I hope everyone enjoyed that six week break from college football as the sport returns to our radars on Sunday. First a thank you to Jody Norstedt from doing a great job of covering the Bison basketball team at the Summit League Tournament and NCAA Tournament while I was doing the play by play on the North Dakota state tournaments.
I visited with head coach Chris Klieman to preview the upcoming month of spring football, the interview will air later this week on WDAY and in its entirety here on the blog, we’ll give you plenty of heads up on that. Some of the highlights here before the first practice, which comes on Sunday at 2:30.
- The team is relatively healthy heading into the spring. There are a few notable injuries; first starting right guard Jeremy Kelly will miss the entire spring after having surgery on his back, but will be ready for fall camp. Wide receiver Nate Moody, back for his fifth year, after sitting out last year with a redshirt will miss the spring as well recovering from a knee injury. Defensive tackle Austin Farnlof who injured his knee again during the season will also miss the spring. Zach Vraa is healthy, but will see limited reps over the next month, likely working in drills but not participating in the scrimmages.
- There are a couple of positions that Klieman will be keeping a close eye on this spring; linebacker and safety. Klieman says Harvey native M.J. Stumpf will get the first crack at outside linebacker. Klieman said he likes what Stumpf has brought to special teams over the last two years and knows “he won’t be handed that position.” Klieman added that redshirt freshman Dan Marlette and Levi Jordheim will be pushing for playing time and finding the right six linebackers is important heading into the fall.
- Couple of other position changes, Austin Kuhnert will be moving to center from left guard, a spot he started at in 11 games during his redshirt freshman season. Tre Dempsey will move from cornerback to free safety.
- There was one other player that left the team besides the departures of Derek McGinnis, DeSean Warren and Dee Gray, tight end Marcus Collins. Most fans will remember Collins enrolled early last spring, but redshirted this past season. Klieman says a health issue will prevent Collins from playing football, but is still enrolled in school.
Those are just some of the talking points from our interview, more coming in the next few days as spring football gets going! Klieman will also be on Kolpack and Izzo Saturday morning at 10:05.