Minnesota State Moorhead started its spring football practices earlier this week with more than 80 players in camp, the most since head coach Steve Laqua took over the program.
Next fall will be Laqua’s seventh season with the Dragons.
“This is most talent we’ve had since I’ve been here,” Laqua said.
MSUM lost two starters on offense and three on defense off last season’s 7-4 team.
“We need to fill in some of those unknown gaps,” Laqua said. “We have to keep raising the standard.”
Senior Demetrius Carr is the established starter at quarterback, passing for 2,710 yards and 31 touchdowns last fall. The Dragons also return Carr’s top target, senior wide receiver Damon Gibson, who caught 90 passes for 1,549 yards and 17 touchdowns.
“I think his leadership skills and his mentoring skills have infinitely grown through the offseason,” Laqua said of Carr. “He’s full embraced his leadership role.”
Sophomore quarterback Bryce Meehl, from Oakes, N.D., is No. 2 on the depth chart.
Laqua said the Dragons have a number of talented young defensive linemen in the program. Miles Baggett and Matt Domek played as true freshman last fall. Darin Gipson, Darius Woods-Steichen, Hunter Sall and Connor Schultz are promising defensive line prospects who redshirted last season.
“We thought our redshirt defensive line was talented,” Laqua said. “Now they have to prove it.”