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Freshman WR Golladay is one to watch

GRAND FORKS -- The University of North Dakota coaching staff hasn't made any decisions about pulling redshirts off of true freshmen at this point in fall camp.

But when that conversation does get underway, wide receiver Kenny Golladay will be the first up for discussion.

Golladay, a lanky 6-foot-4 Chicago native, has turned in enough big plays during fall camp to at least force UND coach Chris Mussman to make a tough decision.

"Obviously with his talent level and if he makes us better, that discussion will have to happen at some point," UND offensive coordinator Greg Breitbach said. "We're not there yet, but coach Mussman and the rest of the staff will have to move forward with that in the near future."

Golladay's leaping ability and body control have allowed the rookie to make a number of plays deep down the field and along the sideline.

Despite his athletic ability, Breitbach said he's been most pleased with Golladay's grasp of the offense.

"He knows his assignments and rarely busts an assignment," he said.

Golladay's goal from here on out is simple.

"I want to make big plays when they call on me."

To even question removing Golladay's redshirt speaks to his talent as the wide receiver depth at UND is as strong as it has been in years.

UND returns speedsters Greg Hardin, R.J. McGill and Tyrhe Ivery, as well as big-body types Jameer Jackson and Blair Townsend.

Golladay, though, would still provide a unique type of threat to that deep receiving corps because of his ability to go up and get a high ball.

Golladay said his 6-4 frame is relatively new. He was a 5-foot-10 freshman at St. Rita of Cascia High School.

"He can really shield defenders on balls in the air," Breitbach said. "50-50 balls aren't really 50-50 balls when he goes up because he comes down with it more often than that because of great body control."

Golladay said he's had to make a number of adjustments as he adapts to life at the Football Championship Subdivision level.

"I'm enjoying it and learning every step," he said. "It's a big change from high school. The games are faster and the people are bigger. You're not the best anymore. Everyone's the best from where they came from."

Golladay said he's relied on Hardin and McGill for counsel as he learns the playbook.

"I feel like I've made progress," Golladay said. "I'm trying to show the coaches I have what it takes to be a UND football player."