Freund back at the helm of UND's offense

GRAND FORKS -- It was a decade ago when Danny Freund was under center for the North Dakota football team.

He went 16-6 as the starter and claimed the school's record for most efficient passer.

At the start of the 2019 football season, Freund will again be at the helm of the Fighting Hawks offense. This time, he'll trade the helmet for a headset.

"It's awesome," Freund said. "It's a leadership role."

At the conclusion of the 2018 season, head coach Bubba Schweigert moved in a different direction at offensive coordinator, electing not to renew of the contract of Paul Rudolph.

He turned to the former signal caller to lead the new offense.

"It's a great feeling, but we know we have a lot of work to do but we think we have some pieces to build around and the coaching staff has been doing a great job," Freund said.

His new approach will not be entirely new. The basis of the offense will still be on the ground, but there will be more passing, a quicker tempo, and more reliance on senior quarterback Nate Ketteringham.

"It's definitely felt more fast paced which is a great thing," said senior running back James Johannesson.. Obviously we're trying to pass more but I think we still kept our identity as running the ball, which we need to do."

"There will be a lot of similarities," Schweigert said. "Our team was built for a certain style. But there will be some differences too."

As a coach, Freund is already showing the tempo he wants with the players. He consistently runs from station to station during practices, not waiting to let someone know if he's liked what they've done or if improvement is needed.

"He's always positive, always yelling," Johannesson said. "He's always trying to get people better so that's one of the reasons I love him."

"Great coaches are great teachers so we try to teach the guys in ways that they can understand because I think sometimes with different personalities and different guys they learn in different ways," Freund said.