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SDSU tight end Goedert joins former rival Wentz with the Philadelphia Eagles

South Dakota State's Dallas Goedert breaks away from North Dakota State's Tre Dempsey after a reception Oct. 15, 2016, at the Fargodome. (David Samson / Forum News Service)

FARGO—South Dakota State tight end Dallas Goedert is going to be catching passes in the NFL from a former Missouri Valley Football Conference rival.

The Philadelphia Eagles drafted Goedert in the second round of the NFL Draft with the No. 49 pick overall Friday night. He joins the Super Bowl champions who have former North Dakota State star Carson Wentz at quarterback.

"It's crazy," Goedert said. "It's going to be incredible, playing with Carson, the best quarterback in the league."

Wentz welcomed Goedert to the Eagles via his Twitter account. Part of Wentz's tweet read: "We gotta represent the FCS, MVFC, and the Dakotas well my man. Let's go!"

The 6-foot-5, 260-pound Goedert was the third tight end taken in this year's draft. He is the first NFL Draft pick from SDSU since 2010 when the Buffalo Bills selected defensive end Danny Batten in the sixth round. Goedert said he started to tear up after he received the call from the Eagles.

"I saw my phone ring and my heart stopped for a little bit," said Goedert, who is from Britton, S.D.

Goedert had 198 catches for 2,988 yards and 21 touchdowns during his career at SDSU. He had 72 receptions for 1,111 yards and seven touchdowns last season, helping the Jackrabbits advance to the Division I FCS semifinals.

South Carolina's Hayden Hurst (No. 25 overall to Baltimore) and Penn State's Mike Gesicki (No. 42 overall to Miami) were the two tight ends drafted ahead of Goedert.

"Seeing two tight ends taken before me was hard," said Goedert, who believes he was the top tight end in the draft.

However, Goedert added he couldn't be happier about his landing spot.

"I wouldn't trade my situation for theirs," Goedert said, referring to the tight ends selected ahead of him.

Goedert said he's had some interaction with Wentz leading up to the draft with the two former Missouri Valley stars sharing the same Rep 1 Sports agency out of Irvine, Calif. Goedert said Wentz was one of the first people to send him a text message after Goedert got the call from the Eagles.

The Eagles traded into the No. 49 pick, one spot ahead of the Dallas Cowboys. Goedert said his first name is Dallas because his dad is a Cowboys fan.

The Eagles already have one of the top tight ends in the league in Zach Ertz, who caught what proved to be the game-winning touchdown in Philadelphia's Super Bowl victory against the New England Patriots last February in Minneapolis.

Goedert is confident he can develop into a top-flight tight end in the NFL, using Wentz and former Northern Iowa running back David Johnson as examples of former Valley players who have thrived in the NFL.

Wentz was in the MVP race last season before he suffered a season-ending knee injury late in the regular season. Johnson is one of the all-around running backs in the NFL for the Arizona Cardinals.

"I need to improve on my whole game," Goedert said. "Nobody coming out of college is a finished product."

Eric Peterson
Peterson covers college athletics for The Forum, including Concordia College and Minnesota State Moorhead. He also covers the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks independent baseball team and helps out with North Dakota State football coverage. Peterson has been working at the newspaper since 1996.

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