First Bison scrimmage: His name is Melvin DeSouza

So you Google one of the standouts from NDSU’s intrasquad scrimmage on Saturday afternoon at Dacotah Field — Melvin DeSouza — and what you get is a highlight film of No. 92 playing defensive end for Eden Prairie High School in the Twin Cities. He was a running back for the Bison who scored two touchdowns including a 75-yarder when he ran away from some people.

He’s an interesting story with more on him in the Sunday Forum. But the short version: he walked on to the team in the middle of last season after head coach Craig Bohl called him. He transferred from the North Dakota State College of Science without much fanfare and looked into joining the team right away. He had never played running back in his life until Bohl put him there. He may not play much, if at all, next season. But you never know. He’s 5-foot-9 and 225 pounds and is at least making offensive coordinator Tim Polasek take notice: Polasek mentioned him on an appearance on our Kolpack & Izzo radio show this morning. Our response: Melvin who?

Other thoughts from today:

  • Quarterback Carson Wentz was sharp, particularly on a 19-yard back-shoulder touchdown pass to Dee Gray. Wentz is clear and away the starting quarterback. The question will be his backup: Derek McGinnis or Cole Davis.
  • Starting running back John Crockett was held out — so were several other starters — but sophomore Chase Morlock was every bit the 1-2 role that Crockett played last year with Sam Ojuri. Morlock had 44 yards on three successive carries at one point.
  • The defense was very good in the first half of the scrimmage. The offense dominated the second half, which in the good news-bad news department may not bode well for the depth on defense at this point.
  • Freshman safety Chris Board looks like a player. He had a quarterback sack, defended a pass play well and tackled a receiver for a short gain in a span of three out of four plays.
  • In the Melvin DeSouza department, the media folks were also scrambling to find the name of another player not on the roster who scored a touchdown. Running back Colter Pritchard, a walkon from Langdon, N.D., scored on a 40-yard pass reception from backup quarterback Cole Davis.

16 thoughts on “First Bison scrimmage: His name is Melvin DeSouza

  1. what was the format of the scrimmage? who was playing when? Starters vs starters and backups vs backups?

  2. Varied between 1s and 2s playing each other, plus other depth guys. There are so many starters out or held out that saying “this happened against the No. 1 defense” or vice versa really wouldn’t be an accurate depiction.

  3. Defense struggled today? Poor tackling?? That isn’t characteristic of our Bison. Things to work on I guess.

  4. I never understood bringing King in. Crockett, Morlock, and now DeSouza…I think this RB core is deep enough.

    • How’s this for an answer: John Crockett is one play away from a career ending injury…….. a team can never have enough quality running backs.

    • because the team has a rs senior and a couple true sophmores and freshmen next year.

      I think the offense is going to be scary good next year.

  5. Defense wins championships! I know many starters were out, but the formula that works is Defense dominates and Offense scores enough to win games. I would sure like to see this offense take off but not without our Defense being the dominate force it has been through many successful years. I don’t think that will happen with a D-coordinator as head coach, but sure do not want to see a replay when we were having to cross over the likes of DJ Mcnorton to linebacker. Walkons performing is no surprise however as there have been many of these stories in this successful program.

  6. While the linebackers and defensive secondary will be scary good, the lack of experience in the interior of the defensive line has to be a concern for the Bison defense. Only one backup player returning at the noseguard and tackle positions. Tough to replace about 12 years of playing experience on the interior.

  7. Typically the defense should be way ahead of the offense at this point in time so that’s a little dissapointing but with all the new faces and new guys playing its probably not a big deal

  8. I think the dtackle spot will good. May take some time but all the guys are talented. Depends on who gets the reps. Between Schaetz Farnloff Tanguay Morgan a talented true freshman class and some of the guys we know little about like Messner or Russell seem to surprise

  9. Not sure what not having a dominate defense with a d-coordinator as head coach means when the previous Head Coach was also defensive coordinator.

    • Read. That is exactly what I mean. Do you think I am new to Bison Football.

      • I agree with you that Defensive coordinators as Head Coaches tend to be more conservative on offense.Klieman said that the value of a good running game to a defense is huge because they stay fresh because of time of possesion. The difference that we will see with this group of coaches is Klieman chose Polasek and Headberg both former quarterbacks to run the offense, that like to throw the ball and they been around the block. The differnce that we will see is more down field throws 20+. We have a QB that has those skills but still have pretty impressive RB’s. Until our defense gets its feet under them we will need an offense that is explosive otherwise it might be a long season. Did’nt mean anything by it

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