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Tom Miller / Forum News Service, Published December 18 2013

UND loses two of its top football players via transfer

GRAND FORKS – The University of North Dakota football team was delivered a major blow Wednesday as two of the program’s top players decided to transfer.

Sources confirm that UND sophomore wide receiver Kenny Golladay and junior defensive back Daryl Brown will not return next season to North Dakota, which is in the process of hiring a new head coach.

Golladay, a 6-foot-4 wide receiver from Chicago, was the team’s leading pass catcher with 69 grabs for 884 yards and eight touchdowns. The eight scores also led the team.

Golladay played as a true freshman in 2012, so he still has a redshirt season to spend if he transfers to a school that would require he sit out a year. He would have two years of eligibility remaining.

Golladay reportedly is transferring to Northern Illinois, a Mid-American Conference program that will play Utah State in the upcoming Poinsettia Bowl in San Diego.

To add to the loss of Golladay, UND took a hit earlier this offseason when Jameer Jackson announced he will transfer to Minnesota State-Mankato.

With the departure of Golladay and Jackson, as well as losing seniors Greg Hardin, Blair Townsend and Jake Miller, UND will return just one player who scored a rushing or receiving touchdown last season. Adam Shaugabay and his eight touchdowns will be UND’s only returning scorer.

With Golladay’s exit, UND will be losing its top five receivers from a year ago. The top returner is expected to be Romon Bridges, who caught nine balls for 56 yards.

Brown, who said he plans to play at Minnesota-Duluth, has been UND’s top cornerback the past couple of seasons. He finished 2013 ninth on the team with 37 tackles.

The 5-foot-10 Plymouth, Minn., native has three career interceptions.

“I want to thank every single coach I had, starting with coach Mussman,” Brown said of former UND coach Chris Mussman. “He gave me the opportunity to come play for this program, and it was an honor playing here.

“I want to apologize to my teammates, especially the guys who are now considered seniors. These are guys I stepped in the door with and who I was hoping to walk out with. I just want to say I am still behind each and every one of you all.”

Brown also stressed he appreciated the support of director of athletic academic services Amanda Hajdu and UND First Lady Marcia Kelley during his time in Grand Forks.

Miller writes for the Grand Forks Herald