On April 4, the day NDSU spring football practice began, we ran a list of “Five Questions” in regards to this season that essentially starts now. With the annual spring game just a few days away, let’s see if there are any answers yet:
- Will the harmony continue? Senior leadership was considered a major factor in NDSU’s FCS playoff run last year. The Bison will have to replace that kind of off-the-field team presence. Comment: This question will be better answered once the season gets rolling. Team captains are selected at the beginning of fall camp, but it appears guys like Preston Evans, D.J. McNortonÂ and Coulter Boyer would be good candidates.
- Who will emerge as the starting quarterback? Sophomore Brock Jensen will open as the No. 1 guy but the coaches have made it known the position is up for grabs. Comment: Jensen has retained his No. 1 status to date, but freshman Esley Thorton is pushing him and is regarded as the No. 2 quarterback.
- Who will man the middle? With standout defensive tackle Matt Gratzek gone, the key spot in the Tampa 2 defense has an opening and it appears sophomore Leevon Perry will get first crack. Comment: Perry showed in the first couple of weeks that he indeed will be the first to get that chance. The tackle-noseguard is currently seeing a rotation of Perry, sophomore Ryan Drevlow andÂ sophomore Justin Juckem with freshman Anthony LaVoy getting a look.
- Who will challenge at wide receiver? The two redshirt freshmen, Zach Vraa and Trevor Gebhart, will have their chances with the absence of injured senior Warren Holloway. Comment: The two certainly haven’t disappointed with Gebhart earning a solid starting spot and Vraa not far behind.
- Who will get their kicks? Senior Matt Voigtlander is tabbed to take over the punting job. Senior Ryan Jastram is the returning kicker, although freshman Adam Keller is healthy to challenge him. Comment: Voigtlander has taken the position switch and run with it. Coaches are comfortable with him as the punter. As for the kicker, not so much. Field goal game needs work.