Utah Utes Fan Board


North Dakota Defense Run Down

Defense: we run a classic 3-4 scheme with smallish hybrid OLBs that can rush the passer and cover. This allows us to defense most personnel groups with our base defense. We are very deep on the DL and sub platoon style early and often. Our D coordinator is VERY aggressive and will run all sorts of blitz packages from every possible angle. We rely on disrupting the timing against the pass and have been very stout against the run the last 4 years. We allowed an average of 91 yrds/game on the ground last year. We forced a ton of turnovers last year, 20 ints and 10 fumbles.

DL: Jr. Tank Harris 6’3″ 300lbs- classic NT. Plugs up multiple gaps each play and allows the LBs to clean up the mess. He does the dirty work and is a stout dude down low.
– Sr. Drew Greeley 6’3″ 240lbs – high motor lunch pail DE.
– Sr. Brandon Dranka 6’2″ 240lbs – another high motor DE with a nice first step.
– So. Mason Bennett 6’4″ 240lbs – twitchy edge rusher with immense potential. Played a ton last year and just looked different coming off the ball than our other DL.
– Jr. Austin Cieslack (Sea-zlack)6’4″ 290lbs – mammoth DE with strength and twitch. This guy is a monster with heavy hands. If he wasn’t playing small time HS ball in ND he would be a B1G player. Classic dancing bear type DL.
– Sr. Nick Schmidtz – 6’4″ 280lbs – farm strong and versatile enough to play inside and out.
– Jr. Steve Greer – 6’1” 290lbs – classic former wrestler interior DL. Just nasty and greasy and disruptive.

LB: So. Jade Lawrence 6’2” 200lbs – played a ton as a RS Fr last season and made a ton of plays. He’s a little light but very quick and has great instincts. Tough to know what he or anyone on the roster currently weighs because our coaches tend to not update weights until media day.
– So. Donnell Rodgers 6’1” 230lbs – was our #3 ILB as a RS Fr last season and he is going to be a stud. Lightning quick first step and plenty of thump when he gets to the ball. He is going to be fun to watch for the next 3 seasons.
– Sr. Jake Disterhaupt 6’1” 210 lbs – former stud OLB who made huge plays had to slide inside due to one of our captains having to retire from a concussion after a cheap shot by a Southern Utah player. Jake is a former safety so he has wheels and coverage skills. The hope is that enough young ILBs step up so he can slide back outside.
Now for the unproven guys….. who we will rely heavily upon….
– Sr. Dijon Murray 6’ 220lbs – didn’t see the field last year after transferring in due to injury. If healthy he could make a big time impact. His JUCO film was very impressive and he reportedly ran a 4.4 40 this spring. He needs to be healthy.
– Fr. Ray Haas 6’5” 210lbs – he’s got length and size and most importantly tons of speed. He was a playmaker in spring ball and the coaches are VERY high on him. He has future star written all over him.
-Fr. Noah Larson 6’2” 230lbs – it’s all but assumed he will have his RS pulled this fall. He is a stud and is already build like a grown man. If Noah and Dijon can step up our LB group could be really good after losing 5 guys to graduation/retirement after last year.

CB: This is where I thought I would talk about Deion Harris….
– Jr. Tyus Carter 5’11” 180lbs – initially started opposite Harris last season before suffering a season ending shoulder injury. Really solid player who has the type of grit you wish every player had.
– So. Torrey Hunt 6’1” 185lbs – explosive and silky smooth. Possibly the best athlete on the team. Very raw. Was thrown into the fire as a true fr after Tyus went down and at times was special other times looked like a fr. Was named a fr All American. The sky is the limit for this guy.
Blazing fast white guy alert…
– So. Evan Holm 5’11” 180lbs – also played as a true fr last season and made some plays. Played on the national U-18 rugby team last summer so you know he can tackle. Possibly the fastest player on the team. Nearly as much potential as Hunt, just not as long.
– Fr. Andre Randolph 6’ 190lbs – former HS QB who showed some serious promise this spring. Great ball skills and sudden feet.

S: Fr. Jaxon Turner 6’2” 200lbs – moved back from LB super smooth rangy athlete who will be a playmaker for years to come. May make an appearance on PR this year.
– Sr. Chuck Flowers 5’11” 190lbs – played a ton last year as our #3 safety. He decent.
– Jr. Tamas Stewart 6’ 195lbs – JUCO transfer who missed all of spring ball with an injury. His JUCO film was excellent but nobody has seen him play in person yet. Could be the key to the defense this year.
-Fr. Jordan Canaday 6’2” 195lbs – another smooth rangy athlete who had a great spring. He’s a bit of a ball hawk but can also lay the wood in the run game. Another fr with great potential.
-Sr. Cole Reyes 6’2” 220lbs – reigning conference defensive player of the year, many time All American, pre season defensive player of the year, and pre season first team All American. Cole is good at football.

We have obvious question marks at LB with all of the young guys that need to step up. Other than that and the FS position we’re pretty solid and deep.

  • Tony

    This is fantastic @geaux-sioux thanks for posting. It’s great to have this info.

  • Utah

    This is awesome. So fun to read. Thank you. 

    If you have any questions, fire away. 

  • Rick

    Your front seven sound pretty decent for an FCS school and you should be proud of your selection as the top team in the Big Sky but our OL looks like this:

    LT – Jackson Barton 6’7″ 312 lbs

    LG – Darrin Paulo 6’5″ 312 lbs

    C – Lo Falemaka 6’5″ 287 lbs

    RG – Jordan Agasiva 6’4″ 345 lbs

    RT – Salesi Uhatafe 6’5″ 320 lbs

    Size matters.  Trust me because when we made the leap into the PAC 12 from the MWC it took 3-4 years to get our OL up to the size of the PAC 12 and also the athleticism.  Now flip things around and our front seven of D will likely see 4 guys go to the League next year.  One of them in the first round for sure.  

    • geaux-sioux

      This is a big reason this is a great game for UND to play in. Bowling Green last year wasn’t any good and we played like trash and still only lost by 1. Playing against elite players will make our guys better and more hungry. Iron sharpens iron and it appears you guys have got your fair share of that.

      • Utah

        And I feel the same way towards you guys. We match up very well, ie, our weaknesses match up vs your strengths. 

        It will be fun to see them battle, and hopefully both teams come out better and firing for the rest of the year. 

    • FtheY

      I remember what it was like when USC first came to town. Our line looked like boys among men. It’s nice to see that we are now competitive in this regard. 

  • pedro

    I for one worry about this game.  It’s a classic set up game.  We instilling a new offense, replacing much of our defense and it’s the first game of the year.  ND can ball.  Do they have the size and speed?  probably not.  But they do have the heart and experience.  I could easily seeing the Utes put them away early, but I could also very easily see this going down to the last minutes and Ute fans everywhere crying about it.  

    The staff better have the boys ready for this one.

    • ironman1315

      I don’t think it is. They’re offense hinges on the run game. Very few teams can do that on us. We’ll be fine.

      • Utah

        This. Worst case scenario is a 24-10, type game. Worst case scenario. 

        If we get any sort of offense going, especially with Carrington at WR. Singleton, Simpkins and Carrington are great WR’s. 

        UND won’t face a RB like Shyne. 

      • geaux-sioux

        This year we won’t rely on the run game out of necessity like we have the past couple of years. Our passing game should be pretty decent this year.

  • Duhwayne

    Enjoy your thumbs up. Stick around after the game too OK? You’re awesome.

  • Hammer

    One of our fans apparently did an (cough, cough) interview with your head coach. Bubba Schweigert Interview



    • Utahute72

      For those unfamiliar with Loiter, this should be taken a pure theater.

  • Utahute72

    I think most Ute fans that discount NIU do so at a risk to your psyche. My son had a teammate on the squad in the late 80ish, early 90s, so I’ve watched them for a while. This team is very capable of a win despite the loss to Iowa. Iowa is very tough at home and has a pretty darn good defense. NIU is home and hungry for a win.