Recruiting Updates 12-22-13
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NDSU wasted little time in naming Chris Klieman the next NDSU head football coach. Klieman turned right around and won a big MVFC recruiting battle. Lance Dunn from Waterloo, Iowa (yes the hometown of Northern Iowa) announced on twitter his intention to play football at NDSU next year.
Well guys I’m officially a bison!!!!! #ndsu
— Lanceee (@lance_dunn3) December 17, 2013
Dunn has reported offers of Western Illinois, South Dakota and UNI. Dunn actually visited the 2nd round playoff game vs Furman, which was the same weekend the Wyoming news broke. There is a strong possibility he comes out of fall camp as the fastest Bison. One high school coach from Waterloo West says he is a legit 4.3 guy. Dunn will get evaluated in camp at running back and cornerback who can return kicks. Hard to do any recruiting update without a Easton Stick mention. First let’s keep in mind this is just one position on the field and quite honestly not a position of need for NDSU. But he is the reported QB in the 2014 class and his highlights are very impressive, so I understand why so many are interested in what happens with him. He messaged me today saying Coach Klieman and Coach Riley visited him this weekend. Stick added “I think they made a great hire. Hopefully they will have QB coach and OC hired soon.” He plans to take his official visit to NDSU January 10th. If you are a Easton Stick fan this is all encouraging news and I’m sure he speaks for all NDSU fans hoping to see the rest of the staff filled in soon. The question keeps getting asked, is NDSU going to lose any recruits to Wyoming. That really depends on your definition of recruit. Most people mean players like Easton Stick and the other 12 players who had verbally committed to NDSU prior to Coach Bohl accepting the Wyoming job. All those verbals still sound NDSU bound and there is no concern Bohl is going to pursue any of them to Laramie. But if your definition of recruit is all athletes with reported an offer from NDSU, well then they already have lost some. The biggest competition so far on the recruiting front appears to be Illinois State. Can someone tell me what they are pitching these kids? Is it the fact that they can play right away, or maybe they are excited that they wont be playing NDSU in the regular season the next 2 years, or maybe they are bragging that their coach hasnt left………yet. Last year isnt the best example since this there is more money coming off the books this year, meaning more full rides available. But last year you could count on one had how many recruiting battles were lost to other FCS teams. The 2 Arizona guys (Favors and McKinnley) and the MVFC newcomer and Freshman of the year Martin Ruiz are the only 3 that pop into my mind. But this year Illinois State is all over the Offers Page with 6 verbals from players with reported NDSU offers. Who ever knew how serious NDSU was about Romel Hill and some people are pleased Marcus Horne didnt pick NDSU. Tyree Mayfield verballed to Normal a few months ago and looked like a tough loss until Marcus Collins picked NDSU. CJ Jennings verbal is not fully confirmed. I have not been able to confirm with him and and my go to source for Orlando recruiting, Sentinel Recruiting was not able to confirm it either. They did say that the last they spoke to Jennings he sounded excited about taking a visit to NDSU. Here is the tweet from Randy Reinhardt @Pg_Reinhardt Sportswriter for the Pantagraph in Bloomington, Illinois, covering Illinois State, Illinois Wesleyan and Normal CornBelters.
Latest commits to Illinois State: Orlando Jones cornerback CJ Jennings, North Kansas City linebacker Jordan Williams. — Randy Reinhardt (@Pg_Reinhardt) December 18, 2013
You will also notice another name with an NDSU offer in that tweet in Jordan Williams. Williams visited the same weekend as Dunn, Malauulu and Reese, but unlike Dunn he choose against NDSU. The Williams news is not a huge blow, but the reported offers for linebackers in this class is light at this point and Klieman was his primary recruiter. Good news, it is a defensive loss and I dont think anyone should be worried that Klieman will be able to evaluate and target a couple high quality linebackers for this class. Plus last years class was full of linebackers. The biggest win for the Redbirds looks to be Daniel Vega who appeared to be a perfect fit and was scheduled to visit last weekend. His trip was canceled and he verballed to Illinois State.
Everything points to AJ Cooper leaving and that leaves a big question mark with all the Florida and Arizona recruits. Next update I will work on updates for those guys to see if they are even hearing from NDSU at this point. Almost every uncommitted Florida player who is reporting an NDSU offer, also reported making initial plans to take an official visit to NDSU. Just getting a Florida athelte like Napoleon Maxwell or Calvin Smith or Malik Johns or Robert Priester to visit Fargo in January is the difficult part. Usually the university and program sell themselves to the player to chose NDSU. Will be interesting to see if all the hard work Coach Cooper put in will actually land NDSU any of the athletes or if the new staff steers away from the Sunshine state.