There have been several days in NDSU’s August practice schedule where freshman quarterback Trey Lance has stayed after practice to work on footwork. The reason: he operated almost exclusively in the shotgun in high school in Marshall, Minn., but NDSU’s West Coast offense calls for more under-center formations.
“That transition to being under center has been tough for him,” said NDSU quarterbacks coach Randy Hedberg, “but he’s been coming along in the last week.”
It’s nothing new for NDSU coaches to have to teach the basics to a freshman quarterback. Easton Stick operated in the shotgun at Creighton Prep in Omaha and spent his first August in Fargo learning the footwork of being under center.
“I know he was concerned about that coming in,” Hedberg said of Stick. “How to take the ball from the center. That’s not the biggest thing. The biggest thing is your footwork from under center in the run game and the pass game. We like everything to be the same as far as the run game matches our play-pass game and run-action game. What we’re trying to do is get the footwork to all be the same and that’s what trying to do with Trey.”
NDSU is expected to name either Holden Hotchkiss or Noah Sanders as the No. 1 backup to Stick for the opener Saturday against Cal Poly.
“With Noah and Holden, they’re so much better than were they were in the spring,” Hedberg said. “It’s like night and day for them. I think the one that has shown the most confidence will get that opportunity next week to be the backup.”