‘Every Kid’s Dream’: Kindred’s Sunram Spends Thanksgiving Weekend on the DI Football Recruiting Path – InForum

KINDRED, ND — Kindred High School junior Riley Sunram is having a football-packed Thanksgiving weekend that includes two game-day college visits and hopefully a buffet dinner while traveling from Kindred to Kansas City on Thursday.

When the trip reaches the Omaha, Neb. area, Sunram expects the search for good holiday food to peak.

“We’re not going to miss Thanksgiving entirely,” said Sunram, who likes ham and traditional turkey.

The highly recruited NCAA Division I football contender has a game day visit to Missouri on Friday when that country hosts Southeastern Conference opponents Arkansas. Then on Saturday he will be in Manhattan, Kansas for a game day visit to Kansas State, which hosts Big 12 Conference rivals Kansas.

“I love football so it’s pretty cool to get two visits this weekend,” Sunram said.

Kindred’s Riley Sunram has two Division I football gameday visits scheduled for Thanksgiving weekend.

David Samson/The Forum

The 6-foot-5, 265-pound Sunram already had gameday stops in North Dakota State, Minnesota, Iowa State, Nebraska and Kansas before this weekend. He has eight DI offerings, including six from FBS programs. Sunram also has FCS offerings from NDSU and the University of North Dakota.

Nebraska, Kansas State, Iowa State, Kansas, Duke and Minnesota are its Power Five conference offerings. He has yet to receive an offer from Missouri.

“It was great,” said Ryan Sunram, Riley’s father. “He’s living every kid’s dream and these (visits) are so awesome to share that with him.”

Riley is recruited by most programs as an offensive lineman, but some schools may also consider him along the defensive line.

Riley recently wrapped up his junior football season with Kindred, finishing 10-1 and reaching the North Dakota Class 11B Quarterfinals. The season ended earlier than he would have liked.

“It makes me want to play football really badly,” Riley said of his recent gameday visits. “I wish I could play football longer. It lengthened the season a bit.”

Riley plans to make his college decision before his senior football season begins next fall.

That’s why these matchday visits are important to Sunram.

“We have to take advantage of it as Riley wants to try and make a decision before next fall,” Ryan said. “We have the ability to do it, so let’s do it. Riley also wants to meet the coaches, that’s very important to him.”

Riley was seated near the Kansas Bank during his visit to Lawrence last weekend. The Jayhawks played Texas, who earned a 55-14 win. Ryan said Riley observed the Kansas coaches interacting with the players during the game, specifically one of the defensive line coaches. He had to see how the coaches reacted in an adverse situation.

“How does he deal with the players in this situation?” said Ryan. “That was positive for this coaching staff. It was really cool to see that and how he interacts. That’s important to Riley too. That’s why we do it, because you have to feel comfortable with it.”

Kansas State head coach Chris Klieman is a former NDSU head coach who guided the Bison to several FCS national championships before taking the job at K-State.

“We’re big bison fans,” Ryan said. “Riley liked to watch football and bison games on Saturdays and went to a few, so I think there’s a relationship if you just know who (Klieman) is.”

Riley said it was cool to get an offer from Klieman after seeing his success at NDSU.

“It’s kind of fun to see him in K-State now,” Riley said. “They’re doing pretty well, too.”

Riley said he also enjoyed meeting with the different coaches, experiencing the big game day atmosphere and seeing the different types of college towns.

He added that making a final decision before the start of his football season will not be easy.

“It’s going to be tough, but that’s what I’m hoping for right now,” said Riley, who excels in multiple sports with the Vikings. “It’s tough. Everyone says it’s good to have a lot of options, but that also makes it harder.”