And now the wait begins.
North Dakota State wrapped up spring football for 2019 Friday night inside Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome with the annual Green and Gold game. As we have seen over the past couple of years this has devolved from an actual game to more like a controlled scrimmage and that’s what we had Friday night. There was some two-minute drill and red zone work and then at the end some actual contact drills and football plays.
We have been watching all month long on who may emerge to lead the Bison quarterback battle after the spring. Trey Lance and Zeb Noland appear to be the early leaders in the clubhouse, with a slight advantage perhaps to Noland after a solid outing Friday. Noland threw a nice deep ball to redshirt freshman DJ Stewart (who’s starting to impress), while Lance had the night’s only interception. Again, take that for what it’s worth.
This is a decision that’s not going to be made Monday or even on the first day of fall camp. At least publicly, I don’t think we’re going to hear about a starting quarterback till that last week of August when the Bison have a game that week against Butler.
Offensive line is another spot where NDSU has some experience to replace, losing three guys. It was interesting to note with the injury to Cordell Volson, that redshirt freshman Jalen Sundell was getting first team snaps at right tackle. Sundell has earned praise from the coaching staff all spring long and very well could be the guy when the season begins. Zach Kubas was also out for the last half of the spring with a PCL injury in his knee. Kubas told me before the game he will be ready for the season, but imagine a possible O-line like this:
RT – Jalen Sundell
RG – Zack Johnson
C – Karson Schoening
LG -Nash Jensen
LT – Dillon Radunz
That intrigues me. With Kubas, Volson and Cody Mauch also earning praise, Entz has eight guys that could potentially play.
On defense, it was a pedestrian night. I did think that Jasir Cox had a night worth mentioning, with a couple of nice tackles, including one for loss. Cox played as a true freshman last year, mainly on special teams, but we could see him in the linebacker rotation next season. I also thought Michael Tutsie was strong tonight, he’s going to be a force on the back end in 2019.
Jeff and I have some more thoughts and I’ll try and crank out an early depth chart next week.