November 25, 2015

Grady a gem for UND Fighting Hawks


By Tom Miller

University of North Dakota offensive coordinator Paul Rudolph was watching 9-man football in tiny Towner, last fall scouting New Town offensive lineman Elijah Grady.

At halftime, Rudolph made a trip to the concession stand and struck up a conversation before the second-half kickoff.

"Well, let’s see if they kick to the big guy," Rudolph said.

Sure enough, his 6-foot-5, 295-pound recruit took the second-half kickoff more than 70 yards for a touchdown.

"He outran that entire Towner team," Rudolph said.

Grady was UND’s hidden gem, tucked back on the Fort Berthold Reservation and playing for a struggling program.

A Native American, Grady played for a New Town team that struggled to find nine guys to play every week and he thinks the school won three or four games in his four years. New Town didn’t win any games his first two years in the program, he said.

One year later, Grady is now the starting right tackle on a 6-4 UND team that needs a win at Cal Poly on Saturday night to be considered for the FCS playoffs.

"It’s cool to be on a winning team and have a shot at the playoffs," Grady said. "I’ve never even played football in November."

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