Almost all of the 2018 recruiting class has already signed, doing so in the early period in December, but that doesn’t mean the NDSU football coaches are hanging out in their offices playing darts. Or working on their putting. Head coach Chris Klieman said all forces are a go with the contact period for recruits beginning Friday. It’s been a recruiting dead period since Dec. 18.
With the graduation of Jackson Koonce, one of the positions of immediate need is punter. And, obviously, Klieman said his staff is trying to recruit one.
“Those are the hardest to recruit and most are late,” Klieman said. “It’s one of the spots on the board we’re looking for.”
Redshirt freshman Garret Wegner will be the lone punter in spring football barring a late mid-semester transfer. He had more accolades in high school in Lodi, Wis., as a field goal kicker hitting a state record five field goals in one game and is third in state history in career field goals with 30. He had a long of 54 yards. Wegner averaged 40.5 yards per punt.
He came in for one punt in the FCS title game, a mishit that went for 26 yards, so not exactly the one-punt tryout the kid was looking for. At the least, NDSU would like to get some heated competition next fall camp. Koonce was a transfer from SMU so perhaps NDSU goes that route.
The Bison are also in the recruiting market for linebackers and receivers. We’ll never know how many scholarship dollars they have left in this class after signing 19 scholarship players in December but you have to figure there’s enough for perhaps three to five players. Certainly, Eden Prairie linebacker and Minnesota’s Mr. Football Antonio Montero is still out there.