Stepping up when your number is called

Stanley is making plays while turning heads and leading UND’s passing offense

“When a person goes down, it is next man up.” Luke Stanley said.

For University of North Dakota wide receiver Luke Stanley, things seem to be going pretty good for this season.

Last season the native of Menomonie, Wis. was redshirted, where he saw no in-game action. Fast forward to this season and it’s hard to believe this is his first year on the field.

The redshirt freshman has been one of the big cogs in the machine that is the UND offense this year. Stanley has found the end zone once and also leads the team in reception yards, with 109. The six foot four wide receiver had his coming out party in last week’s Potato Bowl matchup, where he registered 81 yards and a touchdown against Drake.

“It feels good being able to play and contribute.” Said a smiling Stanley. “It was tough to take a year off but I’m glad to be on the field.”

The wide-out certainly has had a hot start but he came to Grand Forks as a tight end in high school raking in multiple accolades including first team all-state by the Associated Press.

“It’s been a little easy and hard,” said Stanley on the transition from tight end to wide receiver. “I played a lot of wide receiver in high school so I wasn’t new to the position but just a few little tweaks I had to make.”

Not only has Stanley been a key part for the team, but the whole UND team is turning heads as they’re 2-0 to start the season.

“We got a lot more experience.” Stanley said.  “A lot of guys came back. Keaton (Studsrud) getting those starts in at the end of last season really helped too.”

Now it wouldn’t be an article if the revival of the North Dakota State University rivalry wasn’t mentioned.

This Saturday will mark the end of an twelve year absence of the Nickel Trophy game. NDSU left for division I football while the Green and White did not reach the D1 until 2008.

Stanley’s glad to have it back and also be a part of it.

“It’s exciting to say the least. To be in the first game back is really cool. I’m excited, the whole team is excited.”

Of course this doesn’t mean UND is psyching themselves out. The vibe at practice has been the same. They’re confident going into the game against the Bison.

Stanley was quick to add saying, “We’re treating it the same as any other game.”

Jack Harvey is a sports writer for The Dakota Student. He can be reached at [email protected]