It took a few extra days but Eastridge High School standout Adedayo Idowu of Woodbury, Minn., has signed a letter of intent at UND.
He's expected to play in the secondary for the Sioux and could see the field in his first season as depth is a concern for UND at safety.
Â â€œIt took a little extra time, but we are grateful that Adedayo has made the decision to become a part of our football family,â€ said UND co-defensive coordinator John Kelling. â€œHim being a multi-faceted athlete who played a number of positions in high school, he will add some much needed depth to our secondary, especially at the safety position.â€
Idowu is the 18th player signed by UND and the seventh from Minnesota.
Even though UND announced the bulk of its class last Wednesday, Sioux coach Chris Mussman said the coaching staffÂ isn't done recruiting.
It's possible more signings could be announced as early as this week.
We'll have another live chat regarding Sioux athletics Wednesday from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. at www.gfherald.com
We'll be skating at full strength as Sioux hockey beat writer Brad Schlossman is back from a few days of vacation.
Josh Murray's return to UND football was a feel-good story last season. After rushing for more than 1,000 yards in hisÂ sophomore season, Murray missedÂ the 2009 season because of academics. But he got his grades in order and returned in 2010 whenÂ he led the Sioux in rushing.
But UND announced Thursday that Murray had been dismissed from the team for a violation of team rules.
There are no legal issues involved in the dismissal.
"I'm disappointed in Josh that it got to this point," Sioux coach Chris Mussman said. "But I talked to my team after the season andÂ up until the beginning of this semester about doing what's right for the program.
"I had to do what's right for the program."
As of 10:30 this morning, 17 football recruits had signed national letters of intent.
The class is spread across the country. Three players from California signed, including Javen Butler from Pittsburg - the brother of redshirt freshman running Breon Butler.
Six Minnesota players signed. Only one signed from North Dakota, Grand Forks Red River offensive lineman Jace Hellman.
The Sioux are still waiting for another recruit to sign. It's too early to tell but it appears there may be a couple of players that will see the field as true freshmen. Depth in the secondary is a concern.
Also, the Sioux brought in junior college transfer Joey Bradley at quarterback. He threw for more than 3,500 yards at Diablo Valley College in California last year. But coach Chris Mussman said it's too early to say who'll start at QB in the fall. In fact, there is a possibility that the Sioux could bring in another QB if need be.
Remember today's live chat on Sioux athletics at www.gfherald.com from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. It's a pretty active day at UND, with football signings and hockey news.
A big reason for UND's success lately in men's basketball has been the play of 6-8 redshirt freshman Brandon Brekke.
He's been in the starting lineup for the last games. The Sioux are 5-1 in those games.
Brekke was named theÂ Great West Conference player of the week after leading the Sioux to two conference wins last week.Â He averaged 16.0 points and 9.0 rebounds per game during UND wins against Texas-Pan American and Houston Baptist. Brekke had a career-high 17 points and 11 rebounds in the 91-82 victory over Texas-Pan American. That effort was his second straight double double. He added 15 points, seven rebounds and two blocks in the 83-73 victory over Houston Baptist two days later.
Brekke is the only Great West player averaging a double double in league play (13.3 ppg and 10.0 rpg) this season.
Now, UND's challenge will be to win on the road. If the Sioux can produce on the road, starting Saturday at South Dakota, the final month of the season will be interesting.
A reminder: We'll have another live chat on Sioux athletics Wednesday afternoon from 3 p.m.Â to 4 p.m. Sioux men's hockey is off this week, and Brad Scholssman is taking a few days off as well.
National signing day for football is Wednesday so that likely will be the main topic of the day. But we'll attempt to answer all questions. So far, the live chats have gone exceptionally well. We'll keep doing them every Wednesday.
There isn't a silver lining in UND's 107-96 four-overtime loss against Utah Valley on Thursday night at the Betty.
Yes, UND is a transitioning Division I program that plays a lot ofÂ freshmen.
But the Sioux should haveÂ been able toÂ close out the game against Utah Valley. The Sioux led by 11Â with 6 1/2 minutes left inÂ regulation. To that point, UND's defense was tough asÂ it's been all season. With 6 1/2 to go,Â Utah Valley had scored 39 points. In UV's four previous games against D-1 teams, the Wolverines had averaged around 85 points.
UV just kept grinding away. Kept playing.
The Sioux keptÂ playing, but missed free throws - 22 in all. And the most stinging partÂ was UND's inability to hold a 7-point lead in the final 37 seconds of the third overtime.
Â As disappointing as the loss is, the Sioux program is taking steps forward. But a win against Utah Valley would have been one of the program's more notable wins since making the D-1 move.
But it was back to work Friday at the Betty. The players were in the weight room at 10:30 andÂ two coaches hit the road for a recruiting trip to Canada.
There hasn't been much buzz surrounding UND men's basketball the past couple of seasons. The Division I transition has been hard for the men's basketball program -Â perhaps harder than for any other UND athletic program
But the 8-9 Sioux are playing better these days and their true freshmen and redshirt freshmen are showing signs that UND basketball may again be entertaining to watch.
A big test will come Thursday night against Utah Valley, a team that is big and balanced. The WolverinesÂ beat Oregon State of the Pac 10 this season.
The Sioux have a chance to make some noise in the Great West. That's refreshing, especially after how quiet it's been around the Betty the last two seasons.
Also, thanks to those who participated in Wednesday's live chat at www.gfherald.com There were more questions than we could answer in the hour-long Cover-It-Live chat regarding Sioux athletics. We'll be back again next Wednesday from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m.
UND likely will be looking for a new play-by-play radio announcer for Sioux football.
Dan Hammer, who has called Sioux games the last seven seasons, said Tuesday he is returning to television. Hammer accepted the position of sports director of "Valley News Live," the joint KVLY-KXJB television newscasts.
Hammer has been the sports director of Radio Fargo-Moorhead the last four years. He has been the voice of Sioux football for the last seven, but his new television duties will make it difficult for him to continue to call Sioux games.
"At this stage, I think both UND and I recognize that with my new responsibilities and hours, it's going to be very difficult for me to remain as the voice of the Sioux," Hammer said. "I'd love to keep doing it, but that's 11 weekends I'd be tied up."
Hammer has a lot of TV experience. He spent 21 years at KVLY before leaving in 2002 for Radio Fargo-Moorhead.
HammerÂ starts his new TV duties Monday.
UND will be looking for a new offensive line coach.
Rod Carey took a similar position at Northern Illinois on Wednesday.
"It's a good move for Rod," Sioux coach Chris Mussman said. "I'm happy for him."
Northern Illinois beat UND 23-17 in September in DeKalb. After the season, former NIU coach Jerry Kill left for Minnesota, taking a handful of assistants with him.
The search for a new O-line coach at UND will begin sometime after the recruiting season ends.
Break time is over. Some Tuesday notes:
- It's been a tough season for both UND basketball teams. But if the Sioux men and women play like they did Sunday and Monday, who knows?
- Â The Sioux men, by far, played their best game of the season in their win against Longwood.Â Troy Huff could beÂ a difference-maker before his career hisÂ over. The freshman had a breakout game, 15 points and 13 rebounds. If the Sioux play the same way against South Dakota on Saturday,Â it could be an entertaining January and February.
- The Sioux women are 3-11 butÂ have cleared the toughest part of their schedule. If the Mothershed twins can scoreÂ like they did in UND's convincing win against Western Kentucky on Monday, the Sioux could win another Great West title and finish with a winning record. That, however, is a big if.
- Sioux sophomore center Shyla Kuehl has been dismissed from the women's basketball team. No reasons were given by Sioux coach Gene Roebuck, other than to say she is no longer with the team and didn't quit. Kuehl had not played much this season.
- Check out theÂ Decade of Dominance special section in Thursday'sÂ Herald.Â Hockey beat writer Brad SchlossmanÂ reviewsÂ Sioux hockey inÂ The Ralph since the program moved there in 2001. ThereÂ are some goodÂ behind-the-scences stories that never reached the Herald.
- Finally, we're going toÂ begin aÂ weekly Cover It Live chat with readers Wednesday at www.gfherald.com Â starting at 3 p.m. This is a big week in UND athletics; the Gophers will be in town Friday and Saturday for hockey; and South Dakota will be at The Betty on Saturday for men's and women's basketball. Brad Schlossman, Tom Miller and myself will be in on the chat. And it's national signing day for football recruits also is approaching, so that's another good topic. Cover It Live, Wednesday, 3 p.m. at www.gfherald.com
It was a good night for the Great West Conference in men's basketball.
Utah Valley beat Oregon State 70-68 in Corvallis while South Dakota upended Wyoming 80-70 at the DakotaDome in Vermillion.
Utah Valley's win came against a PAC 10 team that was 3-2 entering the game. South Dakota's win came against a 2-5 Mountain West Conference team.
One other men's basketball note: UND will try to schedule more Big Sky Conference teams for the 2011-12 season. Sioux coach Brian Jones said he hopesÂ some kind of scheduling alliance can be worked out for the Sioux to play as many Big Sky teams as possible next season.Â With South Dakota leaving the Great West after this season, UND will have two fewer Great West games next season.
The Sioux will join the Big Sky in 2012. Montana already is scheduled to play at UND next season.