The UND football team’s defensive backfield drew plenty of criticism during the 2012 season, but the program has taken a step toward patching up their pass defense through recruiting.
On Tuesday, Minnesota Mr. Football finalist Jake Disterhaupt of Moose Lake-Willow River said he has given his verbal commitment to play safety for North Dakota.
“The first thing I like most is the coaching staff,” said Disterhaupt, a 6-foot-1, 185-pound three-sport athlete. “This staff stood out more than any I met. That was really big to me. I wanted to be with a staff that I liked. I liked how they interact with their players.”
UND was the first Division I school to offer Disterhaupt, who choose the Green and White over interest from South Dakota State and North Dakota State.
Disterhaupt led the Rebels to the state Class AA championship game in which they fell 25-22 to Caledonia for their first loss of the year.
Disterhaupt ran for 1,630 yards and 18 touchdowns, while racking up 381 receiving yards and five touchdowns.
“He’s one of the best athletes to come through our program,” Willow River-Moose Lake coach Dave Louzek said. “He was a great leader as a captain. He did a great job handling and passing on expectations.”
Disterhaupt said he attended a handful of UND games this past season and the opportunity to potentially see the field early in his career played a factor in his commitment.
“That came into play a little bit,” he said. “They might need a good safety.”
Disterhaupt plays basketball and track in high school, as well. He advanced to the state meet in track in the 200, 4×200 and 4×400. He finished sixth in the 200 at the state meet.
Disterhaupt said he was primarily recruited by UND offensive coordinator Greg Breitbach, as well as running backs coach Danny Freund.
Louzek said Disterhaupt attends a school that houses K-12, and he’s a great role model. Louzek said he often signs autographs for the younger students.
Disterhaupt said the current plan is to redshirt as a freshman, but the idea of playing as a true freshman isn’t out of the question.