GRAND FORKS — "He's not going to lose, he's going to find a way to win... that kid is a winner."

Those are strong words from new UND football offensive coordinator Danny Freund.

He's talking about the tall tower of Noah Wanzek, who rose in the ranks as one of the best receivers in the FCS in 2018.

The Jamestown native had 52 receptions for 685 yards and six, often times acrobatic, touchdowns.

Now all eyes are on the wide receiver, with many expecting him to put up similar numbers.

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"I love having the pressure on me, and every time I line up, I just want to beat the guy in front of me," said Wanzek, who's heading into his senior year. "I want to go out and prove myself every game."

His success comes as no surprise to his teammates and the coaching staff, given his tremendous work ethic on and off the field.

"We're never surprised at what Noah does," said six-year head coach Bubba Schweigert. "He's been impressing us since day one at fall camp."

Wanzek was originally set to play basketball at the University of Jamestown, but when the UND coaching staff came to watch who they thought may be just a walk-on, play against Bismarck Century, they knew they saw a special athlete on display.

"After that game we knew, we have to put this kid on scholarship," said Freund. "He's going to be a stud."

While leaving home was a big challenge for Wanzek, he hasn't forgotten about his humble beginnings, and hopes he can inspire others by what he's accomplished so far.

"I just want to set an example for the kids in Jamestown, I want to be somebody they can be proud of and a role model kids can look up to," he said.

The Fighting Hawks open their season at home against Drake University on August 31st.