Getting a commitment in early June could be termed as ‘unique’ for the UND Football program.
That being said, times are changing in the recruiting world and commitments like the one Bubba Schweigert received yesterday (June 4th) may be more common as the years go on.
Standout TE/WR Elijah Klein of Mandan High School decided to become a Fighting Hawk on Tuesday via Twitter. In doing so Klein (6’6″-190) also kicked off the commitment season for the UND football program. Klein was up in Grand Forks on an unofficial visit Monday and decided to make it his home for the next 4-5 years.
I am proud to say that I have chosen to further my football and academic career at the University of North Dakota. Thank you to @BubbaSchweigert and assistant coaches for all the effort and interest! GO HAWKS!🏈 pic.twitter.com/p2SzxeO04W
— Elijah Klein (@elijahklein32) June 4, 2019
Klein notched 41 receptions for 1,074 yards and 10 touchdowns last season for the Braves. He is undoubtedly one of the top prospects in the state, if not the top prospect.
The new Danny Freund-led offense is perfect for Klein and was certainly a selling point. Klein has extensive experience as a wide receiver in high school and will more than likely be used as a receiving tight end at UND. He will be a guy that Freund lines up at TE, slot WR, or outside WR positions to try and create mismatches based on personnel. Klein shows good speed and great hands on film.
We project Klein to play a role similar to the one that senior WR Travis Toivonen will play this fall for the Hawks. He is going to be moved around to use his size and create mismatches (6’3″-220). Much like Klein, Toivonen was also a standout basketball player in high school.
Klein certainly had options to play basketball, as well, being a second team all-state selection and having dropped in 1000+ points during his time in Mandan heading into senior season.
Mandan has been good to UND football over the years, particularly back in the mid-late 90’s and into the championship season of 2001. Names like K.J. Coghlan, Brad Leingang, Ben Leingang, Preston Fleck, Brad Wagner, and current UND DC Eric Schmidt are certainly familiar with UND football fans. I was lucky enough to play with all of those players and I can tell you that Mandan kids brought a tougher mentality to the locker room.
UND currently has one player from Mandan on it’s roster in TE Trae Steckler. Kicker Evan Arenz will be joining the team in August.