Fall camp unofficially ended on Saturday and school starts Monday with the NDSU football players. The offense came alive in the intrasquad scrimmage, specifically receiver Zach Vraa. He’ll be a tough one-on-one matchup for cornerbacks this season.
Other notes and thoughts:
- There were some special teams big plays with returner Ryan Smith, but there was also a large talent gap between the scout and the No. 1 units.
- If there is a gap between starting tailback D.J. McNorton and backup Sam Ojuri, it’s not much. Ojuri took one inside play, bounced it outside and picked up a chunk of yards in quick fashion.
- What I liked best about Vraa’s 12-yard touchdown reception is it came one play after he was leveled by cornerback Christian Dudzik, who made the receiver pay for a leaping grab. Vraa won the next battle up high for the TD.
- When Vraa committed out of Rosemount High School, his high school coach said what makes him so effective is his body control in traffic. He’s shown that this fall, and then some.
- The defense seemed a bit flat to me today, not showing the excitment it had in previous practices. Not having linebackers Preston Evans and Chad Willson, defensive end Kyle Emanuel and cornerback Marcus Williams could have had something to do with it. Several players were held out with minor injury flaps. Emanuel, for instance, has an oblique injury and head coach Craig Bohl said he could have maybe played if necessary.
- Speaking of Evans, he’s one of six captains, yes six, along with defensive end Coulter Boyer, safety Daniel Eaves, tight end Matt Veldman, offensive lineman Paul Cornick and McNorton.
- Backup offensive lineman Will Britt suffered a high ankle sprain and watched the rest of the scrimmage on crutches and a boot. Otherwise, it was a rather injury-free morning.
- It appears quarterback Carson Wentz won the spot for the No. 3 job with Dante Perez hurt. The true freshman was in a battle with freshman Ryan Stanford, although NDSU will only use Wentz in an absolute emergency, therefore protecting his redshirt. Wentz was impressive throwing a touchdown pass to tight end Taylor Nelson and generally showing good agility for a guy over 6-5.
- Punter Matt Voigtlander was so good on a couple of his kicks that he outbooted the coverage when Smith returned one of them a long way.