Friday’s hot links

 

Flying from Cheney to Eugene?

I know plenty come to this blog for Bison info, but I’d be remised if I didn’t post anything about the biggest story out of the FCS this week, which is Eastern Washington standout quarterback Vernon Adams taking a visit to Oregon this weekend about possibly transferring to the Ducks.

Vernon Adams may transfer from Eastern Washington to Oregon.

How is this possible? For NDSU fans, go back to 2012 when cornerback Andre Martin transferred from Northern Iowa to NDSU after he graduated from UNI and was going to grad school at NDSU since the school offered a grad program that Northern Iowa didn’t. Martin was immediately eligible and was a huge factor in the Bison winning the title that year, playing in all 15 games, starting 13, his only interception a huge 37 yard return against Sam Houston State. To tie into the Super Bowl; Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson used the same rule to transfer from North Carolina State to Wisconsin in 2011. The rule states that either the player or the inquiring school must ask permission before contact can be made between a school and player under scholarship at another school.

Back to Adams. He’s been dominant at the FCS since his arrival in Cheney as a redshirt freshman in 2012, tearing up the record books at EWU and the Big Sky, leading them to back to back FCS semifinal appearances in ’12 and ’13. He’s been the runner-up for the Walter Payton award for the last two seasons and if you need further proof? Look what he’s done against the PAC-12 the last two years:

  • 2013 vs Oregon State: 23-30, 411 yds, 4 TD, 107 rush yds, 2 rush TD
  • 2014 vs Washington: 31-46, 475 yds, 7 TD passes

Washington head coach and former Boise State coach Chris Petersen said of Adams after the game: “He looked real good. You see that all the time. He’s a heck of a player and he could probably play for anybody in the country, without question.”

Words that may come back to haunt Petersen, as many of you that read the blog know that Oregon has offered Adams a scholarship, he begins his visit in Eugene this weekend. The Ducks are in the market for a quarterback after Marcus Mariota declared he’s leaving for the NFL Draft. Eastern Washington released a statement saying “they granted the student-athlete the ability to see what opportunities may exist.” For EWU their responsibility was to make sure Adams graduated, which he will in June. For his teammates, you have to wonder how they feel about this. Just last week, I listed EWU as one of my top six contenders to win the national title in 2015, based mainly on the fact that Adams would be back. Perhaps the juiciest part of this entire story is the fact that Eastern Washington opens 2015 at Oregon.

Is this the start of college football free agency? Will other FBS programs start picking the best out of the FCS to fill a one year vacancy? My biggest question is if I’m Oregon, how do you know have a quarterback in waiting? The backup to Mariota is Jeff Lockie, who’s only thrown 41 passes the last two seasons. My feeling is if Oregon has offered you a scholarship you have to take it with probably some assurances from Ducks head coach Mark Helfrich that he’s got the inside track to the starting job. For fans of FCS football, it means we lose out on seeing one of the best and may start an interesting process for future players that have eligibility remaining.

Woodside is 1A. But is Lawrence Alexander approaching 1B? Or 1A-minus?

I have a story addressing this issue going in Thursday’s newspaper, but one of the factors that has helped the Bison men to a 13-7 record despite not having a very deep roster is an adjustment in how head coach Dave Richman is handling the practice schedule. He’s not beating them up.

Guard Lawrence Alexander is fourth in the country in minutes played at 38.3 a game, which means it takes you longer to go get a soda at Scheels Arena than it does for Alexander to sit on the bench. What Richman has done to help that situation is get more out of his team in less time in the gym — there is no sense in making guys go up and down the floor for three hours. “We’ve tweaked some things in how we practice,” he said.

Asked if he’s concerned Alexander could wear out, Richman said, “Yeah, there’s always that concern but we’ve tried to alleviate some of that concern but what he does or doesn’t do in practice. Because on game nights, we’re going to ride or die a little bit with him.”

Alexander, by the way, passed Ben Woodside for the NDSU career record in minutes played. That seems crazy to me since Woodside was one of those guys that never came out of the game. You never wanted him out of the game. Still the career leader in points, Woodside is still the best point guard in Bison history. But question is this: at this rate, if Woodside is 1A, is Alexander 1B? He did lead the team, after all, to a rare NCAA tournament win for a Summit League team. Alexander wasn’t the scorer that Woodside was his first three seasons, although he’s showing what he can do this year when he’s leading a team that needs him to score. He leads the Summit in scoring average at 18.1 a night and 3-point field goals made per game (2.9).

Wednesday’s hot links

Turning back the clock a bit here. Here’s John Crockett being interviewed by WCCO’s Mike Max in 2012.

 

 

Tuesday’s hot links

  • The bubble over Dacotah Field is pleasing athletes and coaches who can now simulate game situations. And the golf teams can get their range work in, too. Said softball outfielder Jenna Isbel, “We’re able to see live balls off the bat without hitting the top of the ceiling at the BBF. It’s super nice. We’ve already had some alumni come around and they’re like this is incredible. So, yeah, we’re super grateful to have this.”
  • NDSU athletic director Matt Larsen says the outcome of the season (another FCS title) wasn’t a factor in Chris Klieman’s extension.

Senate passes resolution to honor football team

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota tweeted this today.

 

And from Sen. John Hoeven:

Monday’s hot links

 

Friday’s hot links