UND head coach Schweigert stingy at divulging jobs
GRAND FORKS - The typical sights at University of North Dakota football media day were present Monday afternoon at the Alerus Center, minus one common staple.
GRAND FORKS – The typical sights at University of North Dakota football media day were present Monday afternoon at the Alerus Center, minus one common staple.
A depth chart.
With more than 30 new faces in fall camp, first-year head coach Bubba Schweigert isn’t ready to hand over any jobs just yet – even though UND’s Aug. 28 opener at San Jose State is less than a month away.
Coming off a 3-8 season that was followed by an offseason of high-profile transfers, plenty of starting positions remain up for grabs as a new coaching staff looks to steer UND on course in the Big Sky Conference.
No depth chart, no problem, said newcomer Alex Tillman, a senior transfer cornerback from FBS program Houston.
“It really doesn’t concern me,” said Tillman, who arrived on campus in late June. “You are what you put on tape. If you don’t perform on tape, you’re not going to be a starter.”
Tillman, along with former Minnesota defensive lineman Jordan Hinojosa, and former Kansas linebacker Marcus Jenkins-Moore are three FBS transfers expected to make an immediate impact defensively.
Jenkins-Moore, a former highly touted junior college player, is expected to arrive in Grand Forks on Wednesday. Jenkins-Moore is coming off a knee injury suffered early last season with the Jayhawks.
The UND coaching staff’s hope is that the wide-open depth chart will create more competition during fall practice.
“It’s a good thing,” UND sophomore defensive end Alec Carrothers said. “We don’t want anyone getting comfortable. Nothing is set here. It allows a younger guy to say, ‘Hey, I can make a push.’ That competition is only going to make us better.”
And, according to defensive coordinator Eric Schmidt, the staff isn’t going to be playing any favorites when it comes to handing out spots on the depth chart.
“We really preach that there’s no class system,” Schmidt said. “You don’t play because you’re a senior. If you’re better, we’ll play you. My job is not to take care of you; it’s to do what’s best for the team. Do you take us closer to becoming a championship defense, or do you take us farther away?”
Carrothers, an Omaha, Neb., native, said he thinks the team has embraced the influx of new players.
“As veterans, we claim responsibility for them,” he said. “We want them to be good players and contribute.
“There’s a learning curve they have to overcome. They get a lot thrown at them. We need to be there for them when they need it. They’re away from home; it’s tough.”