Miller has been with the Grand Forks Herald sports department for the past 13 years. He's also a Grand Forks native and UND graduate.
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GRAND FORKS — Former University of North Dakota safety Cole Reyes isn't putting any expectations on the NFL Draft, which begins Thursday night, april 26, and runs through Saturday in Arlington, Texas. The All-American and 2016 Big Sky Conference Defensive Player of the Year will be in his hometown near Chicago with family, trying to keep his mind off the process. "I'll be at my brother's house hanging out," Reyes said. "Every year I watch it, seeing who goes first. But when you're in this situation, it's a little different.
GRAND FORKS—With the University of North Dakota defense claiming the edge over the offense during the Fighting Hawks' annual spring game at High Performance Center on Friday night, only two pass plays went for more than 20 yards. But for UND's offensive progression, there was a silver lining in the limited passing attack. Both long pass plays went to running backs, an area of emphasis this spring that was on display in front of an estimated 850 fans.
GRAND FORKS—University of North Dakota cornerback Deion Harris never felt as good as he did last July, as he prepared for a senior season that was expected to be filled with NFL draft aspirations and lofty expectations for the Fighting Hawks. That all changed during a mid-July team conditioning workout at Memorial Stadium when Harris planted his foot and attempted to turn.
GRAND FORKS—University of North Dakota defensive ends Drew Greely and Brandon Dranka were seniors in 2017. The two played as true freshman in coach Bubba Schweigert's first season and started nearly all four years. Defensive end Austin Cieslak, a raw athlete from Hazen, North Dakota, was also in the first recruiting class for Schweigert in 2014. Now, after redshirting his first season and relegated to reserve duty behind Greely and Dranka the years after that, Cieslak is projected as a starter in 2018, and his position coach thinks he could have a big year.
GRAND FORKS — Growing up, University of North Dakota running backs coach Malcolm Agnew was close with his older brother, Ray. "Where there was Ray, there was Malcolm," Agnew said. He sees that connection with UND standouts John Santiago and Brady Oliveira. "You get one, you get both," Agnew said. "They're actually like brothers."
GRAND FORKS—When Bubba Schweigert took over the head football coaching job at the University of North Dakota prior to the 2014 season, one of his first orders of business was to overhaul the program's run defense. Results were nearly immediate. After giving up 188.1 yards on the ground per game in Chris Mussman's last season in 2013, Schweigert's teams followed with averages of 102.5 in 2014, 100.1 in 2015 and 91.3 in 2016.
GRAND FORKS—Speaking after the University of North Dakota football practice Friday morning, March 23, at the High Performance Center, Fighting Hawks offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Paul Rudolph's voice was hoarse and nearly gone all together. The way he's praising his highly anticipated quarterback battle, it's safe to say Rudolph didn't lose his voice ripping into his signal callers.
GRAND FORKS—With UND four-year starting quarterback Keaton Studsrud graduating this offseason, there's a wide-open battle for his replacement taking place during the team's spring practices at the High Performance Center. One quarterback from last season, however, has withdrawn from that competition and now finds himself in another battle for playing time. Brad Heidlebaugh, a talented multi-sport athlete out of Rugby (N.D.) High School, is using spring ball to try to crack the depth chart at wide receiver.
GRAND FORKS—When former University of North Dakota 7-foot center Carson Shanks was contemplating a transfer destination last offseason, the Apple Valley, Minn., native didn't have any background on his eventual landing spot. "I had heard of Loyola Marymount, but to be honest I had never really heard of another Loyola," Shanks said. As March Madness plays out, fans around the country are having a similar experience as Shanks, who took advantage of the graduate transfer rule to land at Loyola Chicago.
ST. PAUL—The University of North Dakota men's hockey season was put to bed Saturday night, March 17, at about 8:30 p.m., hours after the team beat Minnesota Duluth 4-1 in the NCHC third-place game. Fighting Hawks fans, who started the day enjoying the pairing of St. Patrick's Day and the final day of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference tournament at the Xcel Energy Center, were left to ponder how the 15-year NCAA tournament streak could end this year.