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Eric Peterson, Published December 15 2013

Barnesville's Strand picks Minnesota State Moorhead for football

MOORHEAD - A Minnesota Mr. Football Award finalist said he's headed to Minnesota State Moorhead.

Barnesville senior Michael Strand has verbally committed to play football for the Dragons.

"I just loved their coaches and how they already made me feel like I am part of the team," Strand said Sunday.

Strand rushed for 1,701 yards and 31 touchdowns in his final seaon with the Trojans. The 5-foot-11, 170-pound running back added 14 catches for 306 yards and six touchdowns. Strand also returned three punts for touchdowns.

Strand said he will play slot receiver and return punts and kicks at MSUM. He expects to redshirt his first season. Strand is excited to move to a receiving position in college.

"That is what I wanted to play coming out of high school," Strand said. "I can use my shiftiness. I just thought it fit well for me."

Strand said he also considered St. Cloud State and had a preferred walk-on opportunity at North Dakota State.

Strand likes the direction the MSUM program is headed. The Dragons won four games last fall, their most wins in a season since 2007.

"I think that MSUM is really turning around and in the upcoming years they are going to be team to watch for," Strand said.