MOORHEAD — Jake Richter wanted to optimize what was left of his college football career so that led the Detroit Lakes (Minn.) High School graduate to the University of North Dakota.
The former Minnesota State Moorhead wide receiver joined the UND program as a graduate transfer Wednesday, Dec. 16, and will be eligible to play for the Fighting Hawks for the upcoming Missouri Valley Football Conference spring season and the following fall season.
“I just wanted to play football,” Richter said. “I heard there was a shot because the FCS is playing in the spring. My mindset was, I wanted to play football as soon as possible and as much as possible.”
A 6-foot-4, 220-pound wide receiver, Richter played in seven games for the Dragons in 2019, missing the start of that season due to an offseason Achilles injury. In 2018, Richter had his best season at MSUM, catching 68 passes for 1,113 yards and 10 touchdowns.
“I’m feeling really good,” Richter said of his physical health. “That’s why I’m really excited going into this.”
MSUM didn’t play this past fall due to the coronavirus pandemic and the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference is not playing a league schedule in the spring, leaving the decision to play games up to each conference member.
Richter entered the transfer portal in the fall and said he decided he was going to transfer to UND a few weeks ago. Richter added he developed a strong relationship with the Fighting Hawks coaches and that played a key role in him deciding on UND.
“I didn’t put much stock into just playing at the Division I level,” Richter said. “If it wasn’t the right fit, I wasn’t going to go anywhere, I was going to stay at MSUM. I’m glad that I found that UND was going to be a good fit for me.”
Richter was a big-play threat in his time with the Dragons, even during the 2019 season when he was coming off the Achilles injury. He caught 25 passes for 520 yards and four touchdowns, averaging 20.8 yards per reception. Richter had 14 career touchdown catches at MSUM.
UND's offense is in search of help at wide receiver after losing two veteran starters from a year ago in Noah Wanzek (career totals of 2,696 yards and 18 TDs) and Travis Toivonen (career totals of 1,719 yards, 13 TDs).
Richter is expected to complement UND’s top two returning receiving options in Garett Maag (610 yards in 2019) and Brock Boltmann (243 yards in 2019).
Richter said UND runs a spread offense with similarities to the system he played in at MSUM. That also factored into his decision.
“It felt right to go there,” Richter said. “I’m happy with how it worked out. … That’s the master plan to get two seasons in one year.”