(Stats Perform) – Amid all the excitement, college football coaches also breathed a sigh of relief when recruits formalized commitments as the traditional signing period began Wednesday.
Even North Dakota State, the dynasty program on the FCS level, sometimes sweats out the signing of national letters of intent.
“When recruits come on campus,” coach Matt Entz said, “and I get an opportunity to sit down with them, and if they’re one of those young men that we decide to offer, I often talk about the Bison effect that’s about to happen – meaning, the minute they walk off the campus and they make it public that they’ve received an offer from NDSU, don’t be surprised if FBS, Power-5, other FCS schools make an offer, and you may not know exactly who this team is and who the coach on the other end is.”
The three-time reigning FCS champion, and a winner of eighth of the last nine national titles, likely doesn’t have many recruits change a verbal commitment to sign with another program. But it happens, such as tight end Ko Kieft flipping to Minnesota in the 2016 recruiting cycle and quarterback Jaren Lewis following former Bison coach Chris Klieman to Kansas State after he first saying he was headed to Fargo two years ago.
With recruiting being the lifeblood of a program, NDSU’s success in winning championships and producing NFL talent has taken it to a higher level of talent. Virginia Tech transfer quarterback Quincy Patterson likened the Bison to “a pro team” during the December signing period.
“They give us an honest evaluation, and that’s what we’re looking for as high school coaches,” said Terry Bahlmann, the Marshall High coach in Medina, Minn., who in 2018 had a Bison recruit in quarterback Trey Lance – projected to be a first-round pick in this year’s NFL Draft – and now one in Trey’s younger brother Bryce in the 2021 signing class.
Eleven states are represented in NDSU’s signing class.
NORTH DAKOTA STATE 2021 RECRUITS
Cam Devine, RB, 6-2, 205, Brookfield, Wis. (Brookfield Central)
Finn Diggins, TE, 6-4, 215, Perham, Minn. (Perham)
Jaxon Duttenhefer, DT, 6-2, 275, Mandan, N.D. (Mandan)
Mike Florentine, LS, 6-1, 225, Frankfort, Ill. (Lincoln-Way East)
Eli Green, WR, 5-11, 185, Lakeville, Minn. (Farmington)
Chris Harris, WR, 6-4, 185, El Paso, Texas (El Dorado)
Sam Henry, OL, 6-6, 255, Eden Prairie, Minn. (Eden Prairie)
Nasir Howell, CB, 6-1, 175, Acworth, Ga. (North Cobb)
Kody Huisman, DT, 6-3, 263, Pella, Iowa (Pella)
Ryan Jones, S, 6-3, 195, Frisco, Texas (Reedy)
Reggie King, S, 6-3, 175, Grandview, Mo. (Grandview)
Logan Kopp, LB, 6-1, 195, St. Louis (Lindbergh)
Barika Kpeenu, RB, 5-10, 185, Fargo, N.D. (West Fargo Sheyenne)
Bryce Lance, WR, 6-2, 165, Marshall, Minn. (Marshall)
Kole Menz, DE, 6-3, 200, Horace, N.D. (West Fargo Sheyenne)
Alex Oechsner, CB, 5-10, 175, Muskego, Wis. (Catholic Memorial)
Britton Pascoe, CB, 5-11, 175, Apollo Beach, Fla. (Bloomingdale)
*Quincy Patterson, QB, 6-3, 235, Chicago (Solorio Academy/Virginia Tech)
Cole Payton, QB, 6-2, 218, Omaha, Neb. (Westside)
Grant Romfo, ATH, 6-1, 195, Calvin, N.D. (Langdon Area)
Braden Rucker, OL, 6-3, 230, Eureka, Kan. (Eureka)
Blake Sadr, OL, 6-4, 265, Council Bluffs, Iowa (Treynor)
Enock Sibomana, S, 5-10, 185, Fargo, N.D. (Fargo South)
Jack Steckler, TE, 6-5, 208, Bismarck, N.D. (Bismarck)
*Brayden Thomas, DE, 6-3, 260, Bismarck, N.D. (Bismarck/Minnesota State Mankato)
Kayden Warren, DT, 6-4, 250, Rice Lake, Wis. (Rice Lake)
Brayden Weber, LB, 6-1, 226, Becker, Minn. (Becker)
Truman Werremeyer, FB, 6-1, 226, Fargo, N.D. (Fargo Davies)