North Dakota State will announce its late signees for the Class of 2019 on Wednesday, but it appears Matt Entz’s new staff has been pounding the pavement all over the country. Entz told me he had about five to six scholarships to play with and that was before the Brock Robbins mess.
NDSU added a quarterback in River Falls, Wisconsin’s Logan Graetz. Graetz is an interesting story, he’s 6’4, 200 pounds, he originally committed to the Bison over the summer, accepting a walk-on offer. In the middle of the fall, Minnesota offered Graetz a walk-on opportunity and he de-committed from NDSU. UND came into the picture about a month ago and offered Graetz a scholarship. The Bison staff kept Graetz in mind and he was offered a scholarship two weeks ago and he committed. NDSU needed a high school quarterback for this class after Jaren Lewis left for Kansas State.
The Bison have added a couple of wide receivers as well. Plano East’s Braylon Henderson committed on Friday. Henderson is a speedster, 5’9, 160 pounds, who plays in the highest level of Texas high school football. Henderson had 56 receptions for 852 yards and six touchdowns this past season, he had an offer from Howard University.
The other wide receiver is Casselton’s Jacob Halverson. Halverson is a big, lanky receiver at 6’3, 180 pounds. He set the Central Cass school record for receiving yards, he had 752 in his season year, adding in six touchdowns. Halverson is the first Division I commit from the school since NDSU moved up in 2003.
NDSU added a running back as well out of the state in Illinois in Austin Schiff from Glenwood High School in Chatham. Schiff stepped up during this fall after Glenwood’s top running back, Jason Hansbrough, went down with an injury. Schiff ran for 804 yards and seven touchdowns this season, he’s 5’11, 196 pounds, he tells me had preferred walk-on opportunities at Southern Illinois and Illinois State. Schiff is a speedster, he runs the 100 meters for his high school, he’s run track for four years.
Jenaro Ocama is a cornerback from Woodbury High School in the Twin Cities, the same school that produced former wide receiver Cooper Wahlo. Ocama is 6’1, 174 pounds, he had 23 tackles and three interceptions this fall for a team that lost in the opening round of the state 6A tournament. He was named to the Minnesota AP all-state second team, he’s the seventh member of the all-state team to sign or commit to NDSU.
North Dakota 9-man players have thrived in recent years, NDSU thinks they have found another gem in New Salem running back Braden Zuroff. Zuroff is 5’10, 170 pounds, he ran for 1,401 yards and 26 touchdowns on just 128 carries in 2018, to go along with eight receiving touchdowns for the Holsteins. New Salem-Glen Ullin-Almont has been a 9-man power the last three years, reaching the state title game twice. Zuroff is a three sport standout, he plays basketball for Glen Ullin and baseball for Beulah.
NDSU returned to the state of Florida in this late signing period, and flipped a commit in the process. St. Petersburg cornerback Cameron Smith. Smith had verbally committed to the University of Rhode Island, but after a visit to Fargo, will sign with NDSU on Wednesday. He’s 6’0, 185 pounds and plays at the highest level in the state of Florida. Smith had offers from Colorado State, Cincinnati and Akron, which automatically will raise some eyebrows.
There may be a couple other players that announce between now and Wednesday. Graetz, Smith and Henderson I know are scholarship offers, while Zuroff, Halverson, Schiff and Ocama are preferred walk-ons.
NDSU used 21 scholarships during the early signing period, which would bring its total to 24 heading into Wednesday.