILITY LEFT‼️‼️
— Jeremy (@JJenkins2699) April 16, 2020
Even though UND has recruited OL very hard as of late to make up for a definite shortage up front, we see them continuing to try and find a transfer this spring/summer. An experienced tackle would be ideal but they are hard to come by as everybody wants an offensive tackle with talent.
We had written about the recruiting issues that are popping up with the school closures due to COVID-19 but we hadn’t addressed the current roster at all. One major factor in a team’s development is strength and conditioning. Nate Baukol, the head of UND’s S&C department, answered a few of our questions about how he is handling the current situation and what the summer may look like from his end if the student/athletes aren’t around.
KH: You were able to get a full winter workout session in along with 7 spring practices before COVID-19 shut everything down. I would assume you have never been in a situation like this – what was your initial reaction when learning that UND was going online and students were heading home?
NB: First off, I thought we had an excellent winter training session. The guys put forth great focus and perfect effort in the things that we trying to accomplish during this time of the year. There is no doubt the guys have a feeling of unfinished business in the playoffs. We were fortunate in the fact that we were able to get in seven of the 15 allotted practices for spring ball.
When all this started to happen, we had just started spring break. We had our last workout on that Thursday and the players were dispersed. Over the next few days more information started to come out in the direction we were going. My initial reaction was disbelief and shock. There was just a lot of questions….what does that mean for the summer? What does that mean for the fall sports, and a whole ton of uncertainty. In the end I just felt terrible for our student athletes that were going to have their winter championships and entire spring seasons stripped away. Truly unprecedented times!
KH: With there being no contact with any current players, how are they currently training and are they on a workout program right now?
NB: Well obviously there are no facilities available to anyone. So when the mandate came down, I sent a basic bodyweight workout to all the players for them to do with minimal to no equipment necessary. While it’s not ideal, the most important thing to do under the circumstances is to preserve their muscle mass. The programs that have been sent out have been designed for them to do 3-5 times per week. With the inability to load the system with more weight, the program implemented more volume (reps and sets). However, we do have a number of athletes that have access to home gym setups, and they were sent a workout that was more appropriate to the equipment that they have available to them. The more muscle mass we can retain over this time of unknowns, will be advantageous at the time when we are able to come back together and train to prepare for the upcoming season. The other recommendation that was given was to increase their protein intake. Most athletes already probably do not consume enough protein, so we recommended that they increase their protein intake about 20g 2x/day.
KH: Typically, the majority of the team is in Grand Forks working out all summer. With that not being an option how are you going to address communicating with your players as far as workouts for the upcoming summer session?
NB: As of right now there are a lot of unknowns. If we were in the old “normal” we would be coming up to the end of our semester. Summer workouts were scheduled to start May 27th. I’m not sure what is going to happen, nor at this time do we have a timeline. With that said there are a few options out there to maintain communication with our guys. Whether it’s app based system, social media, sending workouts, or going back to old school and sending summer manuals to the guys. We will figure out what is the best way for us.
KH: Did strength coaches around the country collaborate to see how others are handling upcoming training or how did you go about getting a plan?
NB: Yeah, no doubt. That’s what is great about the strength and conditioning profession and our ability to share ideas and strategies. In addition I have a great staff that I am able to collaborate with throughout the year. The secret is….is there is no secret. It will boil down to hard work, perseverance and an excellent attitude during these times of adversity. We talk to our guys often about Championship Behaviors, doing what is right, and doing your best. It’s the athletes responsibility during these times to truly live “Championship Behaviors”…..what are you doing when no one is watching?