ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

'Every kid's dream': Kindred's Sunram spending Thanksgiving weekend on D-I football recruiting trail

Kindred junior offensive and defensive lineman Riley Sunram is slated to have two game-day visits this weekend at Power Five conference football programs.

082022.S.FF.KindredLisbonFootball
Kindred's Riley Sunram has received eight Division I football offers.
David Samson/The Forum
We are part of The Trust Project.

KINDRED, N.D. — Kindred High School junior Riley Sunram has a Thanksgiving weekend filled with football that includes two game-day college visits and, hopefully, a dinner buffet as he traveled to Kansas City from Kindred on Thursday.

When the journey reaches the Omaha, Neb., area, Sunram expects to search for a good holiday meal.

“We won’t totally miss Thanksgiving,” said Sunram, who likes ham and traditional turkey.

The highly recruited NCAA Division I football prospect has a game-day visit with Missouri on Friday when it hosts Southeastern Conference foe Arkansas. Then Saturday he will be in Manhattan, Kan., for a game-day visit with Kansas State, which hosts Big 12 Conference rival Kansas.

“I love football so it’s pretty cool to go down and get two visits this weekend,” Sunram said.

ADVERTISEMENT

RileySunramFile
Kindred's Riley Sunram has two Division I football game-day visits slated for Thanksgiving weekend.
David Samson/The Forum

The 6-foot-5, 265-pound Sunram has already had game-day stops at North Dakota State, Minnesota, Iowa State, Nebraska and Kansas prior to this weekend. He has eight D-I offers , including six from FBS programs. Sunram also has FCS offers from NDSU and the University of North Dakota.

Nebraska, Kansas State, Iowa State, Kansas, Duke and Minnesota are his Power Five conference offers. He hasn’t yet received an offer from Missouri.

“It’s been awesome,” said Ryan Sunram, Riley’s father. “He’s living every kid’s dream and these (visits) are so awesome to be able to share that with him.”

Riley is being recruited as an offensive lineman by most of the programs, but some schools are also potentially looking at him along the defensive line.

Riley recently completed his junior football season with Kindred, which finished 10-1 and advanced to the North Dakota Class 11B quarterfinals. The season ended earlier than he would have liked.

“This makes me want to play football really bad,” Riley said of his recent game-day visits. “I wish I could play football longer. It’s kind of extended the season a little bit.”

Riley plans to make his college decision before the start of his senior football season next fall.

That’s why these game-day visits are important for Sunram.

ADVERTISEMENT

“We’ve got to take advantage of it with Riley wanting to try and decide before next fall,” Ryan said. “We have the ability to do it so let’s do it. Riley wants to meet the coaches, too, he’s really big on that.”

Riley had seats near the Kansas bench on his visit to Lawrence last weekend. The Jayhawks played Texas, which earned a 55-14 victory. Ryan said Riley watched how the Kansas coaches interacted with the players during the game, particularly one of the defensive line coaches. He got to see how the coaches responded in an adverse situation.

“How does he deal with the players in that situation?” Ryan said. “That was a positive for that coaching staff. It was really cool to see that and how he interacts. That’s important to Riley, too. That’s why we’re doing this because you’ve got to be comfortable with this.”

Kansas State head coach Chris Klieman is a former NDSU head coach who guided the Bison to multiple FCS national championships before taking the K-State job.

More from Eric Peterson
Kindred Vikings junior Riley Sunram is garnering heavy interest from multiple NCAA Division I football programs.
NDSU guard Elle Evans led the team in scoring and also sparked the Bison with her defense against the Bears Tuesday at the Sanford Health Athletic Complex.
MSUM sophomore Jacob Beeninga has unexpectedly stepped into a starting role to start this season.
Cornerback Sigle says "tank is on empty," has played last down for NDSU as team enters FCS playoffs.
Northern Cass and West Fargo Sheyenne both earned state volleyball titles in marathon matches.
The InForum sports team breaks down the North Dakota State Bison vs. North Dakota Fighting Hawks
NDSU scored the game's first 21 points and rolled to a win at the Fargodome on the final game of the regular season.
NDSU fullback Logan Hofstedt had an unorthodox 32-yard reception in the first quarter that helped set up a Bison touchdown.
NDSU scored the game's first 21 points to spark a victory against in-state rival UND in the final game of the regular season.
NDSU junior Grey Zabel is slated to start at right tackle against UND for an injured Mason Miller.

“We’re big Bison fans,” Ryan said. “Riley liked watching football and watching Bison games on Saturday and went to a few so I think there’s a relation that way just knowing who (Klieman) is.”

Riley said it was cool to get an offer from Klieman after watching his success at NDSU.

“It’s kind of fun to see him at K-State now,” Riley said. “They’re doing pretty good, too.”

Riley said he's also enjoyed meeting with the different coaches, experiencing big-time, game-day atmospheres and seeing the different types of college towns.

ADVERTISEMENT

He added making a final choice before the start of his senior football season won’t be easy.

"It’s going to be tough, but that’s what I’m hoping to do right now,” said Riley, who is a multiple-sport standout for the Vikings. “It’s difficult. Everyone says how good it is to have a lot of options, but that kind of makes it harder, too.”

Peterson covers college athletics for The Forum, including Concordia College and Minnesota State Moorhead. He also covers the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks independent baseball team and helps out with North Dakota State football coverage. Peterson has been working at the newspaper since 1996.
What to read next
Playing in what may be his professional home someday, Gophers rookie Logan Cooley put on a show, while Justen Close made an emphatic return from illness as Minnesota survived a strong challenge from the Sun Devils.
The Fighting Hawks lost Ethan Frisch and Tyler Kleven during the series opener in the Sanford Center.
MSU Moorhead won its opening game in the NSIC-RMAC Challenge on Friday in Pueblo, Colo.
MSU Moorhead broke out to a big lead early and defeated Rollins in a romp on Friday at the Rollins College Thanksgiving Tournament in Florida.