FARGO — North Dakota State targeted four high school juniors as its top in-state prospects for the 2021 football recruiting class. The Bison are hitting at a 75% clip with the fourth yet to be committed.
The latest to verbal is Fargo South’s Sibomana Enock, a running back/safety who announced over the weekend he’ll join Barika Kpeenu of West Fargo Sheyenne and Jaxon Duttenhefer of Mandan as Bison commits. The fourth prospect and perhaps the top in-state player is Bismarck Century’s Andrew Leingang, a 6-foot-5, 260-pound offensive lineman.
Leingang has the most offers of the four with a couple of FBS schools, including Colorado State getting into the mix. Enock had scholarship offers from NDSU and the University of North Dakota, but also had plans to attend the summer camps at the University of Wyoming and Rivals.com in Chicago. He was planning on taking a campus visit to South Dakota State and heard from Iowa State.
The country-wide campus shutdown may have played into NDSU’s favor, since the school was in Enoch’s backyard and he had already been to the Bison football camp last summer.
“I felt like I was wasting my time waiting because deep down I knew I wanted to go to NDSU,” Enock said. “I just decided I wanted to do it right now.”
He did it as a strong safety. But there were other options for Enock, who at South has played quarterback, running back, wide receiver, tight end, linebacker, cornerback and is the team’s punter.
He’s 5-10 1/2 and 190 pounds.
“The COVID-19 just made my decision process faster,” Enock said.
In a normal non-COVID-19 year, FCS schools like NDSU would probably not get in-state commitments at this clip until June. The fact NDSU’s first three commitments came from players who have seen games and been to camps is probably not a coincidence.
The Bison coaches had the luxury of watching Enock play strong safety at last summer’s camp.
“They wanted me at safety after they watched,” he said.
College football coaches across the country are currently in a dead period, meaning they can’t visit players and players can’t make visits to campuses. It’s turned spring recruiting into a virtual process of either phone calls or some sort of video conference contact.
In the case of Enock, Kpeenu and Duttenhefer, that wasn’t necessary.