The deadline to apply for the open athletic director position at NDSU is tomorrow, today I received a new list of candidates for the position to go on top of the six that we had posted back on July 6th:
Jeff Tingey – Athletic Director at Idaho State
Eric Buskirk – Senior Athletic Director at UC Riverside
Daron Montgomery – Athletic Director at UW Stevens Point
Kevin Buisman – Athletic Director at MSU Mankato
Tim Mooney – Associate AD for External Operations at Idaho
David Crum – Sr. Associate AD for Development at Colorado State
Alex Kringen – Sr. Director of Development at Kansas State
Steve Becvar – Associate Athletic Director at San Diego
NDSU landed one of its top targets for the Class of 2015 on Friday in Hawley tight end Ben Ellefson. Ellefson is huge, 6’4, 225 pounds, he’s been a constant on our First Down Friday highlight shows over the last two falls. Ellefson got plenty of attention starting this time last year when he was named MVP of NDSU’s Junior Camp. He also had some major offers as well; Wyoming, Air Force and New Mexico all had offered from the Mountain West, along with SDSU and Fordham out of the FCS. Ellefson told me it was down to Wyoming and NDSU, but the proximity to home was one of the biggest factors that decided things for him.
Hawley head coach Peder Naatz shared an interesting story with me on Ellefson’s recruiting process on Dizzo’s Den on Friday night; he said that former offensive coordinator Brent Vigen would routinely come to Hawley games for the last 15 years; just to see if there was any talent worth looking at and he told Naatz, “he didn’t want to just show up with some flashy clothes and be a big shot, because there was a big-time recruit”, that philosophy impressed not only the Hawley staff but the Ellefson family, Craig Bohl and company had put in their homework on this guy, so it says a lot that Ellefson chose NDSU over the Cowboys. You can listen to my interview with Ben below, also some video highlights accompany it as well. Ellefson becomes the 3rd verbal for the Class of 2015; joining Jake Brinkman from Iowa and Derek Tuszka from Warner, South Dakota.
Former Bison forward TrayVonn Wright signed a contract this week with Wels of the Austria Basketball League. It’s the same league that former Bison guard Mike Nelson played in after Nelson finished his NDSU career in 2009.
Nelson said Wright has a chance to make something of it because he plays a different position. The 6-foot-4 Nelson was a shooting guard and in the ABL, “they’re a dime a dozen,” Nelson said. “With him, they love athletic wings that can run the floor and in his case shoot the ball. It’s tip-dunk galore.”
A few other reasons why I give TrayVonn the benefit of the doubt in making it overseas:
Tray didn’t have much growing up and has had to pretty much scratch and claw for everything he’s gotten. There are those who say one of the reasons he had so much trouble putting on weight is nutrition wasn’t of real quality when he was in high school, and that includes going back to Waterloo in the summer during college. Although from a loving home, there wasn’t much for finances. So the kid has mental toughness.
He’s 6-7 who was a former high jump champ in high school. We’ve all seen what he can do with a dunk. Nelson said that in itself will make him a fan favorite in Austria.
If you can thrive in Fargo in December and January, you can live anywhere.
Wright will have to learn to play against players older and stronger. He’s up to around 200 pounds, but even at lesser weight, he was always one of the team’s top rebounders. That will continue to have to progress.