GRAND FORKS — In a matter of six days, Devon Krzanowski and Adam Stage went from veteran members of NCAA Division II St. Cloud State to verbal commitments to Division I University of North Dakota.
Krzanowski, an inside linebacker with two years of eligibility remaining, and Stage, a kicker with one year left, announced verbals to the Fighting Hawks early this week after a Saturday recruiting visit to Grand Forks.
The commitments come on the heels of last Tuesday's decision by St. Cloud State to eliminate its football program.
"The start of last week was really tough, getting the news out of the blue, then trying to figure out what you're going to do while you're trying to do homework, go to class, take finals ... and that whole time you're taking calls from coaches all day," Krzanowski said. "It was pretty tough."
Krzanowski, a 6-foot-2, 225-pound Fond du Lac, Wis., native, was a second team all-Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference selection in 2019 as a middle linebacker in the Huskies' 4-3 scheme. He finished the year with 72 tackles, 4.5 sacks and 9.5 tackles for loss.
UND will be looking to rebuild at inside linebacker in 2020 after losing seniors Donnell Rodgers and Tyron Vrede.
"Getting the chance to move up a division is a great opportunity to see where I'm at and how far I can go as an individual player," Krzanowski said.
Stage, of Appleton, Wis., was 11-for-19 on field goals in 2019. He had a long of 45 yards and also 26 touchbacks.
UND has struggled to kick the ball into the end zone the past few seasons on kickoffs. In 2019, UND kickers Brady Leach and Brady Stevens combined for four touchbacks, while UND's opponents racked up 24 touchbacks against the Hawks.
Stage was second team all-NSIC in 2019. He was honorable mention all-NSIC as a sophomore and first team all-conference as a freshman.
As a rookie, Stage kicked a school record 55-yard field goal against the University of Mary.
"It's still less than a full week of having the official news," Stage said, "so it's been a mad scramble. You're trying to figure out what credits transfer, housing, what degrees schools have, what internships they have ... it's been a lot.
"One of the biggest reasons I chose North Dakota is academics. They have a great program in marketing. I also really enjoyed meeting with (UND special teams coach Shawn Kostich) and (UND head coach Bubba Schweigert)."
UND had a number of connections with St. Cloud State's coaching staff. Head coach Scott Underwood was an inside linebackers coach at UND in the late 1990s. The Huskies' co-offensive coordinator Chris Mussman preceded Schweigert as UND's head coach. Mussman spent 14 years in Grand Forks.