Jeff Kolpack covers North Dakota State athletics, the Fargo Marathon and golf for The Forum. His blog can be accessed at www.bisonmedia.areavoices.com. On the radio, Kolpack & Izzo sports talk show runs from 9-11 a.m. every Saturday morning. April through August, the WDAY Golf Show with Jeff Kolpack runs from 8-9 a.m.
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FARGO—The recruiting season for the North Dakota State football program is at full throttle. And when it comes to this year's high school juniors, the Bison have their eyes on three Fargo-area players. Fargo South's Dawson Weisenberger, Fargo Davies' Jaden Klabo and West Fargo's Luke Lennon all have a similar look to them in terms of size and speed. All are tight ends in the 6-foot-4 to 6-5 range, although that doesn't necessarily mean that's the position NDSU is targeting for them.
FARGO—The process started a day after the Division I FCS national title game in early January. At some point this weekend, Nick DeLuca will find out what city he hopes to make his next home. The former North Dakota State University linebacker has been slotted anywhere from a middle- to late-round NFL draft pick to a free agent signing. CBS Sports, for example, has him ranked the 15th-best available inside linebacker.
FARGO — When in circulation, the Nickel Trophy was subject to practical jokes and theft when it was the prize for the winner of the North Dakota State and University of North Dakota football series. On Monday, April 23, at least one state representative is wondering what happened to it. It seems the trophy is still missing. An amendment to a bill the 2017 North Dakota Legislature passed that required the Nickel to be put on display at the North Dakota Heritage Center and State Museum in Bismarck became law on Aug. 1, 2017. The trophy isn't there.
FARGO—North Dakota State completed spring football on Friday night, April 20, with the annual Green & Gold game, which in this day and age of the 15-game season is no longer a game. It may not have been true football for the at least 2,000 fans on hand, but that's the reality of a perennial FCS playoff program. It's all about being ready to go on Saturdays. In the fall. "We got what we wanted to accomplish today, which was essentially practice for another hour," said head coach Chris Klieman.
FARGO -- Three Division I FCS national titles and his football players getting high marks academically were two big reasons North Dakota State head football coach Chris Klieman received a two-year contract extension on Thursday, according to athletic director Matt Larsen.
FARGO — The family ties to North Dakota State football for junior cornerback Tre Fort are strong, so knotted that it would take a chainsaw to cut the rope. That's the way his grandfather, Bill Sturdevant, played the game after all. Sturdevant was inducted into the Bison Athletic Hall of Fame last fall, a reward for his days as one of the toughest kids on the block. He played both offense and defense for Bison teams in the 1960s, and is considered one of the players who brought the program to prominence after its winless season in 1962.
FARGO—The rule allowing a Division I college basketball player to transfer to another Division I school without having to sit out a year was first discussed last summer by the NCAA. It was one of those proposals you thought would just go away. It hasn't. And, in fact, it may very well be adopted by the NCAA Division I Council this June and if that's the case, look out. It's going to be all-out trench warfare out there. Count North Dakota State University head men's basketball coach Dave Richman as one who believes the change will be adopted, in some form or another.
FARGO—The NCAA struck again last week in its ongoing battle with the kickoff. The Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved a new stipulation allowing receiving teams to fair catch the kickoff inside the 25-yard line, which will result in a touchback and the team getting the ball at the 25. On Monday morning, the Bison kickers weren't sure what to think of the rule adjustment. "I don't know what our strategy is going to be going into the year," said senior kicker Cam Pedersen. "I can't imagine it will change."
FARGO — The Sanford Fargo Marathon is advertised as flat, friendly and fast and at least one running website agrees it's one of the best in the country. Active.com lists the Fargo as one of the top 10 races to qualify for the Boston Marathon. Whether it's actually true is debatable, since Active.com does not present any real quantifying data. All 10 marathons, however, do have some varying degree of flatness to it like the Chicago Marathon, whose only hills are the bridges on the course.
FARGO — North Dakota State students will have fewer available seats for football games next fall, a move that NDSU student body president Mason Wenzel said was unfortunate but in the best interest of both parties involved. The students are giving up Section 16 at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome, which is on the southwest side between approximately the 25- and 35-yard lines, or the closest student section to midfield. In return, the athletic department will be getting $100,000 less in student fees and students will have priority for standing room tickets.