Looking Ahead for UND Football: A Chat With Sam Herder of Hero Sports

(Photo Credit: Russ Hons-FightingHawks.com)

Recently, Sam Herder, senior FCS analyst for Hero Sports, had a chance to describe some answers to immediate questions that will determine what UND does both in a few weeks against FCS power Sam Houston State, what they do this week against Pac-12 powerhouse Washington, and more on all things UND Fighting Hawks Football.

  • Which Fighting Hawks do you see as having the most pro potential and why?
    • “Deion Harris. He was one of the top NFL Draft prospects in the FCS last spring before suffering an injury that sidelined him for the entire 2017 season. His stock has dropped obviously, but I think if he can get more comfortable out there and get back to his old self, NFL teams are going to love his size and athleticism.”
  • What does UND need to work on against Washington to get ready for the Bearkats?
    • “UND’s secondary is no doubt going to get tested against SHSU. Just getting experience, especially against a power of an opponent in Washington, is going to make going up against the Bearkat wide receivers a more doable challenge.”
  • What is the biggest benefit besides the guarantee UND gets from playing Washington?
    • “Honestly, these type of matchups are usually about the money, trying to compete for most of the game and staying healthy. The trenches are usually where FCS teams get beat up and UND just wants to make it out of here healthy. The big benefit is this is without a doubt the best opponent on the schedule, so the rest of the opponents are on a more equal playing field.”
  • What does UND need to build on in 2018, and 2019 to be competitive in the Missouri Valley?
    • “To get more physical on the offensive and defensive lines and to recruit better overall athletes. If the Hawks want to make noise in the MVFC, it’s going to have to match the physicality of teams like UNI, Illinois State and NDSU. And as we saw last year, USD was much more athletic than UND. They need to recruit better and develop those athletes.”
  • Who are some players on Sam Houston State Fighting Hawks fans need to keep an eye on this weekend as they take on Prairie View A&M?
    • “Keep on eye on who the quarterback is going to be and how well he replaces two-time Walter Payton Award winner Jeremiah Briscoe. Indications are it’s probably going to be Mike Dare, who started his career at Rutgers. And keep an eye on wide receivers Nathan Stewart and Davion Davis, who are probably the best duo in the FCS.”
  • What type of scheme do the BearKats run on offense, and how do the Fighting Hawks stack up against them?
    • “SHSU wants to score as many points as possible and hold on for dear life on defense. It’s basically all shotgun with a ton of passing, although SHSU does have talent at running back. The Bearkats are going to take their shots downfield, but also will get the ball out of the QBs hands quickly with screens and quick passes to the flats to their speedy WRs.”
  • What are some off-field things UND fans traveling to Huntsville Texas should take advantage of?
    • “Just check out the tailgating and interact with SHSU fans. It’s always fun to see the type of tailgating people do in different parts of the country.”
  • Is Sam Houston State capable of winning the FCS Championship this season?
    • “It’s not impossible. But it’s also not very likely. SHSU can go toe to toe with anyone in the FCS when it comes to pure athleticism. However, the offensive and defensive lines are nowhere close to being physical enough and the defense has major work to do. Both of those weaknesses have been exposed for the last handful of years in their playoff exits.”






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