FARGO — The North Dakota State football team began its second semester of classes this week minus four players who were with the team in the fall. None of them were on the two-deep chart.
Center Joe Schreiber, safety Jackson Enz, receiver D.J. Baptist and cornerback Braden Zuroff are all transferring to other schools with the underlying theme of more playing time. Perhaps Schreiber, a highly touted redshirt freshman from Eden Prairie, Minn., is the most notable.
“Joe has been nothing but great, he did everything we asked,” said NDSU head coach Matt Entz. “Joe took the opportunity to play football with us through the semifinals and we appreciate his hard work and effort.”
Enz, who redshirted in 2018 and missed this season because of injury, is expected to transfer to an NCAA Division III school in his home state of Wisconsin, Entz said. He set the Wisconsin single-season high school record for all-purpose yards by a quarterback with 3,525 at Big Foot High School in Walworth, Wis.
Zuroff, a true freshman from New Salem, N.D., is transferring to Dickinson State (N.D.) for the same reason Baptist is heading back to Texas: To be closer to home.
“Sometimes guys just don’t fit and they want to stay closer to home,” Entz said.
Baptist, from Hutto, Texas, was in the mix to play as a true freshman in fall camp along with Braylon Henderson and Jake Lippe.
Schreiber played in one game this season, while Enz, Zuroff and Baptist did not see the field.
NDSU still has the late signing day in early February to add players to its roster. Entz said the coaching staff is looking for one or two high school players to complement the signing of 24 players in the early signing period in December.
The Bison lost 14 seniors from the 16-0 Division I FCS national title team. It’s doubtful any players will transfer to NDSU from another college this semester.
“Not at this time,” Entz said. “It’s tough. All of a sudden we play on Saturday and then school starts on Monday. It’s difficult.”