Well that was fun. I grew up on the East Coast as many of you that read this blog know and college football is not popular in my neck of the woods, so when I got to Fargo and experienced my first signing day in 2007, I didn’t really see what all of the fuss was about. But after going thru this for a couple years, then being able to talk to the prospective athletes on the phone or in person, then see them perform, it’s a pretty neat deal. This by far was my favorite to date, to talk to the recruits that NDSU signed on Wednesday over the past five months has been great, especially the out-of-staters that saw the Bison win the national championship or experienced one of the playoff games. One of the recruits asked me over the phone, “Is it always that loud for home games?” I responded, “It will be from now on.” As for the class of 2012, I’m proud to say that Jeff and I reported on each and every one that ended up signing with the Bison. Now a couple headlines from signing day, also the 2012 Signing Class:
1) Jack Plankers – 6’7, 290 lbs, Offensive Lineman, Kindred, ND
2) Zach Riopelle – 6’2, 215 lbs, Linebacker, Warren-Alvarado-Oslo, MN
3) DeSean Warren – 5’10, 158 lbs, Wide Receiver, Overland Park, KS
4) Zach Johnson – 6’4, 310 lbs, Offensive Guard, Apple Valley, MN
5) Andy Smith – 6’0, 185 lbs, Defensive Back, Sioux Falls, SD
6) M.J. Stumpf – 6’2, 195 lbs, Linebacker, Harvey, ND
7) Bo Liekhus – 6’0, 200 lbs, Safety, Bellevue, NE
8) Derek McGinnis – 6’2, 200 lbs, Quarterback, Crete, NE
9) Carey Woods – 6’0, 180 lbs, Wide Receiver, Bemidji, MN
10) Demetrius Gray – 6’4, 180 lbs, Wide Receiver, Aurora, IL
11) Austin Farnlof – 6’1, 255 lbs, Offensive/Defensive Line, Anthem AZ
12) Chuks Amaechi – 6’2, 202 lbs, Linebacker, Avondale, AZ
13) Brett Pierce – 6’6, 250 lbs, Defensive End, Richfield, MN
14) Jacob Davis – 6’2, 242 lbs, Linebacker, Wichita, KS
15) Sam Hahn – 6’6, 260 lbs, Offensive Tackle, De Witt, NE
16) Landon Lechler – 6’8, 240 lbs, Offensive Lineman, Beach, ND
17) Marcus Brantley – 5’10, 180 lbs, Safety, Mesa, AZ
18) Justin Arp – 6’5, 215 lbs, Defensive End/Tight End, Forman, ND
- Craig Bohl told me he sees “five players that could play right away next year” and says as a whole it’s an “exceptional group.”
- NDSU added two more walk-ons that were not on the official release, one name we reported earlier in January, in kicker Tom Barneson out of Eau Claire. The 2nd is also a Wisconsin native, Eric Perkins from Kewaskum, he’s 5’9, 175 pounds, ran for 1,883 yards and 27 touchdowns this past season.
- NDSU did NOT recruit a Running Back in this class. The Bison have 4 on the roster currently, Sam Ojuri, Derrick Lang, Matt Jones and Amos Buehner. Wes Hudson was dismissed from the team during the season, but for the first time to my recollection, Bohl mentioned John Crockett. For those that don’t know Crockett is a member of the sensational 2010 class, but has not yet seen the field, trying to get his grades in order to become eligble. I fully believe that NDSU held off recruiting a running back because they expect Crockett to be on the field come fall camp in August. Crockett was a fantastic high school player at Totino-Grace, an all-state first team selection by the Associated Press, ran for 1,802 yards and 34 touchdowns in 2009. If Crockett becomes eligible, all worries at running back in my mind disappear.
- The one name that WE had on our list that was not announced yesterday was Deveon Dinwiddie. But that doesn’t mean he’s not coming to NDSU. Wednesday, Hutchinson Community College, where Dinwiddie played this past season, sent out a release, saying he’s heading to NDSU. You can read the release here, scroll down halfway to find Dinwiddie’s name. Now nothing is a done deal and the coaches CANNOT comment yet on any player that hasn’t officially signed, we’ll keep you posted.
I looked briefly at South Dakota State’s class which looks pretty good, I see that at least four guys NDSU had offered chose the Jacks, something to keep an eye on. The one bi-product of NDSU winning the national championship is it’s going to raise the bar for all of the Valley teams, especially now the bordering ones in SDSU and USD. That’s all for now, going to take a deep breath from this recruiting frenzy and get ready for the stretch run of the basketball season. Any updates on walk-ons and JUCO’s we’ll pass along as always. For those that missed the live interview with Craig Bohl, this is the link. Also wanted to thank everyone for the kind words over the past few weeks, it’s been fun, we’ll keep it up!