Monday, June 26th, 2017. A day that will be remembered in NDSU football recruiting history. Six verbal commitments in one day, a landmark the program has not seen since moving up to the Division One level. The only day that might be on par was December 20th, 2014, a day after NDSU throttled Sam Houston State in the FCS Semifinals, four players verbally committed that day (Dimitri Williams, Trenton Mooney, Demaris Purifoy and Bruce Anderson). The day started with three commitments ends with nine, some with impressive resumes in tow.
Mitch Kartes – RB, St. Michael-Albertville: Kartes is a talented athlete from the Twin Cities, high school football fans in the area got to see him first hand last fall when the Knights came to Moorhead. Kartes scored two touchdowns and was a force on both sides of the ball for former Bison standout Jared Essler. Kartes is 6’0, 180 pounds, I’ve been told his leadership characteristics are very impressive.
Tony Pierce – DE, Auburndale (FL): Pierce comes from a high school football hotbed in Florida, he’s 6’3, 210 pounds who had offers from Southern Illinois, Montana State and Jacksonville State. Pierce was at NDSU’s big individual camp this past weekend, which makes the second year in a row that NDSU got a player from Florida out of that camp, Holden Hotchkiss was the first. Auburndale is about 20 minutes from Lakeland, a spot that’s proven to be successful, both Hotchkiss and Tre Dempsey hail from there.
James Kaczor – WR/DB, St. Cloud Tech: Kaczor is ranked the 18th best prospect in the state of Minnesota, he’s 6’3, 180 pounds. Kaczor had 54 receptions for 663 yards and five touchdowns last season, while also racking up 71 tackles. He had offers from SDSU, Columbia and Brown, he’s the eighth of ten children, all with some impressive athletic backgrounds. His teammate, Brevyn Spann-Ford, a talented and lanky wide receiver is heading to Minnesota.
Jackson Enz – QB/SS, Bigfoot (WI): Enz is an athletic talent, 6’1, 188 pounds, who plays quarterback and strong safety, the latter his likely position in college. Enz had offers from nearly everyone in the Missouri Valley, from Indiana State to Illinois State, UND also offered. Enz is a three year starter at quarterback, and also a multiple time state champion, a big time get out of Wisconsin.
Bartholomew Ogbu – WR/DE, Shiloh Christian (Bismarck, ND): The top prospect in the state of North Dakota for 2018 is heading to Fargo. Ogbu’s story is made for a movie, who came from Nigeria and landed in Bismarck. He lived with the superintendent of the school for a while, before finding a family to leave with. I saw Ogbu for the first time at the 2016 North Dakota Class B basketball tournament, and you could see then there was something special there. Ogbu is 6’6, 210 pounds, who is being targeted as a defensive end. He had offers from Wyoming, UND, Liberty, UNI and South Dakota State. Could be a special player in this class.
Bryan Nohava – DT/T, LeMars, IA: Nohava was the last commit in the barn on Monday night, a 6’5, 265 pound behemoth that will likely play offensive line in college. He was a second team all-state lineman, who’s future looks bright, a guy that could only get bigger during his senior year and when he arrives on campus about a year from now.
So that’s the day. Impressive haul for Chris Klieman, who’s commitments now stand at nine. NDSU didn’t hit nine commits till July 4th last year.
It was also a big day on the news front from the Summit League, as IUPUI has scheduled a major announcement for Wednesday when the school will announce they are leaving the Summit League and heading to the Horizon League for THIS season. That leaves the Summit with eight schools, and for the moment presents the league with a chance to go back to normal travel partners for this season. But it also means the league needs to act. UND will join at this time next year to get the conference to nine, but Tom Douple wants to get to ten, so who will it be? Roll out the usual suspects folks, cause the league needs a new school.