The news was startling when I first heard of it around 9:30 this morning that NDSU had dismissed senior linebacker Brandon Jemison for a unspecified violation of team rules. Fargo Police say they are investigating Jemison and can’t comment any further. Either way, it’s a tough way to end what was a promising career for the Fargo South product, who was as a highly touted recruit as NDSU has landed in recent years, Jemison was one of the best players in North Dakota in 2008, and after injuries found himself thrust into the starting lineup in 2009. He continued to develop in 2010, starting all 14 games for NDSU, finishing 2nd on the team in tackles. Jemison had his first hip procedure done in March of 2011 and missed all of spring football, he returned for fall camp, but there was a noticeable difference in his speed, he was replaced in the starting lineup by Week 7 by Travis Beck. Jemison continued to make some great tackles on special teams, and could tell his presence on the sidelines was valued by his teammates. The highlight of his 2011 season was the fantastic tackle he made on Dominique Swope on 4th and goal in the 4th quarter of the Georgia Southern game, NDSU led 20-7 at that point and swung the momentum back to the Bison. Jemison had another procedure done on his other hip, but you could tell thru the first few practices, he was not close to his former self. Bohl told the media last Friday that Jemison’s hip put him in a position that he couldn’t play every down and re-iterated today that his reps had been decreasing by the practice. Now this chapter closes what was a wild career. Disappointing end to a guy filled with talent. The question now becomes, where does NDSU go from here at linebacker?
STARTERS: Grant Olson (Junior); Carlton Littlejohn (Sophomore); Travis Beck (Sophomore)
BACKUPS: DeShawn Dinwiddie (Sophomore); Alex LaVoy (Redshirt Freshman)
RETURNERS: Nick Scoliere (Redshirt Freshman); Joey Sonnenfeld (Redshirt Freshman)
NEWCOMERS: Jacob Davis; Matt Larson; Codee Lee; Zach Riopelle; MJ Stumpf
TRANSFER: Antonio Rodgers
INJURED: Tyler Gefroh; Logan Huska
I’m not convinced NDSU needs to play a true freshman right away at linebacker. DeShawn Dinwiddie had a terrific spring, including a couple of tackles in the spring game that made me sit up and pay attention. Alex LaVoy for those that forgot, led the Spring Game with 7 tackles and also had an interception in the 2nd scrimmage of the spring, he seemed to get better as practice went along. Nick Scoliere has caught the eye of the coaching staff with some raw ability; and Joey Sonnenfeld (who is huge) is making the transition from safety to linebacker, and watching Steve Stanard work with him during the spring, I think he can make it happen. Antonio Rodgers was brought in from a junior college in California to play right away, he’s wearing Preston Evans old number and once he gets healthy this fall camp, we’ll be interested to see how he progresses. If there is one out of the true freshman class that could see the field it would be Jacob Davis, the 6’2, 230 pound backer out of Wichita, who already had a college body arriving at campus. Bohl told me today he didn’t forsee taking any redshirt off the freshmen, but something we’ll keep an eye on.