BisonReport publisher Ryan Burns and editor Ross Uglem are breaking down each Bison football position group, what they're looking to add at each position in the Class of 2017 and their top targets.
First up, the quarterbacks.
What the Bison have on roster
There hasn’t been a darker moment in recent NDSU football history than the day that Carson Wentz’s wrist injury was revealed to the public. The mighty Bison had just fallen to 4-2, and without Wentz missing the playoffs appeared to be a real possibility.
Instead, it might have been one of the best things to happen to NDSU’s program in a long time. Wentz certainly didn’t suffer. He was able to return for the FCS title game and be selected second overall by the Philadelphia Eagles.
It worked out fine for the Bison, too. They righted the ship and captured their 5th consecutive national championship. Perhaps even more importantly it gave Easton Stick an eight game head start on his NDSU career.
Stick, one of the most highly regarded recruits in Bison history, is set up to be a three year starter at NDSU, which is not something that happens all the time. That kind of responsibility brings up names like Walker, Feeny and Jensen. Instead of opening his career with two consecutive ESPN-televised games, Stick has eight wins, zero losses and three playoff games under his belt.
He’s the man now.
Junior Cole Davis will continue to be Stick’s primary backup. Obviously, as a quarterback, being older than the starter does not yield a non-injury path to playing time. Davis doesn’t appear to have the athleticism to contribute as a tight end or a slot receiver so he’s committed to the Bison program with no promise of playing time. Davis’ attitude and level of support has endeared him to both Stick and Wentz, as he was part of the crew that traveled to New York for the draft. If Davis is pushed into action, expect his arm talent and his lack of athleticism (in comparison to Stick) to lead the Bison into a more traditional offense, with the backs taking care of a higher percentage of the workload.
Redshirt fresman James Hendricks seems to be the opposite of Davis. Hendricks has been lauded for the athleticism that made him the perfect candidate to be NDSU’s scout team version of Jacksonville St. QB Eli Jenkins before last year’s national championship game.
Projected 2016 depth chart
- Easton Stick
- Cole Davis
- James Hendricks
What the Bison want in 2017
I expect the Bison to take one quarterback for the 2017 cycle to get back to five quarterbacks on scholarship. Look for the Bison staff to target a big, pro-style quarterback that they can develop for a few years with Easton Stick likely at the helm for the next three.
Florida quarterback Holden Hotchkiss committed to the Bison last night after receiving an offer last night following a great performance at camp. He'll be the Bison's signal caller for the class.