North Dakota adds QB, two JUCO standouts

Former North Carolina quarterback Braden Hanson is among three transfers who have joined the University of North Dakota football program, Fighting Sioux head coach Chris Mussman announced Friday.

Like Hanson, junior college transfers Derrick Goard from the College of DuPage and Euylan "E.J." Welch from Mesabi Range Community and Technical College are currently enrolled and can participate in offseason activities immediately.

Hanson, from Charlotte, N.C., spent four seasons at North Carolina. He graduated in December, then decided to transfer to UND for his final season of eligibility.

The 6-foot-6 left-handed thrower, the 2007 Gatorade Player of the Year in North Carolina, saw action in six games in a reserve role as a redshirt junior this past season. He completed 9-of-16 passes for 185 yards.

"He is a big, tall, strong-armed kid," Mussman said. "We are excited to see how he can help us next fall. He's a FBS transfer that wanted an opportunity to play and that was his biggest decision in transfering here. He's going to be in competition with the other guys we have in the program, but he has the chance to earn the starting job and that's what he wanted."

Goard is a 6-foot, 220-pound linebacker from Flossmoor, Ill. He registered 39 tackles and a pair of sacks in nine games as a sophomore. He returned an interception 92 yards for a touchdown against North Dakota School of Sciences.

Welch, 6-2, 285 pounds, is a defensive end who collected 62 tackles, including 36 solo stops and six sacks, during his sophomore season. He also forced three fumbles.

North Dakota shared the Great West Football Conference title this past season and will join the Big Sky Conference next season.