FARGO — Whether North Dakota State quarterback Trey Lance is going to declare early for the NFL Draft is an announcement that will wait until later. This week, it's all about Central Arkansas.
Lance, appearing at a press conference for the first time since the Division I FCS national title game last January, said the focus is on the 2:30 p.m. Saturday game at Gate City Bank Field at the Fargodome. It's NDSU's only game this fall in a season that has been in upheaval because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
He said he hasn't stressed about any of the NFL talk that picked up steam over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"I'm playing football at North Dakota State and honestly would rather not answer questions about that today," Lance said. "It's game week. I'm 1,000% focused on winnning this game. It's all hypotheticals at this point and so I'll let you guys talk about the NFL. But that's not my job right now, my job is to lean on my teammates and win another game here at North Dakota State."
Teammate and left tackle Dillon Radunz has already declared his intention to play the game against the Bears and then focus on the draft. He will not play in the spring when the Bison take part in the Missouri Valley Football Conference schedule.
Numerous national media reports and mock drafts have Lance being one of the top three quarterbacks and taken among the first 15 picks.
"He's handled it like a pro," said Bison head coach Matt Entz. "He's extremely mature, extremely poised and that's the same way he handles to day-to-day life. I'm super excited how he's handled it."
Entz said Lance has until mid-January to make a decision per NFL rules. NDSU will reconvene for practice after Christmas but in the meantime, Lance said he has no timeline in mind until then.
"I don't know yet," Lance said. "I'm not going to let anything take away from the guys here and even after the game on Saturday, sure get the same question. I won't have an answer for you then either."