FARGO — North Dakota State got a big recruiting prize out of the Twin Cities on Tuesday, Aug. 4. Eden Prairie's 6-foot-6 lineman Sam Henry announced on Twitter he was committing to NDSU.
The 270-pound Henry had an offer from the University of St. Thomas (Minn.) as well as a few Division II offers from the likes of Minnesota-Duluth and Northern State (S.D.).
He joins Bloomingdale (Fla.) High School's Britton Pascoe as the latest commits. Pascoe verbally committed to NDSU on Friday, July 31, a couple weeks after the Bison got a recruit from Georgia. North Cobb High School's Nasir Howell committed to the Bison on July 18.
Henry becomes the ninth known commitment in the recruiting class, which had a mostly local flavor with its earlier verbals.
Mandan (N.D.) defensive tackle Jaxon Duttenhefer is the first known commitment to the class, choosing the Bison on March 26. In the 2020 class, the first known commitment didn't come until mid-May.
The Bison had three in-state commitments and one from Minnesota among their first six. The first five commitments in the class were all earlier than the first verbal NDSU received in its 2020 recruiting class.
The coronavirus pandemic could have a played a role in the earlier commitments for 2021. The Bison had two commits through May in the 2020 class.
“The COVID-19 just made my decision process faster,” Fargo South's Sibomana Enock told The Forum's Jeff Kolpack after he committed to the Bison in early May.
The following running log will be updated as verbal commitments happen:
Eden Prairie (Minn.) High School's Sam Henry committed to the Bison on Aug. 4. The 6-foot-6, 270-pound Henry plays offensive tackle for Eden Prairie.
I want to thank my parents and family for their love and support and my coaches for teaching me the game I love and what it means to be a great teammate. I am proud and honored to commit to the Bison. @Coach_Entz @CoachBlaz @CoachGrantOlson pic.twitter.com/Vv5GY3a2LK— Sam Henry (@SamHenry76ep) August 4, 2020
From Bloomingdale High School in Valrico, Fla., Britton Pascoe committed to NDSU on July 31. The 6-foot, 180-pound Pascoe plays defensive back for Bloomingdale High School.
From North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Ga., Nasir Howell committed to the Bison on July 18. The 6-foot-1, 170-pound Howell played defensive back and wide receiver for North Cobb.
"First, I would like to thank my dad for being my biggest role model," Howell wrote on his Twitter account. "Without you none of this would have been possible. Second, I would like to thank the rest of my family and friends. Your endless support and love has helped me push myself day in and day out."
Perham's Finn Diggins committed to the Bison on May 27. The 6-foot-5, 215-pound Diggins played both sides of the ball for the Yellowjackets, including quarterback.
Pella (Iowa) High School's Kody Huisman committed to the Bison on May 5. The 6-foot-4, 245-pound Huisman played on the defensive line for Pella. Huisman earned Iowa Class 3A first-team, all-state honors as a defensive lineman.
Omaha (Neb.) Westside's Cole Payton committed to NDSU on May 4. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound Payton is considered the state's top returning quarterback, according to the Lincoln Journal-Star newspaper.
Fargo South's Sibomana Enock committed to the Bison on May 3, becoming the third in-state commit in the class. The 6-foot, 185-pound Enock played running back and defensive back for the Bruins. He rushed for 775 yards and nine touchdowns during his junior season. He also had four interceptions.
West Fargo Sheyenne's Barika Kpeenu committed to NDSU on April 13, becoming the second commitment in the class. The 5-foot-10, 185-pound Kpeenu rushed for more than 1,200 yards during his junior season with the Mustangs.
Duttenhefer committed to the Bison on March 26. The 6-foot-3, 275-pound defensive lineman had multiple offers, including an FBS one from Central Michigan.