Remember when North Dakota State made the decision to go Division One, there was a thought among some that in-state athlete would not be able to compete at that level. We all know now that is not the case. It's pretty easy to find kids from North Dakota high schools playing for the Bison.
One of the highest profile athletes is Century's Carson Wentz. The NDSU quarterback led the team to a 4th-straight national championship last season.
"I think he's really special," said Bison head coach Chris Klieman. "I'm bias and I don't see every quarterback but I think he's as good as there is at the FCS level and I think when you look at the FBS level if he were in a Big-10/Big-12 school just with his size, stature and running a pro style offense, I think a lot more people would be talking about him."
Wentz is not the only football player from our coverage area helping the Bison football team. Klieman talked about a couple of upperclassmen in the mix, "Landon Lechler from Beach is going to be a dynamite offensive lineman for us. I'm really excited what he's going to be able to do. He's going to be another year starter. I think he's going to be an all-conference style player for us. He's 6-7, over 300 pounds and really a big difference maker for us. We're excited to get Nate Moody back. I'm hoping his knee heals the way that the doctors expect and he can have a productive senior year."
The Bison graduated a number of talented defensive players like Kyle Emanuel, Colton Heagle, Carlton Littlejon and Esley Thorton. A couple of the younger athletes being groomed to replace them are from Dickinson and Bismarck, "We're expecting a lot from Levi Jordheim. We hope Levi gets in the mix. He's a young player still developing but he'll help us on special teams early on ad then we'll see what happens. We're excited about what Staley Jones can do but Stanley missed all of spring ball too so he's behind a little bit but he'll get caught up in the summer so yes Western North Dakota has been very good to us."
NDSU opens the season at Montana on Aug. 29.