FARGO — North Dakota State may have found the heir to a major special teams position. Mike Florentine, a senior at Lincoln-Way East High School in Frankfort, Ill., announced his verbal commitment on his Twitter account Monday night.
Florentine is a member of the defending Class 8A state champions in Illinois. He had an offer from FBS Northern Illinois, Bowling Green and Army. NDSU's long snapper, Ross Kennelly, is a senior although he technically has another year of eligibility because of the NCAA's ruling with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Earlier on Monday, NDSU landed a recruit for its 2021 recruiting class to what is often referred to as "Fargo South."
Ryan Jones, from Frisco, Texas, verbally committed to the Bison on Monday, Nov. 2, he announced via Twitter. Frisco is the current home of the Division I FCS national title game, which NDSU has won in eight of the past nine seasons.
Jones was the first November commitment for NDSU, which now has 17 known verbals in the class. NDSU had two commitments in October, including Brookfield Central (Wis.) High School running back Cam Devine, who made his announcement on Oct. 24.
Mandan (N.D.) defensive tackle Jaxon Duttenhefer was 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:
Reedy (Texas) High School's Ryan Jones has committed to the Bison on Monday, Nov. 2. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound Jones plays defensive back for Reedy High School.
Brookfield Central (Wis.) High School's Cam Devine committed to NDSU on Oct. 24. The 6-foot-4, 225-pound Devine plays running back and linebacker for Brookfield Central.
Grandview (Mo.) High School's Reginald King Jr. committed to the Bison on Oct. 1. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound King plays wide receiver and free safety for Grandview. King had more than 10 offers, including South Dakota State and Northern Iowa.
Rice Lake (Wis.) High School's Kayden Warren committed to the Bison on Sept. 14. The 6-foot-4, 240-pound Warren plays offensive and defensive line for Rice Lake.
Fargo Davies senior Truman Werremeyer committed to NDSU on Sept. 1. The 6-foot-1, 220-pound Werremeyer plays fullback and linebacker for the Eagles.
Super excited to announce my commitment to further my academic and athletic career at North Dakota State University! Thanks to everyone who helped me along the way! Go bison! pic.twitter.com/l19vRyWtXQ— truman werremeyer (@trumanwerremey1) September 2, 2020
Catholic Memorial High School's Alex Oechsner committed to the Bison on Aug. 30. The 5-foot-10, 175-pound Oechsner plays defensive back and wide receiver for Catholic Memorial, which is located in Waukesha, Wis.
I am so excited to announce that I will be furthering my education and football career at North Dakota State University! Thank you so much to my family, coaches and most importantly God, who helped me make this decision. So excited to be a Bison! #GoBison pic.twitter.com/1nnzqgrd7m— Alex Oechsner (@alexoechsner) August 31, 2020
Lingbergh High School's Logan Kopp committed to the Bison on Aug. 14. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound Kopp plays linebacker and running back for Lindbergh, which is in St. Louis, Mo. He is an all-state linebacker.
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.