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Former UND offensive lineman Sam Hagen picks South Dakota State

May 6—GRAND FORKS — The UND football program has already experienced six players from the 2023 roster enter the transfer portal for FBS opportunities this offseason.

Former UND offensive lineman Sam Hagen won't be adding to that FBS total, but he's joining the back-to-back FCS national champions.

On Monday, the rising junior from Fordville, N.D., announced he'll transfer to South Dakota State, rejoining with former UND offensive coordinator Danny Freund, who's now the co-offensive coordinator in Brookings.

According to Herald sources, Hagen was deciding his transfer destination between two former UND coaches: Freund and former offensive line coach Joe Pawlak, now at Montana.

It wasn't the only good news this month for the Jacks, who also heard from starting quarterback Mark Gronowski, who has elected to return to SDSU for another season.

UND's offseason has included losing three expected starters on the offensive line, leaving Seth Anderson as the lone returning starter up front.

Starting center Cade Borud, a redshirt freshman in 2023, left after spring ball and has announced he'll transfer to Iowa, while Easton Kilty left after the regular season and is at Kansas State.

Other departures include quarterback Tommy Schuster to Michigan State, offensive lineman Brayden Bryant to San Diego State, wide receiver Jack Wright to Tulsa and defensive end Ben McNaboe to Ohio.

Hagen, who's 6-foot-6 and 320 pounds, made his college debut as a 19-year-old, starting at right tackle for UND in the season opener at Nebraska in 2022.

Hagen has played both guard and tackle at UND, starting off and on at tackle as a redshirt freshman and consistently at guard as a sophomore in 2023.

Hagen has two years of eligibility remaining.