the north face womens jackets It was a different January for North Dakota State on the football recruiting trail
HomenewsHeadlines5 dead after helicopter crashes in New York City East RiverWhite House vows to help arm teachers, backs off raising age for buying gunsMan leaps from rooftop to rooftop in attempt to escape policeZebra mussels double water clarity in Big Winnie: DNR calls meeting to talk about future of walleye fisheryMaking time for the outdoors: South Ridge School club teaches students to ski, snowshoesportsHeadlinesCardinals to release RB PetersonScoreboardBison baseball team falls to Arizona 11 2Breaking down the bracket: What the selection committee got right and wrongDifferent week, same result: Harvick wins third straight in ArizonaopinionHeadlinesSmith: A fierce advocate for MinnesotaLetter: Port opinion is rooting in partisan politics, not any kind of principleSteve Stark cartoon: F M DiversionCommentary: North Dakotans have a choice between Democrats who say they’ll govern like Republicans and actual RepublicansOmdahl: There no gold in the golden yearsbusinessHeadlinesFarmers concerned about trade war with ChinaTrade, weather will have big consequences for pricesA tech pioneer talks: Satellite imagery role in ag Busy SD farm twins 7 out of 22 heifers as snow, wind take toll Supermoms NDSU official attends national eventlifestyleHeadlinesWhy cutting down number of cigarettes is not enoughAway from Home: Key West, FloridaFuture smart homes will have roll up TVs, brain wave baths and so much more cool stuffNew storms whip up memories of old onesFargo VA to hold veterans town hall, claims clinic
FARGO For a Division I FCS program like North Dakota State that locked up 23 players in the early signing period in December, Wednesday’s second round of football commits who make it official will be more like Signing Day Junior.
The Bison are expected to sign four players to national letters of intent.
That doesn’t mean the Bison coaching staff cut back its recruiting schedule after the program won its sixth FCS national title in seven years on Jan. 6 in Frisco, Texas. They still hit the road like they always did, said Bison head coach Chris Klieman.
The focus, however, was different. They were able to target specific position needs, which resulted in the verbal commitments of Florida high school players Kenneth Channelle from Jacksonville, Zach Mathis from Tampa and Juanye Tillman from Winter Park, and also Jasir Cox from Kansas City, Mo.
Channelle and Mathis are receivers, Tillman is a linebacker and Cox is a safety with the potential to be a linebacker.
“He has big play potential, I just think they’re getting a great player,” said Dominick Ciao, Mathis’ high school coach at Tampa Berkeley Prep. “To me he’s one of the great ball catchers that I’ve coached.”
That may be saying something Ciao has coached high school football since 1986 and has over 200 career victories.
It’s the first year the NCAA went to a 72 hour signing day window in mid December and NDSU loaded up with 19 scholarship players and four preferred walkons. That in itself made for a different January for the Bison coaches. They didn’t have to concern themselves with other schools coming at their verbal commitments.
“You didn’t have to worry about a guy leaving or a bigger school coming in and stealing one of our guys into their program,” said NDSU assistant coach Atif Austin. “From that standpoint, it was really, really good.”
The early signing also gave the Bison perhaps more time to evaluate a smaller pool of potential recruits. With most FBS schools already locking up their classes, it made it more clear to FCS schools who was still available.
“You can take your time now and go through the process, re evaluating film, getting on the road and finding out as much as we can,” Austin said.
The additional research time helps in that the three Florida verbals this month did not attend NDSU’s summer camp, which is a prime evaluation period for the coaching staff. Of the 23 who committed in December, 21 attended NDSU’s camp.
“The pool is obviously smaller,” Klieman said, “but there are still a lot of people looking for guys. You were still battling a lot of schools over the last few players.”
Austin is responsible for recruiting Florida and the four who will be part of the 2018 freshman class will be the most from the Sunshine State since Tre Dempsey and Connor Wentz were half of the four players from Florida who signed letters of intent in 2013.